|Posted on 13 March, 2017 at 11:50|
We have just returned from 3 excellent days in the Highlands of Scoland. We stayed at the famous Grant Arms Hotel in Granton-on-Spey, which is set up for birders. There are always guides on hand and there is lots of information and help regarding where to go and what to see.
We took the train direct from Newcastle to Aviemore and then hired a car; which we used for a day's birding with John Poyner from 'Highland Nature'. The next day we went on the morning walk with the hotel's guide in Aganach Woods and then, in the afternoon, drove to the Findhorn Valley to meet the same guide - Richard Thaxton.
On Saturday we found our own way - following the suggestions of the hotel guide for the day. He suggested a good site for otters - and we found one! We watched it feed for about 30 minutes before we moved along the coast seeking divers and sea ducks.
We had good views of some iconic species - especially Crested Tit, Peregrine and Golden Eagle. We also saw a Parrot Crossbill - though fleetingly. Hawfinch was an unexpected bonus. We had good views of Mountain Hare and one evening visited a hide deep in the forest where Pine Martens and Badgers come regularly to feed. A Badger arrived - but no Martens...
When I completed my Bird Journal this morning I discovered that my count has now reached 130 species for the year.