Spotted Flycatcher at last

Published: 23rd May 2009

Had one of the beautiful evenings here in Lochaber that serve to remind us why we moved to this area.
Walked by the Chia-Aig Falls, which were in full flow, and as impressive as ever, and continued down to the foot of Loch Arkaig, passing fields full of bluebells en route. The sun was actually shining , the birds were singing, and the loch was painfully beautiful, as it often is. We watched two young Dippers splashing and bobbing in the river, the white third eyelid conspicuous as the birds prepared to dive. Both Grey and Pied Wagtail were hunting flies in the air above, and at long last the darting flight of a bird returning to the same perch betrayed the presence of a Spotted Flycatcher – the first we have seen in these parts this year. We hunted for and found a small patch of Narrow-leaved Hellborines in an area I knew they were suppose to be, but had not manged to find at the right time of year before. The orchids were just starting to comne into flower, and will be spectacular by this time next week,. The sharp, upright leaves were notable, and difficult to confuse with anything else. Will have to return soon. Other woodland plants including avons and Dog's Mercury show that this woodland is ancient, although now mostly planted with conifers. Local Osprey tight on nest.

A group of naturalist guests had another good day in the field finding both Chequered Skipper and Pearl-Bordered Fritillary on the wing. They were slightly disappointed that it wasn't as successful as the day before when they tracked down both Golden and Sea Eagle in Morvern, with the added bonus of a Hen Harrier, not to mention Wild Goats and Porpoises! Glad to provide suggestion about where to look, and even happier that most things were found where they should be – but will have to go and try and locate the harrier myself!