Sunday, 16 April 2017

Wildlife on Druim na Gearr Leacainn

The day started wet and cold, with the thermometer struggling to reach 6C and a stiff southeaster blowing, but by early afternoon the rain had stopped and the sun was showing so we climbed Druim ne Gearr Leacainn, the ridge that runs along the back of Ormsaigbeg, with its views across the Sound to Mull and Morvern. At bottom right is the Ardnamurchan Campsite, with Kilchoan Bay and Ben Hiant to the left.

The south slope of the ridge is cut by a number of narrow glens which run from its ridge-line straight down to the sea, probably following small fault lines. With the sun out, these rapidly became havens of warmth, so we began to find....

....some insects on the wing, including this beautiful red admiral sunning itself on a rock, and....

....a couple of species of moth. This one has been previously identified by Derryck Morton as one of the geometers, probably the common heath, Ematurga atomaria, the feathery antennae identifying it as a male.

The warmth, and the prospect of a meal, had brought out this common lizard, which we found near the top of the ridge, indicating how warm it had become by mid afternoon.

From the summit of the ridge one looks down at the twin lochans with Beinn na Seilg rising behind them, on the lower slopes of which....

....we could see fifteen or so deer, a mixture of stags and hinds, which had already spotted us so were moving rapidly away. This is probably the herd which is coming down into the Ormsaigbeg croft land at night, and crossing the road to feed in the fields by the sea, so we now know where they spent their daylight hours.

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