Sunday, 16 February 2014

Loch Reraig (WeBS) (16/02/14)....

The weather was bright, sunny and still which was slightly different to the weather throughout the week that ranged from heavy snow and blizzards to gale force winds and torrential rain so I took the break in the weather to head out.

I decided to head out to an area known as Loch Reraig which is only about 5 miles West of here which looked like an interesting walk but also to scope out a potential new Wetland Bird Survey that I may take on!

The walk started at Leacanashie up through mixed broadleaves and shortly after up through mixed conifers up the top of the hill which afforded some awesome views of a snow capped Applecross peninsula and then down to the Reraig burn, around the edge of Loch Reraig and back around the coast passing through Ardaneaskan and back to the start with good views over to Plockton to the South. Just a short loop walk of about 5 miles or so.

Loch Reraig is a small sea loch and the tide was out by the time I reached it. Quite a few birds about and already looking more interesting than previous WeBS areas (although they did have their own appeal). I spent awhile there watching and counting and ended up with the following:

Goosander x 10
Oystercatcher x 6
Curlew x 3
Mallard x 2
Greylag Goose x 2
Common Gull x 1
Herring Gull x 3
Great Black-backed Gull x 1
Grey Heron x 2
Hooded Crow x 4

It is an interesting little bay and sea loch, a manageable size and fairly close to home so it looks like a good candidate. Unfortunately there is so many areas out here that never get surveyed so you can almost choose your own which is a very different situation, understandably, from back over on the East.

Some other species to add to the year list were a Woodcock that I flushed in the forest at the top of the hill, Siskin of which a large group was hanging around gardens at Ardaneaskan as well as a lone Mistle Thrush and several Shag that were spotted off shore. That takes me to 50 for the year at mid February. Not bad but not great either!

Well worth the walk and it stayed dry the whole time so I can't really complain!

Year List Additions:
46. Greylag Goose
47. Woodcock
48. Siskin
49. Mistle Thrush
50. Shag

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