North Ayrshire RSPB Local Group onboard MV Caledonian Isles
North Ayrshire RSPB Local Group have been onboard MV Caledonian Isles every Saturday for the past 6 weeks to engage with passengers and help them identify seabirds and other wildlife.
The volunteers run a stall on the aft deck 5 during the 09:45 sailing from Ardrossan and remain onboard for three return crossings. The stall comprises of display boards showing what wildlife can be seen and a record of all sightings made by the group and passengers during the crossings. There is display tables with wildlife leaflets relating to the local area and leaflets about seabirds, and where to find birds on Arran.
Group chairman, Andy Shand, said:
"It's great fun spotting wildlife on the ferry. Over the years we have seen Basking Sharks, Dolphins and lots of seabirds. Arran has fascinating wildlife including Eagles and Otters which we love to tell passengers about"
Susan Montgomerie has been active on the Arran ferry since the group started running this annual stall. She said:
"My family and I volunteer because we enjoy meeting people and sharing our love of birds and nature. We've learned so much ourselves over the last twenty-five years and met hundreds of interesting passengers. Nature is in trouble and with help from a caring public, we can start to reverse the damage."
The North Ayrshire RSPB Local Group have been carrying out this activity onboard annually for around 20 years, however due to covid there was a 2-year hiatus. The group will be onboard for the remainder of August (Saturday 27th August), so make sure to say hello!
You can find out more information about the North Ayrshire RSBP Local Group on their social media pages.
Find out more about CalMac's Marine Awareness Programme