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. On Sunday 16th September 2018, Bruce Ing will be leading a fungus foray along the Loop Path.  For further details see those dates on our Events page.

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) 26 January 2018

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (2) 29 March 2018

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (3) 8 April 2018

 

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Recent Sightings

Kittiwake

c100 adult and 1st-winter birds feeding off Clachtoll (DAH) (24/09)

Tufted Duck

two male birds on Loch Drumbeg (DAH) (22/09)

Merlin

single bird near Stoer Village Hall (DAH) (21/09)

UPDATE on colour-ringed Oystercatcher

we have heard back from the Icelandic Wader Group regarding the colour-ringed Oystercatcher spotted at Bay of Culkein on Tuesday. It was ringed, as an adult, near its nest while it was territory-guarding on 19th May this year; the location was Eskifjorour which is on the east coast of Iceland. We will post a short article on the Field Club's website in the next few days regarding other sightings of colour-ringed birds recorded in Assynt (DAH) (20/09)

Pink-footed Goose

c225, in four skeins, heading east over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH). Oh boy, it's autumn! (20/09)

Wigeon

single male in eclipse plumage Loch Inver (DAH) (20/09)

Manx Shearwater

young bird rescued from a garden at Inchnadamph (Chris Rix/Andy Summers). The bird, which was well off-course, was successfully released at Stoer the next day. (18/09)

Oystercatcher

four birds resting on rocks Bay of Culkein (DAH). One of these birds, an adult, had a combination of coloured rings on its legs. The details have been submitted to the appropriate ringing scheme, which appears to be the International Wader Study Group, and we will report back once we hear from them. (18/09)

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