Friday, 23 October 2009


Wednesday was a pleasant day with still waters and no precipitation. With the tide well in it was going to be worth checking for divers early on and we weren't disappointed. The guests and PS had GN Diver on the list as I arrived to pick them up. We headed off along the road and made a stop for Otter spotting and bagged five GN Divers together - four still in summer plumage and the other a juv. While we were scanning about a few Crossbill flew over and one bird perched up in view. Not a bad start to the day and we pressed on gathering up the commoner birds along the way. A Golden Eagle was picked up cruising the ridge across the loch as we perused the waders. The rest of the morning consisted of distant views of Red Deer stags and another two Golden Eagle and a missed opportunity of an Otter. The Golden Plover were showing well next to the road and provided a chance of a half decent photo...Lunchtime gave us the best sightings of the day as a Golden Eagle flew around at close quarters before drifting off and a female Hen Harrier replaced it soon after. We managed to find an Otter that was out in the water and fishing well but not getting the 'big one' that would have had it heading for shore. I've been searching about for the Greenland White-fronted Geese that spend the winter here with no luck until today where we managed to find two birds amongst the Greylags - result - let's hope the flock builds up to the forty or so birds we normally get.We also found two Mountain Hares in the now blustery conditions. They were tucked well into the clumps of sedge sheltering and blending in extremely well. A Raven was watching our antics from the top of a rock and making sure we knew he was there - 'LOOK AT ME NOT THE GEESE!!'Thursday wasn't too bad a day either but I was otherwise occupied. There wasn't much birding going on but I did hear a Chiffchaff calling from the bushes outside the shop.
Friday has been a bit of a showery one but with plenty of Fieldfare and Redwing around I headed out to try to get a few snaps. It was a brief sortie out but very productive. I started off with a couple of Stonechat as the thrushes scattered away from where I was parked up.As I scanned about with the bins I picked up a very pale looking Stonechat that needed a second look. Very pale on the head and breast, plain mantle, pale rump and an obvious pale panel on the wing. It then dropped out of sight and I didn't see it again. Definitely not a Whinchat as it was too 'dumpy' but the bird smacks of female Siberian Stonechat. It was the only bird I didn't get a photo of! I rattled off a whole heap of photos of the Redwing.......Goldfinch.......and Fieldfare...There was a fair number of Blackbird, Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush there too but the photos aren't that good. Both races of Redwing were seen together showing what a contrast there is but again the photos were hopeless. I didn't do too bad considering the weather but I'll have to hunt that Sibe out again!

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