The Natural World of Coll
I'm no biologist, geologist or any other type of natural world-ist, this section is here solely to inspire through the beauty of just some of Coll's Natural World offerings; which I hope you'll enjoy. Please don't hesitate to contact me should you spot any errors.
It's the location of Coll, it's isolation, the minimal inhabitance and a sympathetic community that all add up in maintaining Coll's rich natural environment. Coll has many diverse habitats and this alone contributes to the unique variety of common and unusual species found here. The list of Coll rarities is quite special and this attracts many to Coll to study, or just experience the thrill of a find.
Much of Coll's wildlife is shy or elusive and very often it's best to explore the outback in small groups (less than two?). The concept of a swarm of birders marauding across our featureless terrain is somewhat self defeating; it's quite different to the collective pleasures experienced within a woodland. And photographing wildlife is best done alone!
There's little need for anything fancy, you will trip over the abundance of nature wherever you go and it’s far more rewarding to discover for oneself even if, at first, you mis-identify.
The island Post Office stocks a range of books that you may find useful when exploring Coll. You will find a selection of books in the Quiet Room at An Cridhe, Coll's community centre, which you are welcome to browse through.
Sea and land birds, both common in the Hebrides and rare to the UK can be seen on Coll.
Some resident and some migrant, Coll's habitats attract some special species.
Many lochans and ponds are home to a variety of damselflies and dragonflies.
From dazzling floral carpets across the machair, to the specialists finds like the nationally-rare Pipewort or the Spotted Rock-rose.
The whole of Coll is based on very old and very hard heterogeneous Lewisian Gneiss.
Bees, Bumblebees, beetles and bugs.
Otters, hare, rabbits, hedgehogs, mice, shrews and, unfortunately, rats are all too common on Coll.
Another dimension in and under the water, from giant basking sharks and whales to tiny shore molluscs, all to be discovered.
There are no (known) snakes, toads or newts on Coll but, other than common lizards, there is a small colony of the very rare Sand Lizard.
Sadly, a section on the increasing amount of washed-up beach rubbish.