It has been quite the summer here at Montrose Basin! Here’s a few of my highlights…
The visitor centre has been quite the attraction for ospreys this summer. We were lucky enough to have 8 of them on 14th August which was really exciting as we aren’t really known for having them. When speaking to members for many years they don’t remember there ever being that many at once – so it looks like this might be a new record for Montrose! The visitors really enjoyed seeing them as most of them came hoping to see one and they weren’t disappointed. We believe that most of the ospreys that were here weren’t nesting as they would catch a fish and would just stay here on one of the perches for hours eating, which was good for the visitors. We had an osprey almost every single day since the beginning of May, and the 13th of May marked the first time this year that we saw 5 ospreys at the same time, one of them being a regular visitor. We know this because it had a blue ring on its left leg – ‘FC6’ – which was a young female first ringed in July 2015 at Monadh Mor on the Black Isle and it was her first time being back in Scotland since she was ringed. I had never seen an osprey before I started working here so to see 8 at once was amazing!
We also had our sand martin wall, which to start off with wasn’t very active (this probably had something to do with the ‘Beast from the East’) but we ended up having a good number of them. It was really good seeing the juveniles fledge, peeping their little heads out of the holes in the wall and wondering if they should go or not, and the few that we did see managed successfully! Hopefully the typical Scottish weather won’t be as brutal and we’ll have a lot more to see next year.
Swallows: these little agile birds would dart gracefully over the salt pans and the basin at high tide catching flies. You can’t help but watch them – when they sit still that is. We had some nesting in the eaves of our visitor centre – one would often perch on our webcam and sing away which gave the visitors a chance to get a really good look at these beautiful little birds.
Visitor Centre Assistant