Saturday, 26 April 2014

OFFICIAL TOUR DAY 1

We began today at 5am with a visit to the RSPB Capercaillie watch at Loch Garten. Unfortunately thick fog was against us and despite persevering for an hour and a half, visibility was always less than the distance to the "forward" hide (c50m) Although our quarry species alluded us, we were rewarded with excellent view of the smart male Redstart pictured below, which sang throughout our time in the hide whist the female remained within the nest box. Further to this, Red Squirrel and Siskin flocks offered a further distraction from the distinct lack of Capers. I would love to give you an update as to how the Osprey is doing....but we couldn't see it!!!!

Redstart
Having made a decision that the fog was going to hang all morning, we moved on to Loch Mallachie. Spending approximetley an hour walking the loop trial, we finally heard our first Crested Tits, located on the Loch side. Here we also recorded Redstart, Goldrest, Treecreeper, Crossbill sp x 2, Goldeneye and Common Sandpiper.

Having briefly stopped back at the hotel for refreshments, we continued on toward Cairngorm Mountain, calling in at "the second" Osprey nest, seeing the female proudly sat on her nest, now we were having to compete with heat haze!!


Above 2 images: Snow Bunting

The majority of the afternoon was then spent birding the Cairngorm area recording of note Snow Bunting (above) and a stunning pair of Ptarmigan (below). Click on any of the images to enlarge and remember book for our 2015 at 2014 prices, limited time only!




Above 4 images: Ptarmigan

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Highlands Tour Day 2

Well, after a very long day, there is not going to be a lot of text for you to perusal this evening, however a more wordy update will be available tomorrow, in the mean time I hope you enjoy the images I managed to acquire throughout the course of today. All of our guests are now with us and tomorrow marks the official start of the tour, so watch this space!!


Common Gull

Redshank

Pied Wagtail



Above 3 Images: Female Red Grouse

Red Grouse (male)


Above 2 images: Black-throated Diver



Above 3 Images: Long-tailed Duck


Above 2 images: Eider

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pre Tour Birding

With our 5th annual (under the banner of "Aquila") due to commence in full flow on Friday morning, Dad and I decided to drive up over night and have an extra day enjoying this superbly diverse and scenic part of the world. Furthermore, one of our American guests will be arriving tomorrow and as such, we can work on a few of them "rare for you, common for us species".

We are currently taking bookings for the 2015 Highlands Tour, which if booked before the end of May 2014, will be offered at this years prices. For further information please e-mail info@aquilabirdtours.com

Today we visited a number of the usual haunts recording a number interesting species of note- Crested Tit (3), Ptarmigan (1), Red Grouse (numerous), Osprey (3), Redstart (numerous) and of course it wouldn't be Scotland without a Red Deer or 500..... Below are a few pictures which have turned out okay. Click to enlarge.


Above 2 images: Gooseander


Above 2 images: Red Grouse