Summer Holidays

Published: 18th August 2010

High summer here at Glenloy, and we even get the odd glimpse of sunshine. Bed and breakfast duties at Glenloy Lodge rather curtail the opportunities for wildlife watching, but when we have a chance we sally forth. Sunday was a beautiful day so we managed to grab an hour in the kayak on Loch Lochy to get the view from the water. One of the local Ospreys, probably a juvenile, was still around the nest site, and seemed reluctant to move off far. We also had good views of a confiding Merganser, and both Dipper and Sandpiper on the water's edge. The Dipper, in particular, seemed to be rather less nervous of the kayak than is usually the case with a two-footed approach.

Fort William is one of the few places we do visit regularly, usually in relation to ferrying offspring. Finally saw my first local Swift of the year screaming over the rooftops in competition with the pipe band (in which our youngest performs, and which entertains the visitors twice weekly during the season). Swifts have been few and far between this year and would be a sad loss to our summer evenings. Whilst waiting for same youngster, both Angela and I have independently ventured down to Lochy Mouth to successfully look for the local Otters, which continue to make their appearances, despite the increased traffic of tourists and local youths. They continue to be quite reliable, although not at very high tides.

On sunny and even not so sunny days there are plenty of Scotch Argus up Glen Loy, and also by the canal. The Buddleia in the garden is now flowering and has attracted freshly emerged Small Tortoiseshell and even Peacock. The former have had their best year for some time, which is great to see. We have also enjoyed daily visits from Crossbill, which have been foraging in the sitkas around the periphery of the garden. The chip chip chip call of the males is quite distinctive, and these will often perch and sing on the highest branches – although not often when guests are around. Hoardes of young chaffinch have forced me to change my feeding times for the Pine Martens. In order to prevent the birds snaffling everything I now try and wait until we see the mother marten. Fortunately it has taken to sunning itself on one of the pillars of the front steps. We have another visitor to the feeding frenzy – a Wood Mouse, which appears from under the steps, and must be living on borrowed time with the marten about.

Angela is going down to the Bird Fair to support Wild Scotland and also spread the word about Glenloy Wildlife. If anyone out there is attending please go and chat to her, and perhaps we may see you up here one day.