Unfortunately and somewhat unusually for this time of year, there are not any migration updates on the reserve to post about…..but things may soon change!
Due to the harsh wintery conditions that prevailed throughout March most of our early arriving migrant species either failed to make it across the channel, or if they did, stayed close to the south coast. There have been increasing numbers of Sand Martin sightings along the south coast as the weather has improved, despite the fact that birds arriving in early March were struggling to find any insects to feed on and were often being found dead as a consequence. House Martin and Swallow sightings have also been very thin on the ground, with any sightings again being confined to the south coast. Migrating Sandwich Terns have been seen steadily moving northwards along the Mediterranean coast and have been seen in small numbers in Southern England. Species that have been seen in large numbers further south are Chiffchaffs and Wheatears, expected to head further North now it’s becoming slightly milder.
Here at Montrose Basin, the migration news isn’t quite as varied! As mentioned last week, the first Osprey sighting was made on the 1st of April, with subsequent sightings on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Ospreys seem to be bucking the trend this spring and have been arriving back at their breeding sites more or less when they were expected. This has included the resident female known as Lady, who returned to Loch of Lowes reserve last week and has since mated with the male Osprey as last year, along with the resident Ospreys at Balgavies Loch, who have also mated. Sand Martins are at present, 2 weeks behind their expected arrival date here on the reserve, a trend that has been seen across the UK. However, there were 2 individuals spotted on the 8th of April at Balgavies Loch, so their arrival is imminent. There has also been no sign of any Swallows, although this is no surprise, with their normal mid-April arrival likely to be pushed back due to the wintery conditions.
So if you happen to be out and about on the reserve and see any migrants don’t hesitate to send us and email or pop into the centre and let us know.
For further information on the Ospreys at Loch of Lowes, just click on the following link http://blogs.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/osprey/
Visitor Centre Assistant Manager.