Friday, April 16, 2010

Speyside adventures

Had a puncture in Dunkeld and called the RAC to help. The magnificent view over the nearby Spey produced goosander, grey wagtail, pair of common gulls, pair of sandmartins, goldcrest. Spent the night at Nethybridge hotel. Left at 7. 30pm to go to Loch an Eilein, on the Rothiemurchus estate, Aviemore to see Pine Marten and badger feeding on nuts and peanut butter. Really close views.

Some of the group fell out of bed at 4 am to go to the hide at Loch Garten. They were rewarded with views of capercailie, osprey, black grouse, tree pipit, red squirrel.
After breakfast en route to Loch an Eilein we spotted an osprey, lapwing, oystercatchers and greylag. No sign of crested tit.

R Smyth
Onwards to Cairngorm where, by group agreement, we took the funicular car to the top. On the viewing platform, which was covered in snow and ice, we watched many skiers and snowboarders descending the slopes. Ptarmigan and snow bunting were quickly spotted on bare rocks.

R Smyth

N Price
We rewarded ourselves with a cuppa then headed on to Findhorn Valley. A detour after going through Tomatin allowed us to drive along the road towards Farr. Quite a number of red grouse were easily seen.

N Price

Then we drove on up the Findhorn Valley which has beautifulscenery. We didn't see any target birds but might have located golden eagle and ring ouzel. A buzzard displayed for some near the car.

R Smyth
After the Findhorn River we motored NE towards Burghead on the Moray Firth. Passing via Lochindarb where we saw an osprey. At the coast we had velvet scoter, eider and long tailed duck. An untidy skein of pink footed geese flew NW - about 70 birds.

The fish farm at Inverdruie in Aviemore was closed but standing in the car park we saw an osprey, long tailed tit, blue tit, chaffinch, great tit, green finch, siskins mating and some saw a crested tit.

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