You can't trust the weather forecast! This should have been the better day for going for a walk, but in the end it was a mix of very short bursts of sunshine followed by extended periods of high winds, sleet, rain and snow.
We set out in good faith to Findhorn Valley, with a brief stop at the River Spey by Grantown as some activity was spotted on the river as we drove by. This turned out to be a number of Goldeneye, Goosander and a Little Grebe. Not real good photos just a record shot of a Goldeneye on fly by!
We arrived at Ruthven in good weather only for it to pour down as we were walking to the hide. Then looking out there wasn't a lot about certainly no Slavonian Grebe. A single male Goldeneye was about, along with a large flock of Mallard and about 10-15 Teal. Two Buzzards gave us a display over the far shore. We stayed for a while and after lunch and coffee decided we would leave and head over to Loch Flemington. Just as we were packing up I noticed that the Goldeneye was back, but when I looked through the bins it was a winter plumaged Slavonian Grebe. Excellent, although I was too slow with the camera, by the time I had got it ready it had dived and came up behind some trees that blocked a clear view. So I legged it out the hide down the path and found a path to the shore line, I quickly found it, but by now it was some distance away, so for the record:
We stayed a while to watch a Cormorant fishing no more than 6 feet away from us, which was very entertaining, he caught so much we thought he might explode! So off back to the digs.. We stopped one last time at the end of the loch in the gathering darkness just to see if anything presented itself, (4 Scaup turned up) but then we noticed a huge murmuration, but it wasn't starlings, a vast flock of crows were behaving just like Starlings, swooping about the sky, settling on the power lines and then taking off again, here is a very poor shot of some of it:
Before heading home, we took time to drive up to The Lecht, which was only 4 miles away and get our Snow Bunting fix in the Ski Area Car Park, after a few minutes they duly obliged!
For a complete look at all the photos from the trip, some good, some not so! Go to:
All the Photos