This ferry route meanders through a wildlife haven. Here, numerous islands and skerries interspersed with shallow waters and strong tidal currents provide a rich marine habitat. In winter, the Sound attracts large numbers of divers and diving duck. These include red-throated, black-throated and great-northern divers, along with flocks of long tailed duck and eider. In spring, arctic and little terns return to their breeding sites on low lying islands where they are protected from ground predators. Gannets follow shoals of mackerel and herring, performing their spectacular plunge dives. Look out for great and arctic skuas as they chase other seabirds in an attempt to steal their food. Mid-way through the sailing the ferry passes close to the island of Groay where grey seals gather to pup in the autumn. Cormorants, shags and black guillemots are present throughout the year.
This rich food resource attracts white-tailed eagles. These are opportunistic predators that will pirate and scavenge as well as hunting their own prey. They are often seen perched on low lying islands and skerries where they are easily recognised by their huge size and upright silhouette.
When to visit?
The ferry passes a breeding grey seal colony on the island of Groay, about half way through the crossing. During the Autumn pupping season, white-tailed eagles are particularly obvious as they are attracted in to feed on the afterbirths.
The shallow tidal waters are a rich feeding ground for seabirds ducks and divers. Spring and Summer highlights include arctic tern, little tern, arctic skua and gannets. In winter three species of diver, long tailed duck and slavonian grebe can be seen.
How to get there?
The Sound of Harris ferry is the passenger and car ferry that provides the connection between North Uist (Berneray) and South Harris (Levenrburgh). The ferry operates daily with a journey time of one hour. The timetable can be found here.
This is a large, heavy-billed diver can resemble a goose, especially in flight.
These two converted blackhouses now form the Berneray hostel site of the Gatliff Trust…
Berneray and the nearby island of Pabbay lie in the Sound of Harris between North Uist…
Larger of two British seal species.
Ben Ghainche is a small hill situated at the north end of the beach at Bearsdaire
Common seals are brown, tan, or grey, with distinctive V-shaped nostrils.
A large seal with a forehead and less spots than the Harbour Seal. Males can be up to 3.3…
Seal viewing point
Close to the ferry terminal lie the slight remains of a burial cairn, probably dating to…
At Beinn a'Chlaidh - Hill of the Graveyard - there is a standing stone.
Giant Mackaskill Monument is located ti the South of Berneray.
The remains of a stronghold occupy the whole of a tiny islet in the middle of the tidal…
A truly stunning beach and was voted in 2021 as no. 3 in Lonely Planet's Top 20 Best…
Loch Bhurigh is easily accessible from the machair to the south of the island.
Large Diving water bird present on the Harris coastline throughout the winter