Glenloy Wildlife Highlights w/c 29th May, 2010

Published: 9th June 2010

Another group of guests were blessed with fine Lochaber weather this week, and  we managed a full week's programme without getting wet  (or too badly midged!). Wildlife photographer Mat Thompson accompanied us for the week, and we would like to thank the group for their permission in letting him film us for a forthcoming promotional video (watch this space!). Mat also managed to obtain some great wildlife footage whilst we were out and about, as well as the required shots of our daily activities. Home at Glenloy Lodge, guests were treated to appearances of the mother Pine Marten and her new kit, and the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth, which nectared on the bluebells and rhodedendrons on and off all week. We were treated to a fly-past by a probable Peregrine, and we even had a Chequered Skipper in the garden, although only Angela was able to report that. Here are the highlights of each day's activities.

Sunday 30th May- Grasshopper Warbler reeling by canal as we looked at insectivorous plants, also a passing visit from Bullfinch.  Glimpse of the Glenloy Eagle. Plenty of Palmate Newts and tadpoles along the forest paths. watched a pair of Spotted Flycatchers up Glen Roy for some time, and yet again managed to spot a female Ring Ouzel, this time managing a better look. Cock Yellowhammer singing on a telegraph wire close to home.

Monday 31st. May  Black Guillemots still in nest boxes at Ardgour. Most of Great Northern Divers now left, but found one in breeding plumage on Loch Linnhe. Stumbled across a Chequered Skipper in Ariundle Oakwoods car park, and got great views of several more. Flowers spectacular, with Stitchwort at their finest and Bluebell just coming into full bloom. Regular Red Deer hind by side of road at Castle Tioram and Greenshank on Loch Moidart. Golden Eagle on way home rounded off the day nicely.

Tuesday 1st .June  Blackcock still lekking near Fort William, although we did have an early start to see them! Further rewarded woith reasonable views of an Otter at Lochy Mouth. Sedge Warbler still giving it all they were worth. Osprey chicks hatched  at Loch Lochy, with female riding high in nest, and male on sentinel duty close by. Narrow-leaved Helleborine coming into full bloom nearby, and Chickweed Wintergreen everywhere by side of Lochy. Herd of stags still down by side of Loch Arkaig. Found Black Throated Diver, close to shore of loch – looks like they are breeding on Loch Arkaig this year. Saw a large eagle – probably a Sea Eagle – hunting along the hillside, but didn't count as no-one else picked it up.

Wednesday 2nd June. Quiet trip to Muck, with rough outward passage, and much smoother on return. More great views of Porpoise, and everyone managed to see Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill, Shearwaters and Gannets. Corncrake still calling on Muck, and both Grey and Common Seals present in good numbers in large rookery.

Thursday 3rd. June. Birthday treats at Cuil Bay. Large numbers of striking Marsh Fritillary flying – somewhat early, and very easy to photograph. Also lots of Small Heath. Watched a mother Otter and her cub playing and fishing off one of the points for a good half hour – still there when we left. At one point a Porpoise was rolling in the glassy sea right behind them! large rafts of auks in Loch Linnhe tantalisingly distant. More Chequered Skippers and a few Pearl-bordered Fritillary flying at Glasdrum.

Friday 4th. June. Fine family of Ravens, with juveniles still begging for food in trees close to the Prince's cairn. Spot of rock-pooling at Camusdarrach revealed several Sea-slugs (nudibranchs) in quite high pools, and looking rather frisky. Walk out to Rhu as beautiful as ever. First Small Pearl-bordered flying. Lapwings appear to have chicks, although did not see these. Actually managed to spot a Grasshopper warbler reeling.