Divers are the high­light at this at­mo­spheric spot

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - JOHN MILES

LOCHIN­DORB TRANS­LATES as the ‘Loch of the Min­nows’, but hope­fully the fish are a bit big­ger than that as some of the spe­cial birds found here will need a lot of min­nows to fill their stom­achs! The loch is full of his­tory, with a cas­tle built on a crannog (man­made is­land), once home to a no­to­ri­ous 14th Cen­tury lord known as the Wolf of Bade­noch. Sadly, no wolves are around here now, but there are some amaz­ing birds. The top species for most is the Black-throated Diver, which has a long his­tory of us­ing the loch. Trag­i­cally, in 2015, a fully grown young­ster swal­lowed a fish with a hook and line at­tached. The bird was res­cued but later died in care. Red-throated Divers can also be seen here, along with an as­sort­ment of ducks with both Wi­geon and Red breasted Mer­gansers breed­ing, while Gold­eneye and Whooper Swans use the area in win­ter. The sur­round­ing moors add birds of prey, though there is still the prob­lem of per­se­cu­tion, be­ing a Red Grouse moor. Both Golden and White- tailed Ea­gles have been seen and 2014-15 saw a Rough-legged Buz­zard us­ing the area. Both Hen Har­rier and Short-eared Owl have at­tempted to breed, but sadly never reached the fledg­ing stage. Pass­ing Ospreys use the loch and even a Hobby has been seen along with Mer­lin, Pere­grine and Spar­rowhawk. Waders breed­ing in the area in­clude Golden Plover and Dun­lin on the moors, while Com­mon Sand­piper, Red­shank and Oys­ter­catcher can be found around the loch. Dun­lin will come down to the loch to feed on the many in­sects, while Curlew and Lap­wing look for the richer flushes along with Snipe. Both Stonechat and Whin­chat are likely in sum­mer, with Cuckoo fill­ing the air with its call. The oc­ca­sional Twite can be found along with Wil­low War­bler, Siskin and Cross­bills in the wood­land, with even a Wood­cock likely as night falls and wails of the divers fill the air.

Black-throated Diver Golden Plover

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