Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Tuesday 1st August

Popped over last night but on arrival it started to rain so I didn’t linger, however, there were six Common Sandpiper together just off the car park.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Monday 31st July

A couple of trips today with good numbers of the common warblers in family parties or mixed up with the roaming Tit flocks.

c.100 Swift were around in the morning with c.200 mixed hirundines enough to attract a Hobby which was unsuccessful in its attempt.

Kingfisher was seen twice and there was a single Common Sandpiper. Yesterday a family party of four Raven flew over.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Thursday 27th July

Have been over the Reservoir a few times since my return from holiday, but it has generally been quiet. On Tuesday, however, although there were not many birds it was interesting.

A man pushing a pram who seemed to spend most of the time on the phone had not one, neigh not even two or three but five Pit Bull type dogs which were running all over the place. They were harassing other dog walkers, they were in the water and generally causing a nuisance. Fortunately they appeared good natured but the one girl who had been pestered look quite shocked, god only knows what they result might have been had the dogs been aggressive.

Anyway, back to birds, this morning saw me connect with Hobby for the first time this year at the Reservoir, but generally it was quiet, although c.150 Swift dropped in ahead of the rain.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Thursday 20th July

Another day another walk, this time this was one I had been looking forward too as it was close to Perth and involved a good path straight to the col between the two hills.

This was a long way and the climb up the slopes of Creag Mac Ranaich was very steep, Joy was not a happy bunny. Fortunately there was an old fence which we followed and it had the semblance of a path besides it. There were three tops on the summit with the most northerly i.e. furthest away being the target. We decided to get the other hill out of the way before we stopped to eat so we made our way steeply down to the col.

The second hill was the highest of the two but it was much more straightforward and we were soon sitting at the cairn for lunch. Rather than cut the corner off and work our way through a mile of so of peat hag we retraced our steps back down to the path and arrived back at the car just before 5pm eight hours after we started. In total we did just over 40,000 steps during the course of the walk. Strangely it looked promising for birds but in actual fact apart from Meadow Pipit, Wheatear and a single Ring Ouzel we saw very little.

Meall an t-Seallaidh from the approach road

Creag Mac Ranaich from the approach road

The summit of Creag Mac Ranaich

The summit of Creag Mac Ranaich
Meall an t-Seallaidh from Creag Mac Ranaich 

Creag Mac Ranaich from Meall an t-Seallaidh

The summit of Meall an t-Seallaidh

The summit of Meall an t-Seallaidh with Loch Earn behind

Wednesday 19th July

Picked Stuart up from his house in Carnoustie and we headed up the road to Fishtown of Usan, one of the premier sea watching spots in Angus, it lies just north of Lunan Bay and juts out into the North Sea as much as anywhere along this part of the coast.

We were straight away into a steady flow of Manx Shearwater, most of which were close and all heading north. Added to this was a steady stream of common sea birds with Fulmar, Kittiwake and Gannet all in good numbers. Added to this were 5 Bonxie and a single Arctic Skua. There were also a couple of Whimbrel added to the mix.

Conditions were dry but it was very dull and visibility weren’t perfect but as I always do I enjoyed myself.

TATTIE HEID (in joke)

Monday 17th July


Panoramic from the summit of Culardoch.

Carn Liath (862m) & Culardoch (900m)

Today was one of those days where the birds were nearly as good as the hills. We were up at 7am and it was only about an hour drive to the Inverclaude Estate which lies around 6 miles east of Braemar. It was also unusual as the weather was stunning with hardly a cloud in the sky, fortunately there was a stiff breeze which help to cool us.

We parked up in the P&D car park at Keloch and within 100 yards had a couple of Scottish Crossbill there were numerous Spotted Flycatchers in the paddocks before the forest started, this wound its way uphill for a couple of miles before we emerged on the hillside. The track ahead of us was good and went up to the Beach Dearg which was the highpoint between the two hills.

We pretty soon saw a couple of Merlin which put on a show for us and enlivened the walk, after another mile or so we left the path and took a direct route towards the summit of Carn Liath and its other tops (all of a roughly similar height. We were at the summit in good time visiting the other tops and, more importantly for me we saw Dotterel and Ptarmigan.

Joy at the summit of Carn Liath
A selfie at the top of Carn Liath, must remember the position of the sun next time.

Me at the summit of Carn Liath
Culardoch from the summit of Carn Liath
The route to Culardoch was straightforward and the climb up was relatively easy and we were there in no time. There was a trig point which gave enough shelter for us to sit down and enjoy our lunch. The visibility was tremendous and we enjoyed really good views. All that was left was a good hike back out follow a good path. In total we walked nearly 38,000 steps by the end of the day!

Joy on Culardock

Carn Liath from Culardoch

Monday, 24 July 2017

Sunday 16th July


I’ve known Stuart for over ten years now and usually manage to get a days birding with him on my trips north, this week would prove no exception.

We arranged to meet at his home in Carnoustie at 10am where we went to check out the the shore line at East Haven on the edge of Carnoustie. There were around 20 Dunlin but few other waders around. There were a couple of distant Arctic Skua out in the Tay and a couple of stunning Little Gull. A Wheatear would prove to be the only passerine of note, but it wasn’t really the right time of year.

After a quick coffee back at his we decided to try Barry Buddon a Military training area that juts out into the Tay narrowing the channel between Angus and Fife creating quite a fierce current. In previous years we haven’t been able to go here as exercises have been taking place and the “Red Flag” has been flying.

As we were in his car and not mine I realised that I had left my hat behind. I am still suffering a week later (did I get sunburn or what). We saw a reasonable selection of birds considering the time of year with Velvet Scoter, Common Scoter, 5 Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwits and more Little Gull.

The best was an unusual bird which I picked up, I wasn’t too sure what it was at first as it was rather distant but it turned out to be an albino Sandwich Tern, it was a youngster and was begging for food from adults.

With the heat and the near six miles of walking I was knackered by the time we got back to the car and for the third night I a row I slept like a log!

Albino Sandwich Tern with two adult Little Gull