Monday, 8 July 2013

Speyside Trip

Picked the dragonhunter up at 4:30am :0 and off we went to speyside for a couple of days birding and dragon hunting :)
Day 1
Started off at the Findhorn Valley where we had a Peregrine within 5 mins of getting out of car which was a promising start, a possible Golden ringed dragonfly which got away not to be seen again, a spotted flycatcher was seen on the drive out. Next was Anagach Woods where we were greeted by the calls of Crested tits which showed on and off, we also had female Common hawker here and a few Large red dams. Next was Loch Garten rspb, A pair off Ospreys showed well at the nest, also Crested tits showed well on the feeders. We checked the board walk pool near the entrance to the rspb center and we had a few Northern damselflys which was a lifer for the both of us :) next we headed into Aviemore for some bait (haggis & chips) mmm, the Dragonhunter said it looked like a battered brain :) lol, he is a veggie though :). We decided to have a look at the base of Cairngorm so we could check out our route up the mountain in the morning, we pitched our tent up on a field in Glenmore and cracked open a couple of cans of the black stuff and and sunk into our seats after a hard days birding and dragon hunting, a bit of a quiet day with only 1 year tick and 1 damslefly life tick.

Day 2
Got up at 5am :0 packed away the tent and had a wash with a bottle of water and some wet wipes :) lol before setting of for the climb ahead of us :0 whilst in the Cairngorm car park we had a female Ring ouzel fly past with a beak full of something to feed her 2 chicks which we saw as we left the car park for the climb, we also had 3 Hooded crows lower down the mountain which was a year tick :) it was a hard slog up taking 1:45 mins :( which included a few rest breaks. The Dragonhunter had a mountain hare which ran into some rocks not showing again :( once on the top we followed the path which takes you to the next mountain where the Dotterels usually are? on the way we ticked a female Ptarmigan with 1 chick, it didn't take much longer before we had a male Dotterel with 3 chicks which showed well :) then we could hear the song of a Snow bunting which we tracked down, we managed to get 5 Snow buntings. So with our targets ticked we decided to make our way back down the mountain where we enjoyed the cracking views of what we had just climbed up whilst enjoying a well deserved cup of coffee, which i managed to spill down the front of my shirt :( lol. With the sun out and temps of 20c we set of for some dragonfly hunting, Loch garten and Uath lochans were the places visited, where we enjoyed some cracking views of White faced darters and Northern emeralds which were both lifers for both of us :). we stopped of at a known Osprey nest site where 3 chicks and 2 adult birds were all in the nest :0 The dragonhunter also spotted a Golden eagle being mobbed by 3 buzzards on one of the mountains :) nice one, our target bird from yesterday in the findhorn valley :) with the time getting on it was soon time to end a cracking weekend and head home :( we stopped off at Berwick for a leg stretch and a bit of sea watching where a couple of Manx shearwaters were a bonus year tick, just a nice way to end the trip.
Birds added to year list
Crested tit
Hooded crow
Golden eagle
Manx shearwater
Dragons seen
White faced darter
Northern emerald
Northern damselfly

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