Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Sanigmore: Coastal Dune Delight Success!

Sundays walk was not only successful with the sunny weather and a slice of cake at the Outback Arts gallery but with the wildlife and coastal flowers spotted along our nature rAmble!

The dunes were alive with coastal floral displays that included many colourful delights. These included Thrift, Red clover, White clover, Wild thyme, Yellow iris, Ladies bedstraw, Silverweed and many others! Our floral finds were in a bit of competition with the coastal bird spotting of which came up with great results also. Not only were Pied wagtail, Sanderling, Ringed plover, Oyster catcher, meadow pipits, rock pipits and starling spotted, but a pair of Choughs were also observed grazing and flying above the bay!

Islay is home to 90% of the Scottish population of red billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and are best seen on the West coast. They can be easily confused with other Corvids such as Jackdaws, but are specialists that are easily distinguishable by their red bill, red legs, shiny feathers and their distinctive "chOW!" These birds will graze on short managed grassland for insects and so areas such as Sanigmore that are grazed by livestock, are ideal habitats. Keep your eyes pealed for these playful birds.

Flowers and coastal birds were not the only species spotted on the bay, but we also had a friendly seal pay a visit! For more dune delights, flora displays with the added bonus of orchids and butterflies, come along to our Killinallan nature rAmble on the 1st of July!

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