End of June update

Published: 2nd July 2009

Great sighting of an otter and 2 cubs at the mouth of the River Lochy last week, a short walk from the centre of Fort William. Tide was really high with many plants inundated – strange seeing raggeed robin and buttercups underwater. Elsewhere plants in full flower gave a rich backdrop of colour. Fish were leaping everywhere and scattering in shoals, presumably being pursued by predators unseen. The two otter cubs were swimming in line behind their mother. Often one would piggy-back on her or the other in front, and then all three would dive, with little tails disappearing last, one after the other. Made rapid progress downstream to Loch Linhe, and were able to follow them for some way before losing sight at the mouth of the Nevis.

Did an orchid count on the banks of the Caledonian canal over a stretch of about a mile from Glen Loy Sluices. Found 45 spikes of Greater Butterfly Orchid, many still opening, so could well be more. Slightly down on last year. Also a single Common Spotted – wonder how a single orchid persists in the same place each year.Flora looking increasingly summery as the last of the wood cranesbill disappears.