I’m up in Scotland at the moment, visiting my mum in Forfar. When I’m up here I always try to fit in some Birding at the local RSPB reserves. It was a lovely afternoon today so I decided to visit the reserve at the Loch of Kinnordy near Kirriemuir, about six miles away from Forfar. I’ve been here a few times now, and last time I visited I got some great pictures of an Osprey flying over the loch.
The Loch itself was quiet today apart from a few Mute Swans, a somewhat unexpected pair of Wigeon, several Lapwings and a group of about forty Greylag Geese visible from the Marsh Hide. The trees around the reserve were full of singing birds – most easily identifiable were Willow Warblers, which sounded as though they were present in almost every single tree on the reserve! In all the time I was there today, however, I only managed to spot a single one; the volume of foliage on the trees by this time of year makes it extremely difficult to see any birds at all, let alone tiny ones like warblers. I did get a few shots of a Wren in a tree by the Gull Hide, but even that was largely obscured.
As I sat in East Hide, trying to spot small birds in the reeds that I could otherwise only hear, I suddenly became aware of an Osprey flying overhead, clearly on the lookout for a fish in the water below. As I watched the bird, it hovered for a bit, eyes scanning the surface of the loch, and suddenly plummeted down into the water. A few seconds later and the bird managed to get aloft again, carrying a medium-sized pike in its talons. The Osprey was struggling to carry its catch, which looked to weigh around two pounds, but managed to carry it to the top of a perch on the far side of the loch from where I was watching spellbound in the hide. Thereupon the Osprey proceeded to eat its meal.
It was great to see an Osprey again, and particularly one catching a fish. That’s two consecutive visits to Kinnordy when I’ve seen an Osprey. I’ve also seen one on rwo separate occasions at Montrose Basin which is about twenty miles from here. The Loch of the Lowes is another well-known Osprey breeding site. It also lies around twenty to twenty-five miles from here. Perhaps I should consider paying a visit there in the next few days? The other alternative visit I have in mind is to Fowlsheugh RSPB up near Stonehaven, which is a fabulous ‘seabird city’ with easy access to cliffs swarming with Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Puffins amongst others. So much choice….!