Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cairngorms sojourn.

Last week I was in the Cairngorms with a few other personal commitments tied in too.  It was a brisk week you might say with weather at the beginning being better than at the end. By and large it was fine, although a few snow flurries here and there added variety and even culminated in a couple of inches early on the Sunday morning as I left. It all soon disappeared, but the northerly winds throughout the week made it cold and doubtless provided a barrier to summer migrants that nonetheless trickled in.

On the first day, as I travelled away from Rannoch Moor towards the A9,  I came across this fine boundary marker for the Cairngorms National Park, simple, effective and impactive, which also served to remind me how big this particular designated area actually is!!

I enjoyed the week, I always do, from the high tops to the marshes at Insh, the pinewoods of Abernethy and the different lochs and wild moorlands. I managed what I contend was the best ever views of Crested Tit (4m. ) I've had , had enduring views of Black-throated Diver, watched as a female Peregrine repeatedly hassled a Golden Eagle, discovered a new ( to me ) Black Grouse lek, and felt a great degree of sympathy as the female Osprey sat stoically on her nest at Loch Garten on the Sunday morning throughout a snow storm.  Endearing and lasting memories to treasure. My visit to Cairngorm was punctuated by views of the Reindeer herd wandering around the main car park.......what tranquil beasts they are!

So much can be written about this remarkable area, its beauty and uniqueness. There are problems, some more urgently in need of action and attention than others and I'll be putting out a couple more Blogs shortly. In the meantime I'll present what I feel is a measure of the areas abiding beauty, a shot taken one evening of Loch Pityoulish and areas beyond. Shortly afterwards a nice pair of Goosander swam into view!  Magic.