Sunday, 2 November 2014

Glenfeshie & the Cairngorms Saturday 26th October- Saturday 1st November 2014

I had a fantastic week with my family and found two new birds for myself...

Day one

We had a 9 hr journey today, it was surprisingly boring! Just before arriving at Glenfeshie we met up with some of our cousins at the House of Bruar. Boring shopping followed for an hour. My cousin suggested a walk behind the complex, what a relief! My parents both had completely different attitudes

On the stream pictured above we spotted a Dipper flying upstream, so I went on to try and photograph it...
The view from there was fantastic, thanks to the autumnal colours!
In some young conifers I found a mixed flock of Tits, and a few incredibly annoying Goldcrests...
Sadly we got to the house at night time so I couldn't do a small evening walk.

Day two

I had an eventful day today. I woke up at 7:00 in the morning and was desperate to find Crossbills and Crested Tits

I found some Goldfinches and a lot of different Tits, after a while I started to become a wee bit nervous as I lost track of where I had gone which is not a good thing in the Cairngorms! After three hours of looking at fabulous Crossbills, I managed to locate the road again and incredibly a car was passing by at exactly the same time!!! I had been saved, by a man called Peter Cairns who is a fantastic wildlife photographer which is a huge coincidence!
is his website check it out if you want some photographic guidance. The picture above shows my boots that I ditched due to them rubbing, I am a true survivor ;) Luckily we had two peanut feeders outside our house on some Silver Birch trees. I moved them futher away but still provided good views, it was an instant success with a 5 different Tits on the feeders at once! A Great, Blue, Long-Tailed, Coal and best of all a Crested Tit!
Great picture though ;) Great Spooted Woodpeckers also circulated the area, I suspected 4 even though the max we counted at once was four . Coal Tits were fanatstic posers and seemed to travel in pairs and changed from feeding to being on the look out. 
Red Squirrels were few and far between in my opinion with only 3 throughout the week. Lesser Redpolls started to appear later on in the afternoon and provided great views in the Silver Birches.
It wasn't just the birds that were nice to see, this Devil's Matchstick Lichen was beautiful!
Day three

We went to RSPB Insh Marshes on the 27th It was flooded however, which limited the possibilities of there being some nice waders. Feeders in front of the hide provided good views of Tits and allowed us to spot some vismig (visible migration) Redwing that were passing over frequently. 
A Hen Harrier showed itself, this wasn't a surprise as there is a proven roost on the reserve, this was a juvenile as it dive bombed rather clumsily. I have a video on my youtube channel BiffBash BOSH
Lesser Redpolls again were everywhere and I even managed to get a photo which for me is good!
There was only one Lapwing and a few Wigeon and Teal to show for itself, I was slightly dissapointed considering Wood Sandpipers breed here!

Day four

Now we were onto the 28th, loads of birds had arrived to our feeders with yet more Chaffinches, Tits, Robins, Blackbirds and best of all a solitary Redwing. We were going to have a walk around Loch Morlich, a fairly large loch situated near Aviemore. Our hopes were high
and were in prime Woodcock country, although there was nothing to show for it as always! Just as we arrived to Loch Morlich I spotted a pair of Swans taking off distantly, knowing that my binoculars weren't powerful enough I used my camera as a scope and after zooming in I could tell that they were Whoopers! I was really excited so told Mum and Dad. More Arrived over head, with an additional 19 in a flock adding to the total making it 21. 
On the other side of the Loch there was even more in store in the form of a female Goldeneye that spent 75% of its time underwater much to my disgust!
Another singular bird was on some rocks at the back... a Male Goosander bathing in the sunlight, truly beautiful!
After yet another great walk we went to back to our little haven...

Last Day

Nothing much followed in the next few days due to my lazy attitude and forgetting to charge my cameras battery up didn't help! The last day was just a horrible day knowing that tomorrow we had to go! While on my last walk I found a mixed flock of Tits inc. some Cresties a Treecreeper joined in on the fun as well.

Crested Tit 3 quarters up in the middle
Writing this back in Wiltshire I really do miss that feeling of stepping out the front door and listening to that high pitched call of a Crested Tit. Oh how I long to live in Scotland, probably the best kept secret there is in my opinion. As long as folks keep up the lie of it being the "Grim North" I/we are safe so to speak. Just remember to check out the isle of Coll and the Cairngorms the best kept secrets!

Goodbye Old friend :(


  1. As ever another great blog post Alex , cool photos to , what a great place to visit and well done on seeing some awesome birds and sites , your secrets safe with me mate :-)

    1. Thanks Rob, it is a truly remarkable place!