Deer oin the move

Published: 21st September 2011

It's mid- September and in Glen Loy the deer are preparing for the rutting season. Out with guests, we heard the first stags roaring in the glen this week. Stags are starting to appear amongst the hinds, although the deer themselves are still well up towards the top of the hills. We saw plenty up our glen, though spent a whole day along Loch Arkaig without seeing a single one. Mind you the stalkers were out, so perhaps that is not too surprising. Will be interesting to watch deer movement over the next couple of weeks. We did spot a couple of young Sika hinds curled up in the grass at the edge of a field, but otherwise the deer have been only viewable through a telescope.
Eagles continue to be active. We saw a single and then a pair of goldies flying up Glen Loy at the weekend, catching the thermals and crossing from one side of the glen to the other. Later in the day a pair also appeared over the hill behind the lodge in Glen Roy. None of those seen appeared to be young eagles, however, which is somewhat worrying. A further pair were spotted above Beinn Bhan this afternoon, but these were too distant to make out markings.
Between showers we managed to find some bright sunny periods in which to walk, and stayed remarkably dry. Small birds were concentrated in shelter belts and gardens, and have mostly left the hills. Lots of wagtail and pipit flocks about, as well as mistle thrush. The sun was warm enough to bring out good numbers of dragonflies. In the past week we spotted a couple of late Northern Emerald, as well as both Common Hawkers (in abundance), the odd Southern Hawker a Golden-Ringed, and at Fassfern, loads of Black Darters. Damselflies were much scarcer. Likewise butterflies have been quite reclusive, although there seems to have been Speckled Wood flying in most wooded areas we visited. A group of at least 6 Peacock was the biggest concentration we saw locally last week. Reptiles are also enjoying the last of the late summer weather, with both Lizard and Slow-worm on and around the tins.
We struggled to find Otter at the beginning of the week, in direct contrast to the previous group. An early morning visit to Lochy Mouth soon put that right. Always plenty going on there, regardless of whether otters appear – but the tides were just right, with a reasonable amount of rock showing on the islets. It made a pleasant change to set off at 6.30am and still effectively catch first light.
If Alan is reading this I thoughy I would mention the sighting of 'Mr Blobby” at Camusdarrach, bobbing amongst the divers and auks, and to remind him “Did you see the eagle?”