|Picture: RSPB (breeding plumage)|
Mystery surrounds their choice of nesting site - local bird spotters believe two adult divers have successfully raised three chicks on Loch More, just south of Laxford Bridge.
Senior Highland Council ranger Andy Summers has investigated the reported sighting and, with a powerful camera lens, managed to capture one of the adults on film on a neighbouring loch.
Keen birdwatcher George Leligdowicz, who lives locally, said: “I spotted them last week while driving alongside the loch.
“It was almost flat calm and I noticed these big shapes in the loch. I returned to have a look through my binoculars.
“What drew my attention was the size of these birds. The Great Northern is bigger than the other divers.”
Stuart Benn, the RSPB’s north of Scotland conservation manager, said: “If there’s a pair of Great Northerns with chicks, it’s absolutely fantastic.
“It could be a complete one-off. It may never happen again in our lifetime and the fact that someone was there to document and record it is fantastic. They might come back in future years, in which case great. If not, well, it happened once and that’s pretty amazing in itself.
“It’s the first time ever, as far as I’m aware, that a pair of them have nested, producing young in the area. It would be like snowy owls nesting on Fetlar all those years ago, it’s that sort of scale of event.
Bird details: http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/greatnortherndiver/index.aspx