Wednesday, 29 June 2011
A busy day
Two half day trips today. In the morning we went to Loch Arkaig. First stop was the Osprey nest on loch Lochy. I was concerned to see no sign of any birds on or close to the nest, as this could suggest the nest has failed. On to the Allt Mhuic to look for chequered skippers and Pearl bordered fritillary. No activity on this front but one of the guests was delighted with the discovery of a slow worm and another intrigued by green tiger beetles. We spotted a couple of stags at the Clunes end but no deer activity at Murlaggan. However, we did get a sighting of an osprey at this end of the loch, where we watched it hunting for about 5 minutes.
Returning to Clunes, we were all surprised to see a pine marten dash into the undergrowth near Allt Mhuic. A very brief glimpse, however it is the unexpectedness of such sightings that really make these trips. Back on Loch Lochy, we found an osprey sitting on a tree close to the nest. Perhaps she was just sitting round the corner when we passed first time? Another bonus was finding a juvenile black throated diver drifting around close to the osprey nest. Great news since this means a successful nest on the loch.
The afternoon trip was to Glengarry and proved to be a bit quieter to start off with. A drive into the forest failed to find crossbill, Loch Garry produced only a few sandpipers and Canada geese, and apart from a couple of hinds around Kingie, there was no red deer activity. However, on return we found a black throated diver near the bridge on loch Quoich.
As we returned to Loch Garry and no sign of the scoter I was assuming that the best had passed and the highlight of the day was the pine marten, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a shape swimming in the loch: An Otter. Unfortunately, by the time I pulled into a lay-by it had disappeared from view, so another very brief glimpse. However, two successful trips and, I think happy customers.