Wildlife at Loch Arkaig
Due to its size and remote location, Loch Arkaig Pine Forest is home to many rare and important bird species, including breeding osprey, sea eagle (white-tailed eagle), golden eagle and crested tit, as well as other woodland birds such as the wood warbler and willow warbler.
Two sea eagle chicks, named Saorsa and Dòchas by public vote, hatched during the appeal to buy the woodland. The young birds are believed to be descendants of Skye and Frisa, the pair that captured viewers’ hearts in the earliest series of the BBC’s Springwatch. They are also thought to be direct descendants of Blondie, the first reintroduced bird to hatch a Scottish chick on Mull in 1985.
Wildlife cameras have already recorded the presence of pine marten, badger, red deer, otter and wild boar in the forest. And chewed cones found on the site are probably evidence of an isolated red squirrel population. It’s highly likely that there are other species on the site and we hope to find evidence of tufted tit, black throated diver, black grouse, Scottish crossbill, and potentially the rare Scottish wildcat.
Variety of invertebrates
The standing deadwood is home to a wide variety of invertebrates. The azure hawker dragonfly, found only in Scotland, has been spotted in the forest. The rare chequered skipper butterfly, which is confined to this area of Scotland, is also likely to be found at Loch Arkaig.