Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Nothing to grouse about. Part 2

Saturday we headed into the woods at first light and scored a big fat zero to start with. We'd had a good search around and picked up Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Goldcrest and got the bums rush from the Roe Deer.
We'd looked at umpteen black things that turned out to be fallen trees when we came across one that looked a bit different...a lot different...it looked like this!!
Totally awesome - displaying Capercaillie! Another Caper gave us a fly past as we were heading back to the car. After breakfast we headed back out for more grouse action - Red Grouse this time. They are not hard to find so just a selection of photos. First up the female showing how well they blend in to the heather...
...and just look pretty.
The male sports some impressive wattles over the eyes but the female doesn't look that impressed.
He is a handsome chap though.
There were some Golden Plover around that were just starting to display.
They would all have looked better with some sunshine but if you can look this good without it, who needs it?!
A quick stop for lunch gave me the chance to get a few shots of a Red Squirrel.
A trip to the top of Cairngorm on the funicular railway was a treat but the howling wind and icy conditions meant a Hot Chocolate was in order - yum.
The three Snow Buntings we saw looked well suited to the conditions. The train ride back down was a bit of a rush - as you can see we got to, at least, warp factor 6....
....before hitting the daylight.
The weather at the top wasn't going to improve...
 ...and it looked a lot nicer further down as another trainload went up.
We finished the day with another feeding station session. A Treecreeper was seen as we arrived and a Sparrowhawk cleared the feeders for 10 minutes but the 3 Crested Tit provided plenty of entertainment.
Sunday we had to head home but not before a trip to see some more Red Squirrels. There was a lot of squabbling as up to four Squirrels fought to be first in the box for nuts.
A lot of peering round the trunk of the tree had to be done...
...or you could sit waiting patiently.
A cracking weekend and we had nothing to grouse about.

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