Thursday, 20 July 2017

Choiremhuilinn Wildlife

We walked this morning on Ardnamurchan Estate land, across fields which were once worked by the people of Choiremhuilinn clachan whose houses, foreground, now lie ruined a mile to the east of Mingary Castle, having been cleared of their inhabitants in 1828.

It would be good to think that the wildlife we saw and photographed today was as enjoyed by them. The bluebells, the Scottish variety, are just coming in to flower and it appears to be a good year for them, as it is....

....for self heal, which seems a richer purple than usual.

In the wetter part of Choiremhuilinn land the first devil's bit scabious is flowering. It has practical applications, for example for treating skin irritations, and one wonders whether the local people knew of its uses.

The butterflies were out along the edges of the woodland that fringes the Allt Choiremhuilinn, the burn which separated Choiremhuilinn land for that of the neighbouring clachan to the west, Mingary. This is a moth-eaten red admiral, perhaps the last of those that survived the winter.

While whites were the most common butterfly, it was good to come across several blues, of which this male common blue was one. Some of these blues are tiny, and friendly enough to allow a camera within a few inches.

A series of shingle beaches stretch to the west of the clachan, curved beaches in wide bays, with Maclean's Nose at the end of them. Several wildflower species manage to survive in the shingle just above the limit of the winter high tide, including....

....this nettle, perhaps common hemp nettle.

While we were walking the beaches we were watched from the clifftops above, by a small herd of red deer whose ancestors would have had an uneasy relationship with the people of Choiremhuilinn.

For more about the history of Choiremhuilinn, go to the Heriatge Ardnamurchan website here.

No comments:

Post a Comment