Garden Snail at Strathan

May 16th 2012

This photograph shows a Garden Snail Helix aspersa found by field club member Clarinda in her garden at Strathan early in May 2012. Although garden snails are almost ubiquitous around human habitation and on ‘waste ground’ in England, they are much scarcer in Scotland where they are almost entirely restricted to the coast. It is readily recognised when adult by its size (over 2.5cm) and broken brown bands following the whorls (although this one does not show the pattern well).

Garden Snail – Helix aspersa Photo by Clarinda

There are a few records from Assynt, where it was noted in the 1990s at Drumbeg, Clashnessie and around Lochinver. However, this may be the first Assynt record this millenium! It is almost certainly regularly re-introduced into Assynt with plants, but it is uncertain whether these introductions last long. There is a very flourishing population, however, further north, in a wall near where the Cape Wrath Ferry leaves from, at Keoldale.

Anyone finding a specimen should take a good quality photograph and send it to assyntwildlife@gmail.com along with the date, location and, if possible, a six figure grid reference.

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Recent Sightings

Snow Bunting

single bird, Balchladich (Claire Belshaw) (01/12)

Woodcock

five birds flew up from road verge between Little Assynt Tree Nursery and All-abilities car parks (Vickii Campen) (30/11)

Golden Eagle

single bird north of Elphin (Vickii Campen) (30/11)

Moorhen

single bird Loch an Aigeil (DAH) (30/11)

Peregrine

single bird hunting over Clachtoll/Stoer (DAH) (30/11)

Curlew

15 birds over Bay of Stoer (DAH) (30/11)

Red-breasted Merganser

five birds (3 male, 2 female) on river out from Spar car park, Lochinver (Vickii Campen) (28/11)

Goldeneye

single female, Loch Drumbeg (DAH) (27/11)

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