Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Such a Good Day

Man U beat Chelsea 2-1
Added to Norwich achieving automatic promotion to the Premiership, it's been a good week.

Monday May 9
Again, not an early start, I started cooking the mountain of mince we bought yesterday. Still on our way by 9 though.
We had a Red Squirrel on the nuts this morning, they are so endearing. The Mallard still has seven ducklings overnight, one of them is a maverick, always lagging behind, he may not last long.
No Slavonian Grebes visible on the roadside water before Boat of Garten, a few more padders in the form of Coot on its nest, Tufted Duck and a pair of Wigeon.
Loch Garten reserve was not open until 10, we were a little early. They have a couple of hours off after the early morning Capercaillie watch. The latter was the reason for our visit, nothing on the pager this year to indicate that birds were being seen. Two were seen this morning but the girl gave us the ampression that this was a rare occurrence.Oh dear... we shall still try in the morning though.
EJ, the female Osprey, is sitting on three eggs, her head viewable above the mountainous nest from time to time. Odin brought a fish at 5.30 and is unlikely to visit again to-day, visits become more frequent when the eggs hatch.
The walk alongside Loch Garten down to Loch Mallochie is where we have managed to see Crested Tit the last couple of years. As we left the car park, a camouflage clad photographer set up his big lens near the information board. Thinking nothing of it, we walked on, meeting a woman in a wheelchair who told us that there was a Crestie nest near the car park. We returned ! A dead tree, containing several holes was the nest site.

Small hole bottom right
The first view was a bird darting away from the hole, carrying a foecal sac. I then saw an adult Crested Tit perched in the hole, all but its tail visible - immediately after I had taken a photo of the nest site! Missed it. Could have stayed longer but decided to leave for Forest Lodge.
As we turned off the main road for Abernethy Forest Lodge, Pam saw two Crossbills fly into a roadside tree. A female Parrot Crossbill and one young. Great.
No-one else parked at the Lodge, a Tree Pipit singing away and the first of three Common Redstarts also singing. As we approached the old dog kennels, another Crested Tit showed beautifully just above our heads, bashing some prey against a branch and then foraging in the festooning lichen.TWO in one day.
We walked to the bridge and back before setting off for Findhorn Valley.
First stop, the Dipper bridge for a late lunch. No sign of a bird until Pam walked to the river edge and saw a Dipper on the Findhorn river, not the usual side stream. As I got there, I saw the adult bird fly to the edge under some overhanging trees, where it fed a wing-fluttering begging youngster.That's a first. I stalked the birds and got some pretty poor photos in the darkness of the trees against the stark contrast of the sun-lit sparkling water.

Our first rain of the day sent us back to the car and on up the valley to the parking spot. Very shortly, the heavy cloud descended making for poor visibility and bringing a heavy shower. We left....driving the Farr road, seeing even less than usual.
More rain as we arrived at Ruthven RSPB. We waited until it stopped, walked far enough to see a splendid golden eared male Slavonian Grebe, got wet and, beat a hasty retreat.
The Hotel is open to-night so was able to post the last two days Blog. This will have to wait until to-morrow.
, the Premiership is almost ours, two matches to go and we're 6 points ahead.

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