I went up to the Loch of Kinnordy for an hour this afternoon. It was a sunny day and there were lots of birds singing in the trees on the reserve. I first went into Gullery Hide where I watched a Roe Deer browsing the fresh, green reeds growing just outside the hide. It was keeping a wary eye on the hide in case of danger, and spent a good fifteen minutes in plain view before it finally disappeared from sight into the undergrowth.
There was a female Mallard with a troupe of recently-hatched ducklings dabbling-about in the weeds in front of me. The ducklings were innocently exploring everything they could find under their mother’s watchful eye. Other than that a few Black-Headed Gulls were nesting on the island in front of me and the odd Lapwing flew lazy circles overhead.
As I watched the loch, I once more became aware of a fishing Osprey hovering high above the water. (That’s three consecutive visits to Kinnordy during which I’ve sighted Ospreys.) The raptor didn’t take long to catch a fish on this occasion. Last week the bird I photographed had caught a pike; today’s catch looked like a trout from my somewhat distant vantage-point. I couldn’t, of course, be sure if it was the exact same bird, but given that it took its catch to the same perch as did the one I watched last week, I rather suspect it was the same Osprey.
Whilst the Osprey was busy shredding and eating its fish supper, further up the loch a male Marsh Harrier appeared and flew low over the reedbeds, also on the lookout for something to prey on. This bird was not having the same degree of success as the Osprey as it was constantly being harried by a pair of gulls. It eventually gave up trying to hunt and dropped into the reeds out of sight.
I next walked up to the Swamp Hide to the West of the reserve. Here I watched a gaggle of about thirty Canada Geese swimming in formation on the loch, and a solitary Shelduck which flew over the loch some distance from me. The willow trees outside the hide were alive with small birds singing away. I could hear and identify both Willow and Sedge Warblers from their distinctive songs, but couldn’t see one single bird amongst all the dense foliage on the trees.
I made my way back to the car, looking forward to my next visit to Kinnordy, whenever that might be.