Visited 27/07/17 & 02/08/17 – Published 30/07/17 (updated 02/08/17)
Loch Spynie is only twenty minutes from home but I seem to neglect it for more far flung neighbours, and it’s obviously not without it’s problems being so easily accessible (once you know where to find it).
The car park is on the farm itself, and then a track leads you through the open woodland to the small loch where there is a well maintained hide.
Access to the site, parking, and hide are reliant on the goodwill of the neighbouring farmer and so it would pay the users to have a little more respect and responsibility.
At the moment the issues appear to be litter and dog poo, which seem to blight every inch of the Moray Coast region and much of Scotland.
It is shame that some irresponsible people seemed to be determined, probably purely through their thoughtlessness, to spoil things for everyone else. Sadly, it is not however uncommon.
Next to the hide is a wide array of well stocked feeders which attract tits, chaffinches, and even woodpeckers.
But it’s not all about the birds – sometimes even the larger wildlife appears to get in on the act:
But the rewards are there with some amazing close views of the birdlife, the squirrels, and, allegedly, the otters…
It was also good to see some juvenile herons, as well as signets for the resident pair of Mute swans, young terns in the protected ternary, and many baby ducks.
The Common terns are the stars of the show and most vocal, and there is obviously plenty of small fish about for them as they are successfully hunting very close to the nesting site.
Sadly I wasn’t able to get any shots of them with fish. Terns are very fast moving and often quite unpredictable.
The site certainly seems to have a good population of breeding birds, including this Little Grebe out feeding on my second visit.
The ducks were also in eclipse, with plenty of young tufted ducks also present, another good sign for the future populations in the area.
Both the males and females were looking in fine condition though.
Loch Spynie can easily be combined with a trip to nearby Lossiemouth where there is often something to see from the East Beach parking areas, although this is effected by the tide.
Today was really a ‘gull’ day. This curious Black-headed gull appeared to be scrutinising me as much as I was him (or her). Sometimes, Lossie’ turns up the odd surprise guest gull so it is always worth a good scan about.
And this fabulous Curlew in the warm sunlight fishing in the shallows, in sands of the receding tide, was a real delight.
The easily spotted Redshank (as opposed to Spotted Redshank) was also a nice find, and several of them were wandering about very close by.
The lists for the 27th July morning was quite small but satisfying:
Goshawk (loved that one, sadly no photo)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Jay (looking rather worse for wear)
Blue Tit (including juveniles)
Sedge Warbler (which alluded my camera inspire of repeated attempts)
Lossiemouth East Beach:
Great Black-backed Gull
Not the greatest of lists, but a pleasant morning’s couple of hours when I really should have been doing something more financially profitable, but sometimes it’s just nice to relax.
List for the 2nd August quick visit:
Although I did swing past the Lossiemouth East Beach to use the facilities, I didn’t do more than cast a quick glance about. The usual gulls were present, alongside the Grey Heron and Oystercatchers, but otherwise it was fairly quiet.
There has been a reported sighting at Spynie of a Kingfisher, so I will need to pop over a few more times in the coming days to see if he/she reappears. They are much rarer here in NE Scotland than in my native Suffolk.