Saturday, January 5, 2019

Black Isle and Cromarty Firth. 4th January, 2019.

A more pleasant day, even with a period of sunshine!  With day temperatures at 8/9 C this was northerly sub tropical stuff at this time of year !!!

A full circuit of the Black Isle and a prolonged period watching over the Cromarty Firth.  A vain search for a reserve area on the north bank east of Alness and Invergordon provides an excuse for a further visit !   Munlochy Bay  was fully inundated but , nonetheless, held some Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck with some Curlew and Redshank at the extreme western end.   Chanonry Point was disappointing with virtually nothing in sight other than confirmation that charges are now made for car parking.  First erect some hideous and unnecessary barriers, install a bit of landscaping and then charge the public for looking out over the Moray Firth with the hope of seeing Bottle -nosed Dolphins.  But you could do that before and with a greater sense of the outdoors without the intrusion of some contrived provision !!  Yes, higgledy piggledy parking may have been the order of the day,  but do we want a spoonfed , disciplined countryside which doubtless delights the health and safety brigade no end ?!

So, leaving that behind I cut across to the Cromarty Firth and began to scan the water. A flock of Scaup were present, several Northern Eider , some Long-tailed Duck , with a few males getting excited,  Goldeneye , Red breasted Merganser  and the odd Slavonian Grebe. As ever the inner sanctum of Udale Bay played host to numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck  with lots of waders in evidence on the now developing, more distant mudflats, providing both a challenge and delight when scanning through them.

Late afternoon saw more cloud developing and temperatures dropping.  Definitely no longer tropical !!

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