Monday, 10 May 2010


On Sunday we travelled down to Lochindorb for a picnic. The sunshine and showers that we left behind in Nairn turned into persistent rain on Dava, but this did not detract from a fantastic days bird watching. Approaching the loch we did a quick scan of the northern end in the hope of seeing some rarity. What we did see was an old friend from here, the Common Sandpiper, and a pair of Redshanks. The Sandpiper can always be seen on the northern and eastern shore of Lochindorb. It flies low over the water and perches on the rocks with a dipping motion not dissimilar from a Dipper or a Wagtail. It has a distinctive high pitched call which signals its arrival. Whilst there, two Greylags flew over head and we caught sight of an Osprey high over the southern end of the loch. Little did we know what a surprise we would get from this bird later in the day!

As we drove south along the shore we were fooled by very close up views of a female Goldeneye. We took ages to identify it, often getting excited that it just might be some rarity, but sensibly, we settled on the more likely candidate. We also saw a pair of Red Breasted Merganser; two more stunners!

After reaching the bridge at the end of the loch we turned back to take another look over the loch. We stopped just to the north of the trees so that Kate could look back at the sheltered shoreline. I was trying to look north through the pouring rain when suddenly a large splash into the water directly in front of the car approximately, 10 metres away. I shouted to Kate and we both watched as an Osprey, complete with trout in its talons, rise from the water! It flew to about 10 feet above the water and shook itself down and adjusted writhing trout into a more suitable aerodynamic position and flew off to enjoy the feast! In the many years we have been watching Ospreys fishing in the Highlands, over the Moray Firth and beyond, we have never been so close to the spectacular and explosive action. We had been looking for it over the loch as we ambled our way around, but felt sure that it had took cover form the rain; until out of nowhere it splashed down right in front of us!

It was time to go home as nothing would beat that and so off we went. On the way we past a further 10 Greylag and a Buzzard.


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