Marine life around the Cumbraes
The marine environment which surrounds the Islands of Cumbrae offers a haven for all kinds of wildlife which take advantage of the generally temperate climate. Some stay here all year round and others use it as a stopping off area whilst migrating north or south. A resident population of seals can be seen basking themselves on the Eileans just yards from the main beach and cormorants spend their days diving for fish in the bays or sunning themselves on the rocks. If you see something diving at speed into the water it will likely be a gannet looking for its lunch (take a look at the display in the Marine Station Aquarium and you will be surprise how large they are).
Dolphins and porpoises are regularly spotted from the shoreline and, in the late summer, it is not unusual to see the fins and tails of basking sharks as they cruise the shallow waters feeding on plankton. There is also a wealth of marine live which stays well below the surface. To find more about the underwater life why not visit the aquarium at the Field Studies Council.
(pictures copyright Ross Goldie)