It has been a while since I have posted anything, not because we haven't been out and about, but because we have been so busy, I just haven't had time, but here we go......
By shear coincidence we chose to be up in Scotland staying in Braemar the same week as Winterwatch were holed up just a couple of miles down the road on the Glen Mar Estate, so it was interesting to 'compare notes' on a day by day basis when watching the programme in the evenings tucked up in our lovely rented cottage in Braemar.
I think the only things we didn't see that they showed were Pine Marten and Ptarmigan although that wasn't for lack of trying on our part.
We toured a fair way over the week venturing north to Burghead, west to Aviemore and east to Loch Kinnordy as well as staying local and exploring the Mar Estate, Muir of Dinnet and Glenshee.
So we started with a walk on the Mar Lodge Estate heading out from the Linn of Dee car park, wildlife was non-exisitant on a dull day, the highlight being a Stoat that raced across the path in front of us with what looked like a mouse or vole in its mouth. The views were great though:
Before leaving Burghead we drove around to the north coast and were luck to find some Red-breasted Merganser, and a small group of four Velvet Scoter, we had good views through the scope, but the distance was too much for the camera.
From Burghead we headed out to Findhorn stopping at the public hide on the bay, but apart from Crows there was nothing to report. I'd say not our lucky day, but we had seen an Eagle so musn't complain. We decided then to head over to Lossiemouth, as we got there the weather turned very nasty so we stayed in the car overlooking the sea. Here we had a real bonus if you like your heavy metal birds which I do of course. A couple of Typhoons came in and gave us a bit of a show:
We planned from here to try and find the hide at Loch Spynie, I had done some reserarch before hand and with the aid of 'following my nose' we found it. The rain was still coming down pretty hard, but Jimmy and me went for a recce and we find the hide was only a 5 minute walk from the car so I reported back leaving Jimmy in the hide and went and brought the kit and the girls!
As we walked down to the hide the rain stopped, hurrah! Followed by two Roe Deer running through the trees and across the path. A good omen!
As always when you go somewhere new first impressions can be there's nothing here, but once settled in and coffee poured we started finding plenty. This is the view front and right of the hide:
Part Two to follow very shortly.