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All the Treshnish Islands now belong to the Hebridean Trust, and are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These days there are a lot of tourist boats coming and going to Lunga, so ideally anchor overnight when you should have the place to yourself. The anchorage is not as exposed as it looks, and is fine even if a gale is blowing, provided it comes from the west. If you are bothered, escape across to Gometra. McLintock got it right in 1938:
'Our anchorage was a most intriguing place, surrounded on all sides by islands and barren rocks"
The Harp rock, only 15 - 20 minutes walk away, is by far the best seabird nesting cliff for viewing in the whole area, it is spectacular. Hang on to any small children, the path is narrow in places. Take binoculars to look at the thousands of guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes that nest on it. plus some fulmars too. And a camera. Lie on the cliffs and look down at the auks swimming underwater.
And on the way there you cannot miss the incredibly tame puffins nesting on the edge of the cliffs, and the shags snapping at you from their nests beside the path. More difficult to track down are the storm petrels which fly in after dark to their nests under your feet, amongst the stones on the beach. I believe that Manx shearwaters also nest hereabouts, again only at night.
Of course, in the spring the whole place is ablaze with wild flowers — blubells, primroses, sea campion and flag irises all at the same time in late May.
In the autumn, from about mid to late September, the seabirds have mostly long gone but your visit will be rewarded by the sight of baby Atlantic seals along the boulder beach by the anchorage, their parents swimming just offshore (or guarding their young, so don't get between them).
This island was made famous by the ecologist Frank Fraser Darling (1903-1979) in his book 'Island Years' (1940). He camped here for several months with his wife and young child. It is difficult to imagine, but 20 people apparently lived on Lunga 200 years ago, the last one left in the mid-19th century. And there, just above the cliff with all the puffins, are the remains of seven roofless black houses, some probably full height. They are easy to miss if, like me, you have been obsessed with looking at all the puffins on every visit. But where is the well that must have been here to supply the islanders with water?
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A close-up Puffin
Puffin with shag
The Dutchman's Cap from near the Harp Rock
Puffins on the cliffs, Mull beyond
The ruined black houses