Little Assynt Wildlife Project (2018)

Exploring the wildlife of Little Assynt                                                            

Introduction.  In October 2017 the Field Club was asked if it would like to join in a large funding bid to be made by the Culag Community Woodland Trust (CCWT).  The primary purpose was to finance further extensive fencing to prevent red deer accessing the core of the Trust’s land at Little Assynt, but there was also a biodiversity element.  It was suggested that this might include funds to complete the identification of invertebrates collected in the Malaise Trap operated by the Field Club on Loch na h-Innse Fraoich in 2010.  We have recently heard that the bid was successful.

The Malaise trapping was complementary to the Little Assynt Lochs Project carried out by Caroline Bowes in 2010 and the Quinag Lochs Project also carried out that year by Gwen Richards.

After reading the reports of the 2010 projects, we began to wonder how much recent information there was on the wildlife of Little Assynt.

Accordingly, the Committee of the Field Club agreed in March 2018, with the encouragement of the CCWT, to sponsor a Little Assynt Wildlife Project.  This would involve an audit of existing information, including that relating to the Loch Beannach Islands SSSI, the identification of obvious gaps, and some targeted fieldwork.

Fieldwork.  There have been three visits so far (see below), mainly focussed on the woodlands of Torr Mor, on the southern edge of Little Assynt.

Future fieldwork.  Two of the AFC field meetings later this year are on Little Assynt.  On Saturday 12th August 2018, Stephen Moran will be exploring the insect life of the eastern shores of Loch Beannach, as far round as Ruigh Coinich (This outing was postponed due to illness). On Sunday 16th September 2018, Bruce Ing will be leading a fungus foray along the Loop Path.

If you would be interested in helping with the Project please contact Ian Evans or Gwen Richards on assyntwildlife@gmail.com, thank you.

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (1) – Torr Mor, Trees 26 January 2018

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (2) – Torr Mor, Bryophytes and Desmids 29 March 2018

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (3) – Torr Mor, Lichens 8 April 2018

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (4) – Loop Path Fungus Foray 16 September 2018

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Recent Sightings

Black-tailed Godwit

single bird Bay of Culkein (Janet French). Photo - Gallery Birds (21/05)

Garganey

single male Loch Neil Bhain (DAH). This is only the third Assynt record of this species. Photo - Gallery Birds (19/05)

Lapwing

three adult birds and one chick, Loch Neil Bhain (DAH) (19/05)

Whimbrel

two birds near Culkein Drumbeg jetty (DAH). Photo - Gallery Birds (19/05)

Risso's Dolphin

four animals off Stoerhead Lighthouse (DAH) (19/05)

Arctic Tern

15+ birds on offshore island Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (19/05)

Shelduck

pair still present Oldany estuary area (DAH) (19/05)

Golden Plover

at least four birds on grazing land Balchladich (Janet French) (18/05)

Map