Coll, Tiree & the Treshnish Isles including Staffa
Coll and Tiree The islands of Coll and Tiree lie North West of Mull with the tiny island of Gunna between the two. Gunna Sound is good place to look for basking sharks and other cetaceans. Perhaps you’ll go ashore on Coll’s white beaches or visit Tiree, known as the “Sunshine Isle” with, believe it or not, just 20% more rainfall than Bournemouth! The Cairns of Coll are renowned for minke whale and other cetaceans and Tiree has populations of corncrakes, Arctic skuas and terns. Hares live on Tiree but there are no rabbits, foxes, stoats or weasels.
The Treshnish Isles East of Tiree and heading toward Mull are the Treshnish Isles. Lunga, the largest of the eight islands, is also a bird sanctuary. The puffins here on Lunga are very curious so don’t be surprised if they come and see what you’re up to. The Treshnish Isles are home to common and grey seals and many sea-birds. It’s possible to see minke whale, dolphin, porpoise and occasionally killer whale and basking shark around here.
Staffa The Treshnish Isles along with Staffa (meaning “pillar island”) are formed from basalt columns and are the other end of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Fingal’s Cave on Staffa, over 200 feet deep, inspired Mendelssohn to write his “Hebrides Overture” in 1829. The cliffs are over 40m high. A few sea birds nest on Staffa.
DID YOU KNOW?
Atlantic puffins have penguin-like colouring but they sport a colourful beak that has led some to dub them the "sea parrot". The beak fades to a drab grey during the winter and blooms with colour again in the spring.