Today was a mixture of re-visiting venues from many years ago and identifying and testing some new ones! Although breezy, it remained mostly sunny and very pleasant in Speyside.
After seeing c20 'Crossbills' in flight over our cabin first thing, and notching up Crested Tit in some nearby woodland, the first venue was nearby Loch Insh which provided views of three adult Ospreys, two broods of Goldeneye, Common Sandpiper and plenty of Siskins, Willow Warblers etc. On next to the nearby woodland of Uath Lochans, essentially coniferous woodland surrounding some small lochans and marshy area. Here we finally began to see some dragonflies and damselflies in some numbers. Birds included Tree Pipit, Goldeneye, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Crested Tit and up to 70 'Crossbills' which remained unidentified (they were very flighty and gave reasonable views but we couldn't convince ourselves they were Scottish Crossbill).
After some deserved lunch, we birded the Craigellachie reserve at Aviemore. The hoped-for Peregrines weren't present on the cliffs but the Tree Pipits breeding here were quite showy and vocal and some more dragonflies appeared. Other birds included Spotted Flycatcher and common woodland species.
Driving out to Boat of Garten was mostly uneventful but there was evidence of Swift and Sand Martin breeding in some numbers. A Wigeon was discovered with her single duckling on a lochan next to the village and Spotted Flycatchers were quite numerous. We finished the day exploring moors and woodland in this general area but the birds located were mostly repeats and there was no sign of the hoped-for Black Grouse.
Eleanor and Neil
|Large Red Damselfly|