NATURE NOTES

Swan Bothy is a bird lover’s paradise lying at the heart of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, where the resident swans turn the Loch into a real ‘Swan Lake’.

A great variety of birds use the Loch as a breeding and wintering site which is home to wigeon, teal, pochard, goldeneye, water rail, mallard, tufted duck, geese, cormorants, great crested and little grebe, grey heron, grasshopper warbler and reed bunting.

In winter, Hooper and Mute Swans can be seen on the Loch, occasionally joined by Bewicks, and pairs of Mutes nest in the dense bull rushes that fringe the water.

Rare winterers such as scaup and arctic tern are also occasionally sighted, as are otters, which have returned to the loch in recent years.

All around the cottage bird song can be heard. Song thrushes are seen regularly as are woodpeckers.    On a domestic note, hens range freely near the cottage. And Roe deer are constant visitors in the grounds.

‘This visit has been a reminder of all the things we enjoyed about this idyllic retreat when we were here six years ago.
The views from the windows. Swans taking to the air…..’

‘we saw lots of nature including: golden eyes, pochards, mallards, shelduck, tufted ducks, grey herons, coots, Canada geese, great crested grebes, little grebes, common merganzers, coal tits, blue tit, great chaffinch, rooks, hen harriers, carrion crow, moor hen, red deer, hares, bats and cormorants PS we also heard wood peckers, frogs, fish, gulls and dragonflies.’
Matthew (aged 9) and Thomas (aged 6)

Abundant flora are to be found along the shoreline including the flowering rush and water lilies and in springtime the grounds are dappled with bluebells, primroses, aconites, celadines and violets.

The grounds are planted with species rhododendrons and there are ancient oak, birch, ash and iconic Scots pines.

In order to protect this rare habitant and historic landscape, fishing is only permitted at the far end of the loch.

Martnaham Wood opposite the Bothy is an ancient woodland site with a canopy dominated by oak and birch, abundant hazel in the understorey, and a typical woodland flora including sanicle, bluebell and dog’s mercury. The woodland supports a wide variety of fungi, mosses and liverworts, including the only Scottish record of the mushroom Mycena picta, formerly thought extinct in Great Britain.

Ideal for recuperation and relaxing

‘By chance when driving up the drive mid-week… 2 deer half way up and the next day a family of five deer!! Fantastic. It is what makes this place magical.’

‘This is our second visit... it has been so stress free coming back to somewhere which is familiar, relaxing comfortable and feels like a real home...
it has been another very special visit.’  Singapore

 

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