Friday, 25 January 2013

By Way of Introduction

By Way of Introduction

We have a 4-acre shoreline croft in the small village of Ard Dorch, north of Broadford on the Isle of Skye.  The croft follows the coastline for around 300 metres or so,  at the point where two sea lochs, Loch Ainort and Loch na Cairidh meet,  We have spectacular views over over the islands of Scalpay and Raasay to the east and north respectively whilst the Red Cuillins are to the west.

We grow our own vegetables but most of the croft is either too small for sensible animal rearing or too low quality for any crops.   We therefore maintain it in a way that enhances its value to wildlife.   In the spring there are beautiful displays of bluebells in the open fields and in early summer 7 species of orchid and several hybrids bloom in their hundreds.   We have made a systematic study of these over the last 5 years focussing particularly on lesser and greater butterfly orchids.   

The real excitement though comes from occasional otter sightings.   There are at least 3 holts above the shore and we make regular finds of otter spraints even if no animals are seen.    We keep notes on what we have seen - I thought I would share these through a blog.   This is the first.

Anyway, at Christmas I got a new trail camera.   And it works!    I placed it near one of the otter holts over successive nights, and got pictures ..... of a fox.   (Sorry about the camera ad - too lazy to crop).   We now need to encourage it to face the camera.   The fox was there on 3 separate nights, and there was a brief view of an otter.   There are also recent otter spraints nearby.


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