What started as a sizzling day on the loch has now cooled to a breezy afternoon which wildlife, visitors & staff have been very pleased to see. Red squirrels have been active at the feeders after a morning of keeping cool in the shade & the fallow deer have been drinking on the edge of the loch opposite the hides.
Our male osprey has kept female & chick well fed with 3 fish already. Our visitors were delighted to see our male successfully catch a small pike this afternoon. He scanned the water at the Inlet from one of his favourite perches on The Boingy Branch before diving down close to the edge of the lily pads with another spectacular splash before rising from the Loch with his prize.
There has only been one intruding male osprey today. Again our male swiftly returned to the nest, perched for a few moments before chasing the intruder away towards Craiglush.
The Great Crested Grebe seems to have recovered from its small injury from what was assumed to be a pike & both chicks are doing well. They are spending most of their time on the back of the female & only diving into the water when the male returns with a tiny fish. This nipping behaviour by the pike causes the adult to rise out of the water & flap their wings which causes the chicks to fall off so providing pike with a snack.
The willow warbler chicks have now fledged from their nest next to the hide & visitors enjoyed watching the adults feeding 5 young amongst the grass & reeds. The large family of tufted ducks have been great to watch with their synchronised diving routines. Large numbers of Canada geese are still present with 8 Greylag intermingled. Today I have only seen one family of goosanders with 11 well grown young snorkelling around the loch.
Please can I ask a favour …& that is to remember your small garden birds in this hot weather. A shallow container with water can be a life saver for them & with this warm spell set to continue it is a great help.
Wildlife Interpretation Officer