I have known this island since I was a small child but I will never take it for granted. Today we took a trip to the north of the island knowing that this is a great time of year to spot wildlife. The relationship between humans and wildlife on Arran is really interesting. The island has a relatively large population at approximately 5,000 people and yet we are also blessed with a wonderful range of wild species. The consequence of this dynamic is an unusually tolerant relationship from our wild friends.
Today was possibly my best seal spotting day to date. A whole collection were just hanging out on the rocks and the shore. They were just as interested in us as we were in them. I loved the ones that popped their heads out of the water to see what they were missing out on. They have faces that tell stories so we stood and paid close attention.
We laughed when we reach Lochranza because we had just spent time spotting hinds and stags on the hillsides in the distance and then there was a little unit right in the centre of the village! A very proud looking stag was surrounded by his hinds as he waits patiently for them to come into season. There is such a short matting window and he is always fearful of a challenge from another stag. None of them were bothered as car stopped, doors slammed and camera shutters clicked all around them. They had seen it all before. Even the rabbits jumping around did so with a sense of calmness.
On the return route we spotted a very dark red squirrel and a very young Heron. Seabirds galore right along the coast and even a couple of Oyster Catchers that are my absolute favourite. Molly was with us and pointing out and naming them all. We saw a hovering bird of prey but failed to identify it as it was too far away.
So as we headed back to our home we felt blessed that we had been allowed to share space with such wonderful creatures. My theory is that they watch us watching them and I am sure that makes this place unique…..