Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Our Annual trip to the Highlands (Braemar) Days 5 and 6

Thursday was another poor weather day but we decided to take a risk and drive to the Muir of Dinnet and hope the weather wasn't too bad to stop up us going for a walk. Even though it was drizzling a bit we went for it on the basis that we could turn back. Of course with a circular walk its then hard to judge once you have gone past half way.

Thankfully it didn't rain too much so we made the circuit around Loch Kinord. Of course with the weather being so miserable again it was very quiet. The woods around the Loch were spectacular with loads of Fungi and Lichen covering everything, it looked like a fairy tale land.

The Loch was quiet with a few Mute Swan, Mallard, a couple of Rafts of Tufted Duck, some Goosander, but plenty of Goldeneye. Again the poor light made bird photography very difficult as you can see from this Goldeneye photo, although I quite like it!
We were teased by a couple of flocks of small birds that stayed high in the trees and wouldn't let us get close to identify them. We did get a quick flypast by a Buzzard over a nearby field, but that was about it. Still a brilliant if somewhat tiring walk in the cold and damp.

Now Friday our last full day looked a bit better weather wise, so I put it to the others that we go back to Kinnordy. It was a good decision as the weather was lovely. As we were driving there probably somewhere near Glenisla a bird of prey appeared and then disappeared on to the other side of the valley, but there was really no mistaking the white ring tail of a female Hen Harrier. I did stop the car but we quickly lost sight of it against the bracken on the other side of the Glen.

We arrived at Kinnordy in good sunshine, we had been the only people there on the Wednesday, but today there were a number of cars in the car park. So the hides were busy at first, but never the less we had some good sightings,
 Whooper Swans,
 Mute Swan,
 and Shoveler.

We wanted to visit Lintrathen again, so we went for a short visit, on the way back, this time we could actually see the other side of the Loch. There were tons of Wigeon here, quite a few Goldeneye, Black-headed and Herring Gulls, Cormorant and Mallard. But in among the ducks was a much smaller bird, at first I thought a Little Grebe, but it didn't look quite right, so put the scope on it and discovered our first ever Red-necked Grebe! In winter plumage of course but definitely a Red-necked. I took some very long range pics which we used to confirm it when back at the shack.

So that was the end to our winter highland adventure. A good time was had by all.

Although Tina and myself hadn't finished with Scotland, we were going to Edinburgh to stay with our daughter for a few days and do some non-birding exploring around Lothian, but of course we did see some birds and there will be a short post to follow, I'm sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment