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Thursday, 5 May 2011

Scotland Day 3

Up early again this morning for Martin to see the Capercaillie lek, just a single bird again showing in the same area as yesterday although it was a more restricted angle for viewing today, fortunately another birder managed to get his scope on it and we got a view of it fully out in open this time, we then went back round to Tulloch Moor where three male Black Grouse were displaying and flying around also a couple of Cuckoos calling here, stopped again where we saw the Crested Tits yesterday and eventually found them again although they remained higher in the trees today, a Red Squirrel was around again and at one point fell out of a tree although it soon recovered and shot back up again. After breakfast we headed for Carrbridge where we had been given a site for Crossbills, a Hooded Crow was just outside the village as we left, we had a good wander around the site seeing Redstart and Tree Pipit but still no Crossbills, they seem to be a bit thin on the ground at this time of year. It was up to Cairngorm next and we took the Funicular up to the restaurant and watched from the terrace for a while, a couple of Ptarmigans and a few Wheatears were showing, an Osprey was a surprise as it flew past but no sign of any Dotterels today, three had been seen from here a couple of days ago. We dropped back down to Loch Morlich but a Bank Holiday weekend coupled with good weather meant it was very busy and we saw nothing better than a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers, so we headed round to Loch an Eilein where we had been told of some Wood Warblers near the turn off for the Loch, at least two birds were singing there this afternoon. Ended the day with a drive along the tracks through Abernethy Forest to Forest Lodge but it was very quiet, highlights were a couple of Redstarts and some Green Hairstreak butterflies.
another early morning shot of Loch Garten

the Spey above Boat of Garten

a bit hazy but you could see Ben Nevis in the distance

Cairngorm scenics

Loch Morlich from above

and from ground level

Loch Pityoulish

Green Hairstreak near Forest Lodge

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