It’s been a turbulent year for the marsh harriers and we’ve been watching their progress in suspense!
The pair nest every year at Loch of Kinnordy and have relatively good success. They can be seen gliding over the reeds hunting for their prey, with moor hens and pipits seen in their grasp. This year however, their nest failed, which was a real shame for the pair and disappointing for those who follow their progress from the hides.
Male marsh harrier looking intensely down the camera lens.
Female marsh harrier hunting over the reeds.
To our surprise, they began re-building in a new location. We had our doubts as it would mean the young would be fledging very late, but it was still possible and we all had our fingers crossed! The male was regularly seen passing food to his mate and as the fledging time grew closer we waited eagerly for the chicks to make their first flight.
Finally, on the 4th of September, 3 youngsters were confirmed flying around the Loch. Although they all look like a female, they are quite distinctive with there fresh dark plumage, while the adults look a little weathered after a long breading season.
Young Marsh harriers battling with their talons.
Young Marsh harrier, very distinctive dark plumage.
They will very soon be heading south for the winter, however watch this space for the array of wintering ducks and geese, and the potential for Bitterns seeing out the winter on the Loch.
All of these wonderful pictures were taken by Ted Logan.
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