Most years we head up to the Highlands for a week in late January or early February, in fact the only year we have missed since 2009 is 2015 when we went to the Orkneys instead.
So what did this years visit bring, well we do have an agenda depending on if the mountain roads are open, which thankfully this year they were, although as we arrived at Glenshee on the Saturday, we were beginning to wonder.
We carried on down to our cottage just outside Braemar on the River Dee,
We never see that much wildlife on this walk, but there is always something of interest, like these Black Grouse sitting in a tree!
We do usually see Dippers on the river that runs through the Glen to the Loch, but not this time.
The feeders at the visitor centre normally provide some birding action, but sadly they were all empty, perhaps the Queen can't afford the peanuts anymore!
Day 2 and off across The Lecht to Loch Garten and Aviemore.
As we were leaving the house though, I glanced to right and spotted a dipper.
We stopped at the Lecht to use the facilities, have a coffee of course and look for Snow Buntings, they never let us down, but this morning they did. Not a sign, but some Red Grouse showed quite nicely in the snow on one of the slopes,
After Garten we drove to the Aviemore Ski Centre,, intending to go for a walk looking for Ptarmigan, but when we got there the wind was so fierce we decided to cancel that idea, so we had lunch in the car, which was actually a little scary as the car was rocking from side to side as we sat there!
We made it as far as the Lecht and it was still daylight, so again we made use of the facilities before they closed and had a cuppa. To our delight two Snow Bunting landed by the car, so in the fading light I managed a murky photo,
It was dark by the time we reached Braemar, so nothing else to report!