Ptarmigan, grouse or the occasional red deer but surely not tortoises??
Over the past couple of weeks they’ve been observed on two Ayrshire hills and appear to be fairly at home with the conditions.
The first sighting was on the Saugh Hill, just outside the picturesque seaside town of Girvan. First to appear was the larger of the species, Ianus McNeeus followed by the lesser Drainus. Finally, the female of the genus Nobela was spotted. They seemed to be comfortable in this new habitat and socialised with other hill fauna before disappearing to who knows where.
The second sighting was on the hill, Cairn Table, a few miles from the Village of Muirkirk. This is a fundamentally different hill to the previous and it was heartening to find Tortoises expanding their habitat.
The genus of the species spotted on Saugh Hill were also spotted on Cairn Table. This time they were joined by the shy Timus Downieus.
Timus wasn’t around long and rapidly departed from the hill at speeds amazing for a Tortoise. He was followed by the quickly disappearing McNeeus and then the Nobela. Fortunately for wildlife enthusiasts, the extremely wild Drainus had clearly been injured, possibly from tripping over a blade of grass.
It is believed that Tortoises are becoming far more comfortable and confident on hills and this adoption of a new habitat could herald an expansion of this rare and lovable little creature.