Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunny Scotland (part 3)

Headed east the next morning in the general direction of Speyside. On the way decided to look in at Glen Affric.
A mistake really as the long dead end road doesnt get anywhere near any of the decent areas. Its more of a walkers place really and I didnt fancy a days walk, particularly as Speyside is much more accessible.

Nice place though

Dipper showing well in a much more convenient place to get to, ie by the roadside!

Arrived at Speyside late afternoon. Enough time for a quick visit to Loch Garten.

Very zoomed in version. 

An early morning wander about in the area didnt produce any Capercaillie, although hopes werent high.
What was unexpected though was the complete lack of any birds around here. Not a sniff of Crested Tit or Scottish Crossbill.  The next few hours were much more exciting however as we spent them watching the local highland games

The idea here is to twirl your mace about then swing it over the banner to catch it again. 

Wayne Rooney and Andy Murray were there. 

Red Grouse hiding in the heather just down the road from Tomintoul

Early morning visit to a highly recommended site for Caper. 

I knew it wasnt going to be easy to see one in July. Nearly all views at this time of year are of some sort of large shape crashing through the tops of the trees after you have disturbed it. And to make it that much harder I also needed a photo for the photo yearlist!
Ended up just walking around with the camera infront of me, trigger finger poised!

What was that noise!  False alarm, Wood Pigeon.

Apart from a few more Woodies flushed, nothing doing.
A tit flock moved through which contained a couple of Crested Tits but couldnt get any photos.

I had another Caper site lined up, one where up to 6 males had been seen in April. Although obviously this was July!

On arrival things didnt look good with some very fresh tracks into the forest

"We've just ripped out a load of trees but take care not to disturb the Capers"!

Heard Scottish Crossbill on a few occasions whilst in the woods but no photos.
On the track out, bumped into another roving tit flock containing Crested Tits, this time they hung around long enough to get at least one usable shot!

This next place was near Carrbridge. Turned out to be a good place for Scottish Crossbill with a few birds in twos and threes going over every now and again.

Never got onto any feeding birds but did get a flight shot of one bird

Not really knowing when I was beat, I tried one more site for Capercaillie, unfortunately with the same results as before. 

According to the sign this place is unsuitable for vehicles! No shit!