Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Glenloy 31st. March, 20098. More lovely days in Lochaber last week. Took the opportunity to investigate the Arkaig glens, setting off via the Allt Chia -Aig and descending a parallel river back to the loch. Sparkling burns full of little drops and falls. Saw just the one dipper, and our first small tortoiseshell of the year on a forest track. Not a great deal about other than the ubiquitous frogs - huge masses of them in the peat hags - purring and leaping. Also saw yet more lizards, which Angela manged to photograph. Small flock of skylarks had ascended the glen, and these were tentatively beginning to sing. Large herd of stags on our descent on the other side of the river - which had descended into a small gorge, flanked with old scots pine at this point - very picture-postcard. Quite an easy walk, but wouldn't like to cross the watershed in wet weather!

Had a trip down south and took a detour on the way back to see the kites at Ardgaty, which I have been promising myself for some time. Beautiful sunny afternoon, with blue sky forming the perfect backdrop to these magnificent raptors. Was suitably impressed with the facilities. Nice screened walk to a spacious hide, interesting chat inside and a brand new visitor centre at the car park. The star attractions were performing nicely, with as many as 25 kites swooping down to the feeding station. A lone buzzard was living rather dangerously, trying to pinch its share of the booty. It provided an interesting perspective on the relative size of the kites - these are big birds! Surprised at how long it took for the kite flock to gather and start making serious swoops down for the food - at least it prolonged the spaectacle.

Back at home I was pleased to see the first flock of lapwing by the River Lochy close to Glenloy - mixed with equal numbers of starlings (also uncommon just hereabouts) and a solitary curlew. Walking back via the canal, decided to investigate a smalll burn, the scene of a great massacre last year. The same scene of carnage greeted me again - bits of frogs everywhere in the water and on the bank. The culprits were obvious this time, however - large piles of otter spraint full of little frog bones, and clear paths between the burn and the canal. Mental note to self to see if I can see what is going on some evening soon.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Glenloy Wildlife 20.3.09

Beautiful series of sunny spring days here in Lochaber this week .Explored the upper part of Glen Roy, hoping for eagle sightings. Not a lot about yet, and even had to get right up to the end of the track near the bothy before seeing a group of hinds. Still spooked from the culling season. The most prominent wildlife was the frogs, which were everywhere. Little males clinched big butch females in amplexus in every little puddle and roadside ditch. Ample spawn produced. A more surprising sighting was that of the first lizards of the year. These are still quite sluggish and don't sem to disappear quite as easily as usual, although mercifully still too quick for the dog. We did get to see our eagle - a juvenile, with a prominent white patch on its tail, possibly a male. It quartered the hill fairly close to us for some time, and we had good views. Scenery fascinating, with the parallel roads continuing above for almost the whole way, with additional glaciated valleys joining Glen Roy as side branches. The river terracing looks quite strange, and discontinuous - must find out more about how it was formed. On the way back we were equally surprised to see a couple of rabbits at Brae Roy - a long way up the glen, and surely at some distance from the nearest population. For more info see www.glenloy-wildlife.org.uk

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The first of many...

Welcome to Wild Scotland's blog.
Wild Scotland is the Scottish wildlife tourism association and our members are busy getting ready for the Spring season. If you love wildlife, then we hope that you'll enjoy our blog. We hope to bring you news of the many wildlife sightings and spectacles that Scotland can offer from our many members across the country. Hopefully we'll inspire you to come for a visit.

To start things off, here's an update from one of our members, Discover Mull who run wildlife tours on the beautiful west coast island of Mull.

Mull is a wildlife-watcher's dream, with sea eagles, golden eagles, seals, otters, minke whales as well as a whole range of bird life. This entry is from March 17th 2009, as you see Spring is on the way!

Discover Mull Blog: March 17th 2009
"Weather beautiful sunshine and a gentle breeze - Spring cleaning all morning then a trip around our local patch watching a hunting golden eagle and ring tailed hen harrier, buzzards, kestrel and ravens. In Calgary Bay there were 3 great northern divers and a single red throated diver, but the birds of the day were newly arrived skylarks busy feeding after their journey, it is lovely to see them back. A wheatear was seen yesterday the first one reported on Mull this year, Spring has arrived, Hoorah!"

More info about Discover Mull