Thursday, 2 May 2013

Catch-up Day

Wednesday May 1

A very leisurely start in preparation for to-morrow’s early drive to Mull. We needed it after yesterday. By the time we’d read and showered, it was a 9.50 stop at the paper shop. Catch-up day was te plan and, trying to see how many specialities we could see for the first of the month without rushing around.
We both regret missing Ptarmigan because of the weather, should we try again? The tops were not in view this morning, heavy cloud cover with occasional light rain. Dodgy. Maybe a drive to the car park would prove conclusive. Still poor viewing conditions. Most of the snow has gone from the lower reaches, the remainder is very dirty and sordid looking. No, reluctantly we decided not to go up on the funicular. I decided that I would like to scope the slopes, so we returned to the other side of the car park where a man was using binoculars. 18 Snow Buntings were feeding on the stone walling, eating the grain placed there by the birder.

We tried our Black Grouse area but no luck to-day, it was a bit late for them.
Loch Garten RSPB again. The female Osprey still sitting, well hunkered down, on her two eggs. She laid 4 and we know that the male kicked one of them out but not what happened to the fourth. The Goldeneye was on her nest but soon left, sitting on the unseen edge, one of her feet filling the camera view. Crested Tit again on the feeders outside the centre.
We walked much of the way to Loch Mallachy, hearing another Cresty and seeing Goldcrest.
Dulnain Bridge came up trumps again. A lone Dipper posed on a rock in mid-stream, viewable through a gap in the trees and a pair of Grey Wagtails gave a brief flying view.

Lochindorb for the last time on a lovely, golden late afternoon. Several Red Grouse called and posed on the heather clad hillside and a Great Northern Diver fished on the loch. 

A female Red Grouse- beautifully marked
Two Buzzards rose and soared together, bombed and hassled by a Raven. What a pain, Raptors have a lot to put up with.

About time I included a Wheatear
Ali and Lindsay were out when we tried to use the Internet at the hotel. I hung around a bit, trying to get access from outside. The connection is only ‘fair’ from the lounge, nothing outside. They drove up, having been to the Cash and Carry, so I was able to post the last two days’ Blog. 
Bliss after to-morrow, access in our bedroom at Seaview in Phionnphort (pronounced Finfert). We drive to Corran Ferry in the morning, hoping to shop in Fort William en route for supplies and fuel.

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