Wednesday, 31 March 2010
A couple of trips up Loch Arkaig produced sightings of one of the ospreys and a black throated diver, so spring is definitely hotting up. There's a lot more insect activity too (or was before the snow came back!), so that should improve the feeding all round.
I had some video footage of Pine marten given to me by Ian & Clare MacLachlan at the Great Glen Lodges (at Kilfinan on Loch Lochy) of a pair of pine marten kittens, taken by their guest Brian Tulley. There's a serious scrap between the siblings at the end, showing just how aggressive these predators are. So much for brotherly love!
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Things are starting to hot up surprisingly early, given the harsh winter we've just had. Ospreys have been seen on Loch lochy, apparently first sighted over two weeks ago, at the beginning of March. The female from last year has returned, plus the chick she reared. It's great news that the chick has survived her huge return return journey to West Africa and made it back safely.
The local forestry commission wildlfe ranger also reported seeing two black throated diver on Loch Oich at the weekend, and the sea eagles are active again on Loch Arkaig. I just hope that the early arrivals don't suffer a shortage of food caused by the hard winter.
I have another taster session going out tomorrow. I think we'll try Loch Arkaig this time and see if the osprey and sea eagle are around. The winter migrants should be starting to leave soon, so I expect we'll see less of the golden eye and whooper.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
The badger was way up at the highest point of the glen, the last place I would expect to find one at night never mind during the day. After enquiring of a more knowledgeable friend, it transpires that for some reason it is not unusual to find badger, and pine marten way up on the tops of the mountains around here, though no reason has been established.
Plenty activity on the local black grouse leks just now though I haven;t been out Hopefully I'll be reporting the return of osprey, scoter and black throats very soon. Watch this space and pass it on,
Sunday, 14 March 2010
Despite recent news stories, the red deer in Glengarry and Loch Arkaig seem to have come through the worst of the winter realatively unscathed and any time i've been up the glens they look pretty healthy. I've seen a lot more golden eagle activity this winter too, probably due to a shortage of prey forcing them to hunt longer. The usual winter migrants have been very active with Whooper swans, golden eye and tufted ducks turning up at various locations.
I had an interesting experience at Murlaggan on Loch Arkaig when some stags started jousting as i watched. Presumably practising for the rut!
Whilst photogprahing a scene on Loch Arkaig with a long lens, a sea eagle flew through the scene but by the time i'd got the binoculars out he was gone. The photograph shows a blurry blob with a spot of white but won't be getting any prizes in widlife photogrpaher of the year!
One species that has been conspicuous by it's abscence locally is the kestrel. I dont recall ever having seen one in Glengarry - until about 4 weeks ago, since when i've seen one on 3 separate occasions. I've been told it was probably due to competiton for food, with the kestrel losing out to the buzzard population. In 2009 I wasn't seeing so many buzzards and wonder if there is a decline in their numbers allowing kestrel to move in. I'll be keeping an eye on this. Think that's enough for a first blog. More coming soon