Monday, April 9, 2012

Scotland at Easter

Travelled up to Aviemore in Scotland for a short Easter break last Thursday. Stopped off at the beautiful Loch of the Lowes Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve near Dunkeld. Had good views of the resident pair of Ospreys including the male in flight with a fish. Arrived in Aviemore later that afternoon and the mountains still had a reasonable covering of snow; indeed, there was even snow on the grass in the town.
Visited Loch Garten as the male Osprey, named Odin, was performing his skydance to the female,OJ, a superb sight.
Over the next few days I managed to see a few of Scotland's special birds including, Capercaillie, Slavonian Grebe, Crossbill and Crested Tit. Visited the Rothiemurchus Pine Marten hide but failed to see any for the second time. Consolation came in the form of close views of Badgers and some very nice roding Woodcock. A quick excursion to Chanonry Point failed to produce any dolphin sightings. Later that day in Cromarty, I dashed out of a cafe midway through a pot of tea to watch a pair of Bottlenosed Dolphins that I spotted in the Firth through the cafe window! The wintering Long-tailed Ducks where also looking very smart.
Training update - managed a steady 16 miles run through the Caledonian pine forest on Friday, and a marathon paced 8 mile run on Sunday. Less than 2 weeks to the big day.

Ospreys at the Loch of the Lowes. The male is flying with a
fish as the female sits by the nest.

Lovely male Siskin on a feeder at Loch of the Lowes.
A wet and bedraggled Badger at Rothiemurchus.

Kayaking on Loch Morlich in the mist and rain.

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