Blog 2020

Birding Ecosse Blogspot

Welcome to the Birding Ecosse blog, if it is your first visit then thank you very much for dropping in!

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 third party  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 this Blog and my Blog Archives 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, check out “latest news” page for the most current publication then just select subscribe.   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, we also produce our mid month “Planned trips” mailing which gives an update of all remaining spaces available on tours.

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

February 2020
Thu 06th – Mon 10th 2 Spaces
Tue 18th – Fri 21st 4 Spaces
March 2020
Tue 19th – Fri 13th 4 Spaces
Fri 19th – Mon 23rd 2 Spaces
Happy New Year

Well that’s the festivities over for another year, both Lynda and myself were lucky enough to see Christmas in at the magnificent Grant Arms Hotel in Grantown on Spey, and it was a truly fantastic time, brilliant food, outstanding service, cosy rooms, lots of brilliant talks and lots and lots of laughs!

For once I was the quiet, shy one of the group (consisting of Alan Davies, Lynda (at the front) and Ruth Miller 🙂
Now before any of you start accusing me of slacking off, no nanny ney! A full programme of Birding Ecosse Walks took place from Christmas eve right through to the 28th December!

Christmas eve saw us forming up at Merkinch LNR right on the outskirts of Inverness City, a very underwatched area, but one firmly on the Birding Ecosse itinerary. Arriving mid afternoon it was the perfect time to see the birds feeding prior to the long night ahead. Close views of cryptic Turnstones and Curlew (the Curlews were colour ringed showing they are of Icelandic origins) Grey Heron fed far out on the tideline and Wigeon and Teal added splashes of colour to proceedings, it was a beautiful flat calm afternoon and with the great company I was enjoying it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

Now as a child and young adult I used to dream of Birding on Christmas day, but firstly parents and then my own family commitments always stymied me, until recently, where I now have the privilege of leading a walk from the Grant Arms Hotel on Christmas morning!  It really is a unique atmosphere being out in the woods with a group of like minded people! The route was quiet this year but we still picked up calling Crossbill and had great views of Treecreeper and Red Squirrel, then it was back to the Grant Arms for Christmas lunch!


Not often you see Santa being led by a Bag Pipe playing Rudolf! (and don’t think I have forgotten that I didn’t get a present Santa, revenge is a dish best served cold!)


An unconventional choice of Christmas lunch for me this year, Roast Monkfish with curried mussels, it was truly truly delicious, absolutely top notch!


A very slightly tiddly Birding Ecosse 🙂

Boxing day dawned calm, crisp and relatively mild, and Lynda and myself headed off on our annual jaunt with Nicola and John, always a great day out where many wrongs in the world are put to rights, and I take an annual verbal beating for always missing out on Dolphins (I check every year and there is never, ever any mention of “Dolphin Ecosse” on any uniform or publications…..)


Lynda, John and Nicola pointing out where Dolphins should be, but are not…


A mirror like Loch Garten

And so to the last victims of 2019 and indeed this decade, and it is fitting it included one of my first ever victims, Maureen and Peter are both multi multi trip victims, so a really nice way to see the year out.

Over the two days we picked up some first class birds, Crested Tit showed well alongside the more common Great and Coal Tit, plump Robins enhanced the Christmas ambiance, on Cairngorm Snow Bunting hunkered down behind any wall or stone to keep out the gale force winds, two Golden Eagles (1 adult 1 immature) and an Adult White Tailed Eagle taking turns to appear then disappear behind the hill tops,  Just the perfect way to end a truly outstanding year for Birding Ecosse!




And so all that remains is for me to thank each and every one of you for either booking a trip, reading this newsletter or indeed dropping a friendly text or email just to say “Hello” it really does mean a lot to me.
So everyone have a Happy, Healthy and Bird Filled 2020.

“Lang may yer lumbs reek”

This months featured break….
Easter

Easter 2020

April is a beautiful month to visit the wonderful Scottish Highlands, winter visitors may still be lingering and many of the Summer Migrants have already arrived, giving a crazy mixed up time of year when absolutely anything can turn up!  Why not check out our webpage and see what we have planned.
http://birdingecosse.co.uk/spring-tour-2020/

2020 – Midweeks

28 Jan – 31 Jan 2020 – 3 Spaces : Note change of date
18 Feb – 21 Feb 20202 – 4 Spaces
10 Mar – 13 Mar 2020 – 4 Spaces
21 Apr – 24 Apr 2020 – Full
12 May – 15 May 2020 – 4 Spaces
02 June – 05 June 2020 – Full
14 July – 17 July 2020 – 4 Spaces
25 Aug – 28 Aug 2020 – 4 Spaces
15 Sep – 18 Sep 2020 – 3 Spaces
27 – 30 Oct 2020 – 4 Spaces
17 Nov – 20 Nov 2020 – 2 Spaces left
08 Dec – 11 Dec 2020 – 4 Spaces

2020 – Weekends

16 Jan  – 20 Jan 2020 – 3 Space left
06 Feb  – 10 Feb 2020 – 2 Spaces
19 Mar – 23 Mar 2020 – 2 Spaces left
09 Apr – 15 Apr 2020 – 4 Spaces
30 April – 04 May 2020 – 4 Spaces
11 June- 15 June 2020 – Full
02 July – 08 July 2020 – Full
13 Aug – 19 Aug 2020 – 2 Spaces left
24 Sept – 30 Sep 2020 – Full
15 Oct – 21 Oct 2020 -Full
26 Nov – 30 Nov 2020 – 4 Spaces
17 Dec – 21 Dec 2020 – 4 Spaces

birdingecosse@hotmail.co.uk
Mobile 07955336955
Landline 01309 676720

And so once again that brings you all up to date, hopefully something will take your fancy . I am sitting by my keyboard and phone waiting for your call!
So until my next newsletter Good Birding!
Dave