Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Scotland Trip - Day Four

This was the poorest day of the trip - mostly because of the strong wind that hampered our efforts...

Day Four - Wednesday 13th April

We had this day to 'mop up' anything we hadn't seen yet - and that bird was Parrot Crossbill. It was because of this sodding bird that we spent two hours in Curr Woods....

Eurgh!

We did see (and crucially hear) two Scottish (type) Crossbills, a Hooded Crow and a Tree Pipit again.

So much smarter than the ugly beasts down here!

After this we tried yet more woods, around Forest Lodge (near Nethybridge)...

Three people dipping Parrot Crossbills!

I blame the wind for our dip - it was far from ideal Crossbill spotting weather! We did see another couple of Red Squirrels though.

We then stopped off in Nethybridge, and filled our faces thanks to the Spar shop situated right by the river...

Still no Dipper on the trip list though!

The fact we hadn't seen a Dipper was starting to get a bit annoying really...so we decided to drive down the Findhorn Valley yet again!!

Eventually, after a lot of searching, we found one...


Much to Bun's dismay ;-)

It was near a pair of these...

New in Common Sands - they were very vocal

We popped back to the B and B, before heading to Aveimore where we tried out another fish and chip shop. After the past few days of rather unhealthy dining, Nick and Karen opted for the slightly healthier option of chicken and chips. When it was served to the table they were a little shocked - their chickens were entirely covered in batter! Hahahaha!!!

As it neared dusk, we made our way towards Loch An Eilein where we had booked (and paid for...ouch!) our places on the Speyside wildlife mammal watch. I have to say, the set up is excellent....

As you sit in the heated and rather comfy hide...

Illustrated here by Bun and Karen

And after the guide has put the food out...

They are not ghosts in the top photo - just reflections

The lights go out and the guide watches his monitor - four infra red cameras are set up outside the hide, three of which spot most incoming mammals...

Very techno!

It didn't take long for a Badger or two to appear...

Yes it is only a Badger - but noticeably smaller than the brutes down here

Then the guide exclaimed "Marten coming in, it's heading for the back..." So naturally everyone rushed to the back....

but he then said "it's changed direction, it could go either way...." At which point I realised no one was heading for the front of the hide - so I did!

As soon as I walked around to the other side, a large mammal came bounding in from the darkness - Pine Marten! It went straight for one of the eggs (as the guide said it would), spent a few seconds getting to grips with it before bounding back off into the darkness.

Although the view was rather brief (about ten seconds), it was stupidly close! Nick managed to see it for about five seconds, and Karen for about two (don't mention it to Bun!).

We were assured that it would come back for seconds though........it never did!!!

Anyway, due to the speed of the thing, and the fact I wanted to get out of the way so others could see it, I didn't manage a photo. If I had managed a pici though it would have looked (I'm sure) a lot like this...

(or maybe a little better!)

We were back at the B and B just the right side of midnight, and went to sleep ready for the final day and the drive back south...

No comments:

Post a Comment