Marine Wildlife

In the summer time, basking sharks are regularly spotted in the bay close to the bunkhouse whilst otters and seals can be seen all year round. Whales, dolphins and porpoise are also sighted in the waters around the island.

Bird Life

There is a wide variety of breeding species on Coll and there’s a good chance of seeing meadow pipits, twite, skylarks and stonechats amongst others. Coll is also home to approximately 10% of the UK population of corncrakes in the summer. In winter time huge flocks of barnacle geese, greylag geese and white-fronted geese inhabit the island.

On the ferry over from the mainland it’s possible to see petrels, gannets, manx shearwaters, auks and a range of other seabirds.


Coll is famous for it’s gorgeous carpets of summer flowers as a result of it’s unique grassland landscape known as machair. There is over 300 different species of wildflower on this small island.

One of the specialities is the pyramidal orchid with its distinctive pyramid-shaped flower head. The bloody cranesbill is widespread too, also characterised by it’s deep magenta blossoms, a common colour right across the machair.

Wildlife on and around the Isle of Coll

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