A weekend break around Inverness and the Black Isle gave Dazza I an opportunity to visit Lock Ruthven. It's about 20 years since our last visit here and after a rainy morning, things were beginning to brighten up as we arrived around midday.
|View of Loch Ruthven from the beach area.|
This is a large loch that lies to the southeast of Loch Ness in the Highland region. It is 2.25 miles long, extends over an area of 368 acres and is up to 42 feet deep in places. The most important breeding site in the UK for Slavonian Grebes, it has one of the highest populations of this species in Europe.
I must say that on arrival we were a little surprised to find that there were no members of RSPB staff, voluntary or otherwise on duty. This also meant (according to signage) that the hide would also be closed due to the lack of staff.
|Slavonian Grebes from the beach area|
Nevertheless, we took a stroll along to a small beach area where on arrival we managed to see four of the Grebes. Two of which were mid-water, the others disappearing into the reeds. Despite being closed we walked up to the hide and here at a small viewing screen adjacent, we were able to pick out at least three more birds, once again taking advantage of the cover of reeds. We left when the midgies started to annoy!
|One of at least three seen from the screen adjacent to the hide.|
It was a pleasant enough visit and thankfully we managed to catch a glimpse of these smart looking birds. Unfortunately, as we arrived back at the beach we were astonished to find a 'wild swimmer' had begun to take a dip. It goes without saying that the disruption to the birds, not to mention the other visitors who had also arrived to see them was galling, to say the least! I've written to RSPB Scotland with my views.
A few more images of the visit...
|Heath Spotted Orchid|
|A familiar sight around the lochs and rivers of Scotland ~ Common Sandpiper|
|Loch Ruthven has ideal habitat for Stonechats|