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Ailsa Craig - BirdForum Opus

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Europe, Scotland


Off the west coast of Scotland in the Firth of Clyde is the small and isolated island of Ailsa Craig. This conical rocky island lies about 16km west of Girvan and 20km south of the Isle of Arran and is cliff-bound and covered with rough grassland.


Notable Species

As well as the 20-30,000 pairs of Gannet, other breeding seabirds include Common Guillemot and Black Guillemot, Razorbill and small numbers of Atlantic Puffin. In addition there are Fulmar and Shag and breeding gulls include Kittiwake, Herring Gull and both Great Black-backed Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Eider also breeds as well as wild-type Rock Dove, Rock Pipit, Wheatear and both Carrion Crow and Hooded Crow.


Birds you can see here include:

Northern Fulmar, Northern Gannet, European Shag, Common Eider, Lesser Black-backed Gull, European Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Atlantic Puffin, Rock Dove, Rock Pipit, Northern Wheatear, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow

Other Wildlife

Common Seal Phoca vitulina and Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus are commonly seen in surrounding seas and Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus has recently been eradicated from the island.

Some of the more notable plants include Sea Spleenwort Asplenium marinum, Sea Campion Silene maritima, Thrift Armeria maritima and Navelwort Umbilicus rupestris.

Site Information

History and Use

To do

Areas of Interest

To do

Access and Facilities

Ailsa Craig can only be visited by boat and permission is required, see the Tourist Office in Girvan.

Grid Ref: NX020998

Contact Details

Tel: 0141 331 0993

External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve