Common dolphin |
The Scottish Marine
Wildlife Watching Code
The waters around Coll are rich in wildlife; cetaceans, mammals, birds, fish (some rather big) and shore-line critters. Otter encounters are quite common, they're easy to spot and they don't swim far from land. Most beaches will show signs of otters especially early in the morning.
You don't necessarily need a boat to view many of the larger sea creatures. Dolphins and basking sharks visit the bay at Arinagour, although less often these days. Together with whales and orca, any slightly raised view point can reward you with a sighting.
Traditionally, watching marine wildlife in these waters was limited to encounters whilst at sea, on a yacht, a ferry or out fishing. Today there are new challenges for marine inhabitants, specialist tour operators have made access to the larger sea creatures an all too easy possibility.
If you choose to wildlife-watch from the sea, the best, environmentally and wildlife friendly way is from a sea kayak, or a yacht. However you travel the waters, please respect wildlife's space and try not to disturb.
Following the guidelines from NatureScot will help Coll maintain its rich diversity but already basking sharks are under increasing pressure.
With basking sharks in mind, the guidelines are quite specific " Diving, snorkelling or swimming with marine mammals or basking sharks is not recommended".