Thursday, 10 June 2010


A wee trip up North of the border to good old Jockville. What better way to spend my inbetweenie time than being invited on a three day jolly with my good buddy Fredski (Howard to his work colleagues and mother) care of Avian Ecology. Whilst doing a bit of networking we attempted to see as many of the Scottish specialities as possible.

Our finest moment came whilst parked by Little Loch Broom way up on the North West coast. Out on the sea loch 4 summer plumaged Black throated Divers were indulging in a bit of synchronised fishing when 2 Otters swam nonchalantly passed. Turning to the mountain behind us a Golden Eagle glided up and over the ridge watched also by 3 Red Deer...what a place and what superb timing. Just round the corner...
From the stakeout layby looking over towards Gruinard Island there was no sign of the required residents we had come to see but on searching we soon located the biggest raptor in Europe perched on a headland half a mile away. At this distance the White tailed Eagle was still an impressive sight though ones scope. The adult took flight soon after and thermaled high up then glided effortlessly right across Gruinard Bay...awesome!

Theres always one thing you have to do when on Speyside...trudge aimlessly along birdless tracks looking for a big black Turkey like bird whilst getting midged to buggery. We were no exception and even though we had top notch gen we dipped as is the norm. One thing though I've never seen so many Red Squirrels, 30+ in three days was a sign of a good breeding season last year, god their so cute what?

An unfamiliar squeaking noise in the heather drew our attention to a very young Roe Deer fawn that pretended to be invisible even though we were a couple of feet away...more cuteness!

The intrepid twosome at Gairloch with the Isle of Skye in the distance.

No we didn't see the little critter above as we forgot the jam butties (their favourite meal) but theres always next time.
Birds seen included 8+ Black throated Divers all in summer plum, cracking birds and Fred's bird of the trip.
Adult White tailed Eagle and sub adult Golden Eagle.
3 Red Kites
Slavonian Grebe
several wee Cresties
4 ? Crossbill most probably Scottish/Parrot with stonkingly big bills.
4 Ospreys non of which were at Loch Garten!
trip total 91 species
mammals also included 4+ Bottle-nosed Dolphins seen breaching out in Moray Firth marvellous.

1 comment:

Moore Patcher said...

Good Times m8y! Shame about the Caper. I used to have a great site when I lived near Stirling...20 years ago! First time I went there, I was scanning the heather and the bugger was up a Scot's Pine! Scared the bejesus ouuta be when it flung itself out of the tree in an uncontrolled turkey dive lol