Scotland Trip – Day 10 – 8/iv/15

We made another early start on day ten, arriving at the Loch Garten RSPB center just after dawn. There were plenty of people looking again, but unfortunately there was no sign of any Capercaillies. Both Ospreys were present on the nest, and were the only species of interest seen.

We spent most of the day resting, after our early start, but managed to make it out to the Bridge of Brown – Tomintoul area for the evening, in the hope of seeing Hen Harriers. There wasn’t much about in the way of birds apart from a few Red Grouse and the odd Buzzard. The scenery wasn’t bad though…

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Next, we headed up towards Lochindorb, in the hope of catching up with the Harriers there. Again, there was little about with only a few Red Grouse a showy Redshank and a single Buzzard.

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Looking at the map, we noticed a road which crossed an area of moorland nearby that we had not been to before. We decided to try our luck and head over. The first stretch was through farmland, and we managed to see several Red-Legged Partridge as we passed through. The road took a sharp bend and went through a plantation of conifers. As we neared the end, a large raptor belted out of the trees ahead of us. It was a young male Goshawk, and it drifted in front of the car for a short distance before dropping low over the moors and heading back past us towards the trees giving good views.

We continued out across the moors, noticing a male Stonechat on the way (our first for the trip). There were also a few Curlew around, and the odd Red Grouse. As the sun started to set, I noticed a dark blob in the heather, and quickly realised that it was a male Black Grouse. We stopped and set the scopes up and enjoyed good views of the bird. I managed a few phone-scoped record shots…

IMAG0575 CedAs we watched, another two males flew low overhead, with loudly ‘whistling’ wings. As the sun went down fully we headed for home.


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