Loch Shianta and the fossil beach

Local fossil expert Dugie Ross was invited, in the first instance, to plan a walk for young people as part of the October activities programme that is part of the High Life Highland Youth Development Service. The second walk a week later did not include the visit to the Dinosaur museum and Staffin beach but focused on Loch Shiante and hunting for fossils on the beach below.

This Jurassic excursion started at the Staffin Museum at Eillishadder, a fascinating and internationally recognised collection. When we arrived Dugie told us about his passion for fossils which started at a young age. His parents were fully supportive and at fifteen he announced that he would open a fossil museum.

Dugie showed us an early find, a dinosaur leg,

The beautiful patterns of these Septarian nodules were fascinating…

Then we headed toward Digg and Loch Shianta, once known as the Lourdes of the North”. One of the walkers tests the temperature of the water…cold and as clear as crystal.

Then a picnic lunch and on to the beach…

Dugie showed us how to hunt for fossils and what to look out for in the Oxford Clay.

Spot the broken belemnites amongst the pebbles…

…ah whats this?

Wow, a perfect specimen…

…an extinct cephalopod mollusc with a bullet-shaped internal shell that is typically found as a fossil in marine deposits of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

What a great day.

The second walk on October 16 was equally successful. The weather was dreich but dry, unfortunately not so good for photographs. The group was joined by visitors from Australia who were thrilled to be directed to the walk by the local visitor centre and were lucky enough to not only find fossils and visit the loch but also to see a Sea-eagle.

Tha Seo Math Dhuibh – Good for you

A partnership project with Aros Centre, Portree