Wonderful Wildlife

Sika Deer

The wildlife we see all around us could not possibly be covered in one blog post!
If you love nature and exploring the great outdoors, then Tarbert and the rest of Kintyre is a must see holiday location!
Living here I am lucky enough to be able to study at leisure.
I am not going to give a guide or a map, nor list the areas I’ve found some of the wildlife, because that takes away all the fun of a nature trail!

Just sitting here in my office I am treated to some splendid sights.
I once wasted an afternoon watching a Buzzard hunt and then feast on it’s prey after stomping all over it to tenderise it I presume!

The deer in the picture above is a regular visitor I’ve managed to capture a few photos of.
Other creatures are too fast, or too clever and you need a keen eye to see some of them.
Wherever you are in Tarbert keep your eyes peeled, the wildlife is everywhere!

Can you see me?

Usually seen when you least expect it and I have found I see much more on the days I don’t have my camera with me!

A Useful Guide For Identifying Wildlife

I was thrilled to see my first Pine Marten last year, it rushed to the top of a tree and watched me from the safety of it’s branch.
There are signs of them all over the place, but I never expected to see one so close, it was beautiful!

Adder

In the Summer months you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an Adder, Slow Worm or a Common Lizard up on the hills.

Along the shores you will find signs of Otters, if you are quiet and still you may even see some either eating at the waters edge or playing in the water.

Explore The Rock Pools

With so many small secluded beaches you can lose yourself for hours, relaxing or taking in all the life around you, from the Eagles soaring in the skies to the many mini beasts you will find in any of the rock pools.

If you look out to sea you could be lucky enough to spot one of the many seals that visit the lochs, quite often when we are out on our kayaks they will come and join us and follow us on our journeys.

If you want to really explore the secluded beaches and get quietly close to the marine life you can hire a canoe, kayak  or paddleboard from Kayak Majik.

If you hear a splash it could be a playful Porpoise, or a Gannet diving for it’s food.
Back on land, be careful where you tread in the spring as many birds nest along our shores and some eggs look just like pebbles!
If you love bird watching then you are really in for a treat! So many different species to see, I’m still trying to learn who is who, but when you see an eagle for the first time, you know it! Such beautiful birds, and so big you cannot be mistaken!

Tern Eggs

To get an idea of the fantastic variety of birds that live on and around the Tarbert forests, hills and shores take a look at the fantastic photographs on the Machrihanish Seabird And Wildlife Observatory Website!

Oyster Catcher

Where The Wild Things Are

Wildlife, it’s everywhere and it is my
very favourite thing about living in such a
beautiful place, we are lucky enough to share it with a wide range of
wildlife.
First things, first, be prepared, as
glorious as it is, there are things that would quite happily eat you.
If you are spending time in an area
with heather, bracken and long grasses, especially if the area is
visited by Deer or Sheep (almost certainly here), chances are you and
your dogs will be at risk from ticks.
Wear protective clothing, long boots or
gaiters and do check yourself over after spending any amount of time
out there.
Ticks can be dangerous, they can carry
Lyme’s disease, but the risk is minimised by
removing the tick cleanly and as soon as possible.
I spend so much
time outside with my dogs it has become a part of the daily routine
to check them all over and quickly remove the little beastie!
They are reddish, brown or grey
and can be various sizes, I’ve found tiny ones, smaller than a pin
head, and even worse, I’ve found large ones like big grey peas on my
poor dogs!
The very best, quickest, cleanest and
easiest way to remove them from people and pets is with these O’Tom Tick Twister

 

Always keep some in your rucksack!
If you become unwell within around 30
days after finding a tick on you, you must let your doctor know, the
sooner you are treated for Lymes disease the better chance you have
of being successfully treated.
As gross as they are, generally their
bite doesn’t hurt, nor does it hurt to remove them, but do ensure you
keep an eye on the bite area on you or your pet to help prevent the risk
of infection.
The midges, the midges,
I’m no gonnae kid ye’s,
the midges is really the limit.
Wi teeth like piranhas, they drive ye
bananas,
If ye let them get under yer simmit!
(unknown)
Midges bites hurt! You can feel them,
it amazes me how they are so tiny, with such delicately patterned
wings they look so harmless but can be so annoying, their mouths feel like a mini circular saw!!
Don’t let them ruin your trip!

One of my dogs collecting critters!
I know we are going to have beautiful
weather if I open the door to let the dogs out in the morning and
there are a swarm of midges waiting to eat me.
Get to know them so they don’t ruin
your visit.
There are untold products out there to
protect you from insect bites, however the best we have found is Avon
Skin So Soft dry oil spray.
If you don’t have any, you might be
lucky and Karlina might have her usual reserves in stock.
If it’s windy, or raining, chances are
you wont be bothered by these little beasts, they tend to hang around
dawn and dusk in sheltered places.

I have heard (but not yet tried) a
yeast trap, apparently if you put some yeast and warm water in a jar
the midges are attracted to the carbon dioxide and will drown in the
jar.
You can keep track of the Local Midge Forecast Here!
Midges are also a food source for many
other beauties, so while they may be a minor irritation for us they are well worth tolerating for the sake of the bats, birds and other animals that need them in their daily diet