Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A mixed bag!

A mixed bag sums up today's brilliant half day tour with .

It started with a cracking view of a male Capercaillie with a chorus of Crossbills tchuup tchuup tchuuping overhead, an early morning in a Scottish pine wood is hard to beat.

Next stop our local Grouse moor for Black Grouse, we were not to be disappointed as a male sat out in full view on top of a Silver Birch, so far so good!

A brief stop between Broomhill station and Nethybridge revealed my first hirundines of the year, Swallows and Sand Martins were hawking over the flooded river and large pool that had appeared in the nearby fields.

Trying to emulate the same time last year, when we managed the four main Grouse in one day, we headed off for Cairngorm and Ptarmigan... the fire engine that followed us into the car park and the door to the ticket office still being locked did not bode well!

In a matter of 10 minutes the weather had deteriorated into a full scale white out!  A full plumaged Male Snow Bunting hunkered on a picnic table proved momentary relief but the funicular cancelled for the morning and  we decided to spend our time more productively so headed off towards the moors.

Grouse number three came in the colour Red, with a brace of these cracking birds picked up close to the road, the snow by this time had been replaced by a heavy and persistent rain.

It was good to see the Black and Red Throated Divers had paired up at a local hotspot, both species gave distant but prolonged views, both really are stunning birds when they are in full summer plumage.

Next stop was a check in at my local Ospreys to see that their nest was still intact after the gale force winds of yesterday, all was okay with the nest but the bedraggled female sitting in a tree nearby cut a very depressed figure!

Final stop was Lossiemouth estuary, the usual suspects were present along with Lesser Black Backed Gull (a summer migrant to these parts) and three Sandwich Terns, the sound of the Terns bringing thoughts of long hot summer days, how different did it feel today with the +2 temp and heavy rain.  Bird of the day for me was a single Grey Plover on the estuary, even though still in winter plumage a good bird to end the day on.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Busy Busy Busy!

It has been a fantastic period for Birding Ecosse, brilliant people, brilliant scenery and some absolutely outstanding birds and birding moments!!

It will take a while to get my notes in order and do proper updates with pics, however to keep you all going a flavour of the past couple of weeks:

Closest ever fly past of not one but two Capercaillies, wasn't even expecting these birds as I was on a public road at ten o'clock in the morning! Luckily no logging wagons were hurtling past or the population would be minus two males!

Bucket loads of Golden Eagles, giving jaw dropping views through scopes and binos.

Long Tailed Ducks in transition plumage.

Black Throated Divers in full breeding plumage on a tranquil Scottish Loch.

And my local Ospreys back on their nesting territory.  I love living in the Scottish Highlands!

A typical Scottish morning (well sometimes!)

Iceland Gull

Long Tailed Duck Female below, male in transition plumage above

Breathtaking Scottish Scenery!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Golden Eagle two Buzzard three

Another cracking day summed up in a very short post.  Two Golden Eagles, both immatures being bounced by three buzzards.  Ideal viewing for my clients today giving them excellent views of both species for size comparisons.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Red, Black and a Banana!

Very quick update to which I will add more flesh to later on in the week.

Out on a full day tour of the coast today and a brief tally of the highlights goes like this:

Red Throated Diver, Black Throated Diver, White Billed Diver (!), Black Guillemot, Red Grouse, Pair of Ospreys.

Cracking day in the field, more of the same tomorrow please!