The Isle of Coll is a stunning wild retreat blessed
with a wealth of flora and fauna. Its summer carpet of wild flowers is simply
awesome. Also look out for Basking Sharks, sea birds and migrants like the rare
of Coll - amazing flora and fauna. Photo - Tony Oliver|
journey to the Isle of Coll through the Sound of Mull is a breathtaking experience
as you cruise past Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly tip of the UK's mainland.
island itself is a great place to relax and enjoy wildlife, with only 200 residents,
making it remarkably tranquil.
One of the most distinctive features of the
island is its impressive sand dunes, reaching up to 35 metres in height.
is famous the world over for its gorgeous carpets of summer flowers as a result
of its unique grassland landscape known as the machair.
In fact there's
over 300 different species of wildflower on this small island.
One of the
specialities is the Pyramidal Orchid with its distinctive pyramid-shaped flower
The Bloody Cranesbill is widespread too, also characterised by its
deep magenta blossoms, a common colour right across the machair.
watchers are in for a treat on a visit to Coll, not only on dry land but on the
trip across from the Sound of Mull.
From the ferry it's possible to see
Manx Shearwaters, Petrols, Gannets and Auks.
Also look out for Fulmars,
Little Terns, and many other seabirds.
Whilst on the island there's a good
chance of seeing Skylarks, Twite, Meadow Pipits and Stonechats.
summer there is also a possibility of spotting Dolphins and Whales in the seas
around the island.
reason for visiting Coll is the chance of spotting a bird that is a real
The Corncrake is known locally as "the nutty noisemaker"
as a result of its rasping call which resembles the squeak of a rusty gate opening
The bird was once seriously in decline, and a decade ago Corncrakes
were almost extinct in Scotland.
But conservation work has been a real
success and the bird is thriving once again.
The RSPB has bought part of
the south west corner of the island and has established a bird reserve to protect
this rare bird.
out more about Corncrakes
photographs of Coll courtesy and copy right of Tony Oliver and Coll Digital Images.
picture courtesy of Chris Packham.