Monday, 12 June 2017

Gartbreck - Seashore Bonanza! Nature Walk

Yet again showers and donning waterproofs, but a hardy band of four went to see what was about near the sea at Gartbreck (West of Bowmore).

A lovely family of goldfinch was the first delight on the fence, dropping down to feed on the seeds amongst the grass.  Lapwing and Oystercatcher were in the field and Oystercatchers and ringed plover along the shore, chicks lurking somewhere unseen.  Offshore were Eiders and hauled out on various rocks Common and Grey seals and we looked intently to determine which had a Spaniel face (common seal) or Labrador face (grey)?  The large roman nose of a male grey was easy to pick out.

Plants which greeted us were Sea Milkwort, in flower alongside Scurvy Grass and Sea Arrowgrass (which tasted like coriander).  Thrift is in its element at the moment and we had Sea Mayweed and Silverweed just coming into bloom.  In the areas above the high watermark were Birds-foot Trefoil and Ragged Robin, Hemlock Water Dropwort, Yellow Flag Iris and Yellow Rattle which was just showing its first flower.

Sea Mayweed
Sea Milkwort and Scurvy Grass
Further along the shore we were intercepted by two Arctic Tern probably nesting on the small islands just off shore, Redshank had chicks in the marshy field at the top of the shore as they called and alarmed, though we were far enough not to be any danger to their young.  Off shore we spotted two Shelduck families each with 5-6 young,

Following a tip off from Ian Brooke who had walked this section earlier in the day we were on the lookout for jellyfish, we found this impressive specimen washed up - Rhizostoma octopus, from the rusty colour of its tentacles it looked to be a female.  Mandy's feet are in the picture to give you a sense of scale to the size of it 60-70cm probably when fully floating.  Unfortunately such creatures are at the mercy of the currents and sadly this one will pulsate no more! 

Looking forward to next Sunday's walk at Sanaigmore
Fiona MacG

No comments:

Post a comment