Spring birdlife house martins arrive
During the first full week of May there were noticeable changes in the Scottish countryside especially within the spring birdlife. Firstly, the arrival of house martins on May 4th. They have been keeping a busy schedule building new homes and revamping last year’s nests. An incredible bird to watch while it flies around at speed catching food. Another bird of spring, the Cuckoo, arrived on 29th April, and has been heard numerous times throughout the day close to the house.
Green hue spring landscape
The wider landscape now has a green hue, tree buds are appearing and some silver birch around the burn are in leaf. In the garden, yellow daffodils and pink rhododendrons are in full colour and a welcome sight after the monotone snow-covered landscape. Young rabbits are growing and spending more time sunning themselves.
Spring Birdlife on Loch Ericht
On Loch Ericht there was more spring birdlife. Goosanders arrived in late April, originally a group of a four, bickering and fighting constantly. A pair have been seen regularly, usually late afternoon, staying in the water but swimming close to the bank. The Sea Eagle sat on the water’s edge, it’s favourite spot of late. One morning it sat for 30 minutes, doing nothing, before it flew off heading North. Two greylags swam in, and spent an hour or so on a grassy bank before going back in the water. There is a lot of activity across the birdlife but no young have been seen.
Stags with antlers
Approximately, 20% of all red deer seen in the last week, still have their antlers. There seems to be a huge difference within the herd between those who lost them early and are growing new antlers to others that still have their old antlers intact. The herd is fragmented, many of the groups are spending the days high up in the corries. Smaller groups are coming down to the lower parts of the estate around 8pm to eat the new grass. Earlier this week, a group of fifty or so stags were down at the Loch-side as darkness fell.
High risk of wildfires in spring
There has been very little rain fall, and the risk of wildfires across Scotland’s remote landscapes is very high. Overnight the temperatures are still plummeting in minus figures leaving a frosty covering at dawn.