Little Assynt Wildlife Project (2018)

Little Assynt Wildlife Project – 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 Field Club Committee 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 and took place on 30th June 2019). 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

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (5) – Loop Path Insect Walk, 30 June 2019

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (6) – Loch Beannach: a visit to the largest island, 5 September 2020

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (7) – Little Assynt: lochs, rocks and lichens, 27 March 2021

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings

Garden Tiger Moth (Arctia caja)

Single caterpillar in grassland, Clachtoll (Charlie Leeson) (16/05)

Blackcap

Singing birds - one near Achmelvich bridge and at least two in Culag Woods (DAH) (15/05)

Arctic Skua

Two pale morph birds off Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (15/05)

Harbour Porpoise

Single animal off Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (15/05)

Swallow

Single bird, Stoer green (Charlie Leeson) (15/05)

Common Tern

Seven birds on Stac Fada, Bay of Stoer (Charlie Leeson) (15/05)

Turnstone

16 birds, Bay of Culkein (Heather Braunholtz) (13/05)

Merlin

Single female bird hunting, Stoer peninsula (DAH) (11/05)

Map