It was a quiet morning as we followed the path along the shore from Kildonan towards Bennan Head on the southern coast of Arran. The air was calm, the water unruffled – a lovely September day. We’d heard that this was a good spot to see seals and sure enough there were people sitting near the start of the path armed with cameras and binoculars. But not a seal in sight!
So we decided to go further afield and follow the path as far as the Struey Rocks boulderfield. A sandy beach on one side, dramatic waterfalls on the other made for an interesting walk. But it became so very much more interesting when we rounded a corner to see dozens of seals basking on the rocks, among them a large number of young animals. It was a thrill to see so many of them in one place.
But what really made the day special, however, was their singing. At first we weren’t quite sure what it was we were hearing, but soon realised they were ‘talking’ to each other – or rather singing to each other! It was a sound that I remembered from the time when my parents lived in Shetland and my mother would sit on the shore and sing – the seals joining in with their own special song. And so at Kildonan we sang and to our delight there was a whole chorus of seal voices in response! It was a wonderful experience and not one that we will forget in a hurry. And a reminder of just how fortunate we are in Scotland to have so much fascinating nature right on our doorstep.