watery wonderland

So this week I've been taking school groups out in the tour boat at Loch Insh. It's great to see all the birds arriving back here from the coast or further south. There's plenty of Goldeneye back now, some have paired up already some are still doing their 'head tossing' display to try and impress the females. We've also been seeing a pair of Goosanders all week and there's good numbers of Tufted ducks on the loch along with a few Cormorants. The most exciting thing though was the pair of Red-throated Divers, only a couple of weeks ago I was watching them in their boring winter plumage off the Moray firth so it was great to see them back inland and donning their summer finery with pin-stripe neck and ruby red throats; their mournful wailing calls echoing over the still waters of the loch.

The usual pair of Mute Swans were present too, along with Oystercatchers, Curlew and a solitary Redshank representing the waders. Yesterday we had a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (along with numerous Black-headed gulls) which are a relatively rare sight this far north and this far inland.

There was also a hatching of flies around the loch, and one area of reeds was heaving with Pied and Grey Wagtails along with Meadow Pipits enjoying this bounty.