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Super Blood Wolf Moon Visible In Lewis
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HebCelt 2019
First Loganair Jet Lands In Stornoway
Last Chances To Visit Archaelogical Dig At Habost Machair

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Weather Watch

Following a lovely day on Friday, the weather has been very mixed for the last three days and the bad news is that we are in for more rain and strong winds throughout the night and a cloudy day tomorrow. Combined with a very severe wind-chill factor, it is certainly not spring weather! The good news, however, is that things are expected to improve from Wednesday onwards, with less wind, no rain and lots of sunshine. Here's hoping the forecasters have got it right!

More Accolades For HebCelt

Hebridean Celtic Festival has, for an incredible fifth consecutive year, made the top 10 UK Summer Festivals compiled by the influential world music publication Songlines. Once again, it is the only Scottish festival to feature and it places HebCelt alongside such world renowned names as Glastonbury and the Cambridge Folk Festival. This latest honour followed fast on the heels of HebCelt being named Best Event or Festival in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, in November 2014.

This year's event will be held in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis from 15-18 July and is expected to attract a multi-national audience of some 15,000, over the four days of the event.

Scottish Island Ferry Free Ticket Giveaway

Have you ever harboured a wish to discover the magic of the beautiful Scottish islands of the Outer Hebrides, Shetland or Orkney? Well, here's your chance! Following the overwhelming success of a similar initiative in 2014, VisitScotland has again teamed up with ferry operators Caledonian Macbrayne (CalMac) and Serco NorthLink Ferries in a campaign to give away 8000 free tickets.

Weekly draws on the 16th, 23rd and 30th of March 2014 will result in 4000 lucky winners each receiving two return, foot passenger, tickets to their selected island destination. Full details can be obtained at http://www.visitscotland.com/win/brilliantislandmoments15/. There's no time to lose, however, so don't delay - act today.

Good luck!

Celtic Connections - 15th January to 1st February 2015

It's that time of year again, time to cast off the winter blues that invariably descend each January in the anti-climax following the celebrations of the festive season. Tonight sees the start of Celtic Connections 2015 which, as always, is guaranteed to lift the gloom, with 300 events involving some 2100 artists during the course of the festival.

This year's event gets underway, tonight, in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with a celebration of the music of the late, lamented,  Martyn Bennett, who was a real giant of the contemporary music scene. Sadly, Martyn's life was all too brief, tragically cut short by cancer at the early age of 33. This event commemorates the 10th anniversary of his untimely passing.

This opening event promises to be of the highest standard and will set the tone for what will, undoubtedly, be another highly successful festival.

Fèis Rois Commonwealth Ceilidh Trail

Ness Hall is the place to be this evening to appreciate the wealth of traditional musical talents of the youngsters of Fèis Rois. They will be ably supported, on the night, by Ness Melodeon Band and Ness Highland Dancers. Hopefully there will be a good turnout to support and encourage these young stars of the future, who are doing such sterling work in keeping our tradional music alive for future generations.

Further information about Fèis Rois and its activities can be found on their website: www.feisrois.org

Weather Watch

In common with the rest of Scotland, the weather in Ness, and the Western Isles in general, has taken a definite turn for the worst over the past two weeks or so. It all started with the arrival of the tail end of the former hurricane Bertha, which brought gale-force winds, torrential rain and a severe drop in temperatures, some ten days ago. Unfortunately, things have not improved much since and we still continue to experience frequent, wintery showers, occasional strong winds and temperatures that are more fitting for January rather than the middle of August. Still, we live in hope that we will soon revert to more seasonal weather, although we may have to wait beyond this week for that to happen.

HebCelt 2014 Is Here!

After months of anticipation, the Hebridean Celtic Festival 2014 is finally underway and the Isle of Lewis is bursting at the seams with excited festival-goers. Accommodation is virtually impossible to find and camp-sites are a splash of colour, crammed with tents of all shades and hues. Calmac Ferries and Flybe staff are working hard to cope with the rush, on what is possibly the most hectic week of the year for them.

Unfortunately, today's weather is a bit damp and dismal but, if the forecasts are to be believed, things will improve for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In any case, such is the quality of talent on show at HebCelt, the inconvenience of an occasional little spot of drizzle would be barely noticed.

This year, there is marvellous news for those unfortunate people who are unable to attend the event in person, as BBC Alba are screening live coverage of the festival from 10pm till midnight on both Friday and Saturday nights. If you are going to be out on these nights, remember to set up your TVs to record the programmes - this is an event not to be missed!

Full details of the artistes and programme can be obtained on the HebCelt website http://www.hebceltfest.com

Feathered Visitors

Over the past few weeks, we have become accustomed to the distinctive call of two of our most iconic avian visitors. I mean, of course, the cuckoo and the corncrake, both of which travel thousands of miles, coping with all the trials and tribulations that nature throws their way, in their single-minded quest to reach their breeding grounds. What Stars! Other, more unusual, feathered visitors to our area in recent weeks included a Red-breasted Goose, a Tundra Bean Goose and a Marsh Warbler. A group of five White-tailed Eagles was also spotted at Eoropie Beach.

Ness Gala Day - Saturday, 28th June 2014

Ness Football Pitch, Fivepenny Machair, Ness is, once again, the venue for this year's Ness Gala Day which will take place from 1pm - 5pm. There will be plenty to do and see for adults and children alike. Attractions include Bouncy Castle, Go Karts, Coconut Shy, Beat the Goalie, Wheel of Fortune, to name but a few. There will also be a Bar Tent, Tea Tent, Candyfloss and Ice Cream Stalls, as well as a wide variety of other stalls. Ness Fire Brigade will be present with their equipment and further entertainment will be provided by Ness Melodeon Band and Ness Highland Dancers. As in previous years, there will be the ever-popular auction of donated goods and services. All-in-all, it promises to be  an event not to be missed, so why not come along and join in the fun?

New Nature Observatory At Loch Stiapabhat Local Nature Reserve

A group of wildlife enthusiasts braved the elements, on Saturday,12th April to attend the formal opening of the new nature observatory at Loch Stiapabhat Local Nature Reserve, in Ness. The project was organised by the local estate, Urras Oighreachd Gabhsainn (UOG), with the main funding assistance coming from Scottish Natural Heritage and LEADER. Other funders included the RSPB, The John Muir Trust and UOG themselves. On the day, the formalities were performed by well-known ornithologist and wildlife consultant, Roy Dennis, who has been involved in the conservation of rare birds and the reintroduction of lost species, such as the White-tailed Eagle and the Red Kite, for many decades. The nature observatory is now open to the public and a series of events is being organized for the spring and summer.
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