Highlights w/c 26/6/10

Published: 8th July 2010

Another great week out with Glenloy Wildlife – mixed weather, but enough sunshine to bring the butterflies and dragonflies out. Week got off to a flying start on the Saturday with views of a local Otter whilst waiting for a late-arriving guest – and the usual appearance from the glenloy Pine Marten.

Sunday 27th – Orchids in full flower up the glen with lots of Lesser Butterfly, Early Marsh, Heath Spotted, Small White, Fragrant and 'mystery' Marsh orchids. Asphodel starting to come out in force. Also saw one of our resident Goldies, as well as deer and Whinchat. Pinewoods lush and first bilberries tasted.

Monday 28th.- Trip to Morvern. Lovely adult White-tailed Eagle over Loch Arienas, followed by distant Goldie soon after. An unexpected Whooper was a surprising straggler. Dragonflies out in force in nearby woods, with lots of newly hatched Common Darters, a few Four-Spot Chasers, and best of all, Beautiful Demoiselle – female high in birch.

Tuesday 29th. Osprey chicks poking their heads above rim of local nest, watched on bare branch by parent. Group of Red Deer stags still surprisingly close to habitation. Allt Mhuic produced a good selection of butterflies, including Large Heath, Speckled Wood, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Dark-green Fritillary- as well as a lizard, and plenty more orchids. Guelder in flower – hadn't noticed it up the burn before. Black-throated Diver made its appearance on our return home.

Wednesday 30th. Lots of Gannets on crossing to Eigg and a single Great Skua being dive-bombed by gulls. Porpoise on way across to Muck, and best of all, several Basking Shark on the return journey. Thanks to the crew of the Sheerwater we had great views, despite strengthening winds. On Muck saw an unexpected Kestrel hunting a small flock of Twite, and found a patch of Bog Pimpernel close to the large seal rookery. Most intriguingly heard a Quail calling from a rushy field, unmistakable, but surely introduced?

Thursday 1st July. Damp day, but managed more-or-less dry walks by the River Garry and the Caledonian Canal in between showers. Water had just been released from the Garry dam and had brought out the kayakkers and white water rafters, which was entertaining. Still managed to spot Dipper and Sandpiper along the swollen river. Large Hawker dragonfly out – first Common of the season?
Good mix of flowers along the canal including an interesting patch of Yellow Saxifrage – in full bloom at surprisingly low altitudes this week.Yellowhammers still singing, along with Blackcap.

Friday 2nd. A good day for seaside and marshy flowers. Skullcap, Marsh Ragwort and Ragged Robin out along Cuil Bay along with the orchids and asphodel. The Jubilee Bridge walk at Port Appin produced several salt-marsh specialities, including  Sea Aster, Greater Sea-spurrey, Sea Plantain and Sea-milkwort. Further along the coast found the first Grayling of the year, along with a huge tabanid fly and an unexpected Northern Emerald. Found the safety of the Castle Stalker cafe while the rain came lashing down.