On a glorious afternoon our group of 19 set off for a meander through the dunes of Sanaigmore, eager to see what wildlife awaited us.
We weren’t disappointed as wildflowers, birds and butterflies revealed themselves to us. On the bird front, we saw hen harrier, buzzard, oystercatcher, common sandpiper, skylark, meadow pipit, common gull and linnet, with a few gannets and auks spotted out to sea. As for the wildflowers, we saw bird’s foot trefoil, germander speedwell, thrift, heath bedstraw, tormentil, English stonecrop, silverweed, stork’s bill, ragged robin, milkwort, lousewort, mouse ear (aren’t these names fantastic?), cuckoo flower, heath spotted orchid, scurvy grass and mountain everlasting. This last one was a new one for me and one I’ll be looking out for.
Also seen and identified by their leaves as they’re not yet in flower, were meadowsweet and devil’s bit scabious, the latter being the food plant of the marsh fritillary caterpillar. And what should happen by but a marsh fritillary butterfly! Good to see these rare butterflies that are just on the wing. Thanks to Diana for the photo. Another butterfly out and about was the green-veined white.
We also set free one of our Cinnabar moths which had just emerged from its pupa having spent the winter hibernating at the centre.
So a very pleasant couple of hours was passed at this stunning location, so much so that after the ‘official’ walk I just had to spend another hour out walking there! Thanks to everyone who came along, it was fun! Our next rAmble will be at Bunnahabhain forestry, details to follow.