The speaker at Ellon Probus Club’s recent meeting was Bob Davis, a dedicated local environmental enthusiast.
Although Bob is from the London area, he moved to the North-east many years ago and fell in love with the local countryside. For many years he worked as a warden with the Nature Conservancy before it became a National Nature Reserve.
His talk, “The Coast and its Wildlife”, took members on a rollicking tale of the animal life (dead and alive) and plant life along the North-east coast.
The Aberdeenshire coastline, in particular, is fortunate in having distinct stretches of sand and rock. In common terminology called soft and hard bottom areas, with each area having its own distinct fauna and flora. Added to this is the effect of tidal movements which give a zonal species distribution in relation to the depth of the water column or, in the case of the inter-tidal area, the duration of the flood period.
Above the waterline there is a wide variety of plants, each distinct in its evolutionary habitat. This area also supports large numbers of birds with individual species being associated with their own particular evolutionary habitat.
Of note are the sand nesting terns, particularly the Arctic tern, the rock nesting gulls and the world famous colony of eider ducks. There was a lively discussion session covering many topics but in particular the large colony of seals that has taken up residence in the Ythan estuary in recent years.
The vote of thanks was given by Gordon Benton. The next meeting is on July 28 when Duncan Milne will talk of his experiences as an “An innocent abroad”.