Wildlife highlights w/c 15th may

Published: 26th May 2010

We had a full and productive week with Glanloy Wildlife last week, and even the weather was kind to us (almost all the time!). Here are some of the selected highlights:

Sunday 15th –  Ring ouzel up Glen Roy – lovely views along the valley. Large herd of some 50 deer on the hills above Glen Loy. Whilst we were watching these we were rewarded with sightings of a Peregrine and a Cuckoo. Lovely cock Whinchat singing.

Monday 16th. Ardgour and Moidart trip. Black Guillemot perched outside nest boxes. Several Great Northern Diver in full breeding plumage along Loch Linnhe. Arctic Terns back on the islands and rocks, as well as at least one Common Tern. Tree Pipits performing spectacularly in oakwoods. Large Slow-worm on forest path and Speckled Wood dancing in the dappled shade. Black-throated Diver close to shore on return leg, looking very handsome.

Tuesday 17th. Early start to catch Blackcock. 7 on lek, but they lost enthusiasm soon after 6.00am – the nights are getting shorter. Glimpse of an Otter in Loch Linnhe, but good views of dawn chorus participants – Blackcap, Whitethroat and Sedge warbler, amongst others. Good sighting of Golden Eagle above Allt Mhuic, and also managed to track down a Chequered Skipper. Green Hairstreak at top of loch. Osprey seen flying, as well as female still sat tight on nest, with visiting male. Rest of party saw a Merlin, whilst I was too busy watching the Arkaig road!

Wednesday 18th. Boat trip to Muck. Calling Corncrake all around village, very impressive, but did not manage to get sight of any. Lovely display of Bog-bean flowers in marshy area, with nearby Mountain Everlasting starting to flower. Trip across produced a few Puffin, Gannets, Shearwaters and lots of other auks, with a Red-throated Diver close to Eigg. Great views of Porpoise on return leg. Both Grey and Common Seals seen at close quarters.

Thursday 19th. Headed east to find some sun. Slavonian Grebes spectacular in new breeding plumage – so much so one guest couldn't contain her expression of delight! Little Grebe provided a useful comparison. Red Kite and Brown Hare above the loch were both unexpected bonuses. Also had very good views of Red Grouse and Sika deer on way back. Just had time to look for and find a pair of Common Scoter along with another Black-throated Diver – for the third day in a row.

Friday 20th. Completed our diver trio to everyone's satisfaction with close-up views of Red-throated Diver in Cuil Bay. Still several GND about. Whimbrel was a bonus, as were Crossbill feeding young further down the coast. Beautiful, still sea made watching a joy. Returned to Loch Linnhe to look for Otter in the evening, and all managed to see it this time. Grasshopper Warbler reeling back at home. Pine Marten gave guests a farewell performance.