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A variety of Arctic and
Alpine plants can be found on the Cape growing at sea level.
This combination is unique to this area and for this reason,
much of the Cape Wrath area is designated as a SSSI (Special Site of
A major interest in this
district is in arctic and alpine plant species. Plants such as Moss
Campion, Mountain Avens and Purple Saxifrage
which usually occur on high hills, are found here
almost down to sea level because of the suitable bedrock and severity of
The coastline also supports other rare northern species such
as the Oyster plant. The tops of some sea cliffs have developed a coastal
heath dotted with Spring Squill and the Scottish
Primrose - a plant found only here and in Orkney. The widespread blanket
peat influences much of the plant life inland. Bog Asphodel and Bogbean are two of the more colourful species, while
the Sundews and Butterwort which trap insects to boost the poor supply of
nutrients are of particular interest. Where the less acidic influence from
Old Red Sandstone rock affects the groundwater, marshy ground supporting
Ragged-Robin, Marsh Marigold and Meadowsweet is found. Birchwoods
and heaths with Heather, Blaeberry and Chickweed
Wintergreen are widespread in the hills and glens. The lesser Twayblade and Orchid are also to be found.
Bird life on Cape Wrath
The area is outstanding for birdlife during all seasons of the
year. The area is particularity important for large populations of
migratory species that visit either during the breeding season or to over
winter. From April until July the expanses of open peatlands
are home to Greenshank, Golden Plover, Dunlin and many other species of
wading bird, that raise their broods on the teeming insect life of the
blanket bogs. The complex network of dark shallow pools
contain some of the most spectacular colonies of seabirds in
Britain, with huge numbers of Guillemot and Kittiwake crowding the cliff
ledges. At the end of the breeding season the intertidal flats in sheltered
lochs and bays and offshore waters become the focus of attention, when many
thousands of migratory wildfowl and waders arrive for food and shelter over
the winter months. Particularly impressive are the late autumn gatherings.
Many resident Highland species can be seen, such as;
- Golden Eagle
- Crested Tit
- Fulmars: Breed on the cliffs at Cape
Wrath during the summer months. Call: a series of throaty, guttural
cackling noises, varying in speed.
- Kittiwakes: Breed on the cliffs at Cape
Wrath during the summer months. Call: quick, nasal "kitti-waake."
- Shags: Breed on the cliffs at Cape
Wrath. Call: various cackling or grunting calls when near colony.
- Puffins: Breed on the Clo Mhor cliffs at Cape
Wrath between May and mid August. Call:
deep, grunting "ar-r-uh" mostly
uttered from burrow.
- Red Throated Divers: Can be seen on various lochs around Cape Wrath.
Call: drawn out wailing sometimes resembles barking of a fox.
- Black Throated Divers: Can be seen on various lochs around Cape Wrath.
Call: hard, croaking cknarr~knorr~ and drawn
out gull like wailing.
Red deer are numerous and
widespread throughout the moors.
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