Blog – 2019

Birding Ecosse Blogspot

Welcome to the Birding Ecosse blog, if it is your first visit then thank you very much for dropping in, if you were a regular to my old blog then thank you for updating your bookmarks!

This blog will follow all my trips and tours, so if you have been out with me recently the chances are very high you will make an appearance! Most of the pictures on the blog are my own, however if I do use a third parties  pictures I will have obtained their permission and will give them full credit.

It is designed to be a light hearted read to show how and where Birding Ecosse operates, so if you are thinking of booking a tour check out the Blog and then read through the Testimonials and you should get a flavour of what to expect! Great Birds, Great Scenery with Coffee and biscuits thrown in!  Please note: All  birds will have been viewed in a safe and environmentally accepted way, that is to say by using public access at all times or by the use of hides specifically erected for the observation of this species and by keeping at a  safe distance and viewing through telescopes. Remember you can keep in touch via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dslaterbirdingecosse or twitter @birdingecosse

Did you know Birding Ecosse produces a newsletter?  Get up to date news and offers first if you subscribe to http://mailchi.mp/d60dbe0ab85a/birding-ecosse-april-2017-newsletter-1103145    The newsletter is a lighthearted look at what has happened the previous months, full of Pictures and information (many  that are not published on this blog page) of places we have visited, our mid month “Planned trips” mailing gives an update of all remaing spaces available on tours.

Call in and give it a glance, hopefully you will like it 🙂

Wednesday 10 April 2019

The motely crew of Rae, Simon, Allan and Malcolm stood assembled ready to depart, slightly later than planned at 0810 with first port of call to be the beautiful Farr Road.

Weather was absolutely stunning with blue skies and full sunshine bringing out the best of the highland scenery. Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, close up Meadow Pipits and even closer Red Grouse started the day well.

A very showy Male Red Grouse

Dropping off the high tops we soon found ourselves back at sea level and enjoying a coffee break looking out over into the Moray Firth. An Otter bobbed about in the flat calm water and numerous Guillemots were dotted all over the place, a male Goosander was a nice addition to the day and Curlew, Redshanks and Oystercatchers provided some interest. A pair of Summer plumaged Slavonian Grebes rubbed shoulders with a strangely out of place Razorbill!

Small birds were well represented with a nice flock of Chaffinch with the odd Brambling adding to the days totals.

Brambling

It is always nice to see Red Kites, so a pair of birds circling near Redcastle was a bonus, plenty of Buzzards “meowed” at every stop and some stunning views of Shelduck rounded off the morning nicely.

Heading over to the Black Isle first stop was at Udale bay. Good numbers of Pink footed Geese were still on the reserve, Wigeon and Teal paddled around in the shallows and two nearly full plumaged Black Tailed Godwits dropped in and mingled with the roosting Redshanks.

The Scaup numbers have dropped off, however 100 plus still remained and showed extremely well in the bright sunshine. Another pair of Slavonian Grebes were seen giving their “penguin dance” display.

Last stop of the day was Munlochy bay, with the tide now fully in there was not much land available for the waders, Curlew, Redshank and Oystercatchers all roosted cheek by jowl.  A nice flight of Pink footed Geese arrived not long after our arrival, but the Highlight had to be a flock of around 300 Golden Plover flying overhead calling, a beautiful sound, these birds alighted in the field directly in front of us, giving a very brief chance to see their stunning summer garb, however they were very flighty and didn’t settle and soon were once again on the wing and headed off to the North.

So that was day one, tomorrow we deal with Highland Birds, on the menu Snow Bunting, Ring Ouzel, Slavonian Grebe, Golden and White Tailed Eagles….. how many will we get?  Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Tuesday 19 March 2019

As the song goes “I’m back in the saddle again” and its great to be back! Already been out with some brilliant people and seeing some great birds, below are just a few snaps of the highlights of yesterdays trips.  I have many pictures that will be put up over the next couple of weeks 🙂

 

Thursday 21 February 2019

Not exactly birding related, but a piece of history for the area and for the Royal Air Force, so worth a mention I think.

Today my daughter and myself took a poignant trip through to Lossiemouth to see the last ever fly past of the Tornado GR4 a true workhorse for the last 37 odd years it is now being replaced by the young pretender the Typhoon.

Sadly we did not get an airfield beat up, and the initial flypast was off  runway centreline and against the sun, the later  “against the stream ” approach gave better views and picture ops.

 IX Sqn Tornado Flanked by two Typhoons – the last Tonka to flypast RAF Lossiemouth

 

 Top, Tornado – Middle, Typoon – Bottom, Hawk

Monday 04 February 2019

Todays trip out was to Burghead, first time I have been here since October 2018.  With the stormy conditions we have had over the last couple of days I was hoping for some Long Tailed Ducks close in, sadly they remained stubbornly outside the harbour.  However the stunning male Eiders and cheeky wee Turnstones livened up a chilly winters day!

Friday 25 January 2019

Well as we said we have now gone live with our Birding Ecosse Merchandising! From Mugs to Fleeces why not check out our pages at Merchandising and treat yourself!

The much sought after Birding Ecosse Mugs!

 

 

Thursday 24 January 2019

The Birding Ecosse Merchandising page will be live within the next couple of day, but here is a sneak preview of our latest product –  The Birding Ecosse Baseball Cap!

Super value at just £15:00 (plus £2:85 P&P)