Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Scottish sojourn tied off !!

In bringing this Blog up to date I'll first of all offer something akin to advice ,with an accompanying moral attached !

"When moving from one "base" to another don't leave key computer components at your last place of residence".  I'll leave it to you to piece together !

The last days spent in Scotland saw weather conditions being fairly constant and saw little in the way of unexpected bird records during routine birding, other than a Barn Owl on the 8th. A further visit to the Cromarty Firth encountered similar tidal conditions to previously, lots of birds, which included a nice flock of Lapwing and a few Bar-tailed Godwit. Numbers of gulls, ducks and waders were impressive, but revealed nothing exciting, although it was nice to see several groups of Scaup so easily.

A visit to the Findhorn valley was unproductive and disappointing. The lack of activity generally set against the sheer splendour of the isolation and tranquility was adequate compensation in itself. However, returning over the high ground to the north and coming across the major works in hand installing new transmission lines and the seeming plethora of new access roads cutting across the moorland was a direct contrast to what had gone before. The only new thing here was Red Grouse and a cyclist in training who commendably matched my progression over the twisting road !

A series of calls to various sites on Speyside, the Insh Marshes and the Firth of Forth before returning home provided some nice sightings including Whooper Swan, Northern Eider, Velvet Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Long-tailed Duck and a few common waders, but no Red-necked Grebe or Surf Scoter !

Things are now back to normal (22nd ) ,  although sadly the Scottish sojourn didn't produce as much as hoped for. I suspect a "Can do better !" verdict overall in several respects !!

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