Apr 242014
 

My wife and I spent the Easter weekend, 18th – 21st April 2014, in Speyside, Scotland. A few days in the highlands were better than none at all, and we were lucky enough to see a few good birds. RSPB Loch Garten held the regular Capercaillie watch but this year the birds were not reliable and on the two mornings I visited, despite a male on the camera, it didn't show itself from the hide, to the assembled audience. The regular pair of Osprey were doing well and the female laid her third egg early on Saturday morning. I found a female Brambling at nearby Loch Mallachie which was unusual for the time of year.

A few hours in the Findhorn valley on Saturday 19th produced a couple of Golden Eagle, an Immature & an adult, 1 Peregrine, 3 Kestrel and 2 Buzzard. We decided to leave the valley and head off to Lochindorb and the coast at Nairn. The usual pair of Black-throated Diver were on the Loch and there were small numbers of Red Grouse and Wheatear across the moors. At Nairn it was disappointing only a few Gannet, Kittiwake and Guillemot. On the way back to our B&B, I found a pair of Slavonian Grebe on a Loch I had not seen them on before.

Saturday evening we attended a Pine Martin viewing at a private hide. We had two Pine Martin, 3 Badger and a stunning Tawny Owl. All in all a great evenings viewing.

Sunday 20th, we spent the day around Beinn Eighe, Loch Maree and Gruinard Bay. With clear blue skies and wall to wall sunshine, the secenery was simply stunning. I've never seen Loch Maree without a ripple of water. It was just like looking in a mirror. White-tailed Eagle showed all to briefly, Red-breasted Merganser and Goldeneye also on the Loch and a few Great Northern Diver were still around but little else. Plenty of Willow Warbler singing and a few Swallow but not many other spring migrants.

Sunday late afternoon I eventually managed to see a Crested Tit. One had been coming and going at a feeder in the Loch Garten Car Park. The visitng bird was in and out in a flash and I bearly had the chance to photograph it. 

We stopped at our regular B&B, Rose Grove at Skye of Curr and with Red Squirrel on view most breakfasts and a pair of Bullfinch in the garden, there was always something to see.

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Odin leaves the nest early morning – Loch Garten – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Chaffinch – male – Loch Garten – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Chaffinch – male – Loch Garten – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Chaffinch – male – Loch Garten – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Chaffinch – male – Loch Garten – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Crested Tit – Loch Garten – April 20th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Red Grouse – male – Lochindorb – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Red Grouse – male – Lochindorb – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Wood Pigeon – Loch Garten – April 20th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Pine Martin – adult male – Highland = April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Pine Martin – adult male – Highland – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Badger – Highland – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Loch Garten – early morning April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Loch Garten – Late Afternoon April 18th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Loch Garten – Late Afternoon April 18th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Loch an Eilein – April 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Loch an Eilein – April 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Loch an Eilein – April 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Loch an Eilein – April 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Cairngorm Range – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Cairngorm Range – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Findhorn Valley – April 19th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Strath Brann, Highland – April 20th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Loch Maree, Beinn Eighe National Park – April 20th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Gairloch Harbour, Highland – April 20th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Fishing Nets, Gairloch Harbour, Highland – April 20th 2014 – Tony Davison©

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Evening Silhouette, Loch an Eilein – April – Tony Davison©

 

 

 Posted by at 9:58 pm

  One Response to “A Quick Trip to the Highlands”

  1. Lovely shots as per normal.

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