North Ayrshire branch of RSPB provides free wildlife spotting info on MV Caledonian Isles
Members of RSPB North Ayrshire are providing information and wildlife spotting tips on board the Ardrossan to Brodick ferry throughout the summer.
Branch volunteers will be on board MV Caledonian Isles on Saturdays during the holiday season chatting to passengers and pointing out all manner of wildlife on the crossing - the group has already started this year's crossings and customers have been enjoying the informative extra.
It is a venture which has worked well in previous years and last year the group spotted all manner of birds and animals.
From more unusual species like the red-throated diver, peregrine falcon and Manx shearwater, through to favourites like mute swans, buzzards, herons and swallows, there were also sightings of numerous grey and harbour seals, as well as porpoises and an angle shades moth.
Passengers will be able to get expert tips when travelling on Caledonian Isles on July 18 and 25, and August 1, 15, 22 and 29.
"We are fortunate enough in Scotland to have abundant and unusual wildlife backed by breathtaking land and seascapes," said Caledonian MacBrayne's Commercial Director Cathy Craig. "We have built up a great relationship with North Ayrshire RSPB over a number of years and are very grateful to their volunteers for coming on board to chat to our passengers - both regular travellers and tourists alike - about the huge diversity of birds and animals which can be glimpsed from our ferries."
When on board, the group is located on the outer deck of Caledonian Isles, weather permitting of course, pointing out wildlife to CalMac customers from the boat, promoting Arran as a wildlife destination and travel to other islands with CalMac and describing some of the animals and birds which can be found there.
Scotland's rich wildlife, natural heritage and landscape is one of its major attractions and, according to a Scottish Natural Heritage report from 2010, is responsible for an annual injection of some £1.4billion to the economy.
Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries recognises that, whilst simply doing its job of providing lifeline services to Scotland's west coast mainland and island areas, it is lucky enough to provide an exceptional platform from which to view this natural abundance within a spectacular backdrop.
Picture courtesy of Kevin Courthill
Notes to editors:
1) Further information about CalMac is available at www.calmac.co.uk
2) Caledonian MacBrayne and CalMac are trading names of CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL). Caledonian MacBrayne , CalMac and the lion rampant device are registered trademarks of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL)and are used under licence by CalMac Ferries Ltd.