Nothing to grouse about!

The last two days we have been taken out by our friend Delia and driven around some stunning areas and seen some beautiful birds. A huge thank you Delia, today we had the company of AndyG another Birdforum member and good to meet him and have his sharp eyes along with us. I am combining the two days for ease of blogging and to make sure I get caught up before tomorrow as we have yet more exciting plans!

Yesterday we drove to Lochs and up into the hills before having lunch overlooking the beautiful Backwater reservoir.  I couldn’t resist taking pictures of the Highland cattle who like so many seemed to think that the grass really was greener the other side of the fence. We watched a Buzzard flying and Delia told us how few they have, very unlike Norfolk!

We were all chuffed to watch a Cuckoo as it sat on the wire calling.

Earlier we had seen an Osprey (219) flying high and distant but here we saw another one much clearer. We didn’t see him fish but maybe another time we will.

We called into a couple of reserves and apart from watching birds and admiring the views we were again entertained by a Red squirrel.

When we were down in the West country we had hoped to see Whinchats but had no luck, yesterday our luck changed. We were driving across heathland and we spotted one, when we got out and looked we saw there was a pair, brilliant(220)!  We also saw this lovely little Willow warbler.

There was so much more to our day I have seriously condensed it! We did have a nice meal together at The Angus Hotel in Blairgowrie before settling I for the night.

Today once again Delia collected u sand we drove of to meet Andy stopping at Rumble Bridge on the way, a lovely spot on the River Braan.IMG_4204 River Braan , Rumbling bridge

Unfortunatley the weather wasn’t so good today which as we were going high into the hills we knew it would spoil the views. But it didn’t spoil our birding as before long I spotted a Black grouse, fantastic, deffinitly a bird on our Scottish hit list!

Before the excitement had quietened we spotted a Red grouse, low down and half hidden but Red grouse none the less.

Andy and Ian were in the front car, Delia and I following when they stopped, Andy grabbed his camera and lay down in the road snapping away! Not too many places you could do that are there? Camera in hand I was soon joining in but not laying in the road, after all I would have had to get up again! Red grouse were the cause of the commotion but at first it was two little chicks, then we saw the parents too, beauties each of them.

The grouse were the highlight f the day but it was all so enjoyable and we were so fortunate to have two willing guides. On our way back down we first heard, then saw Wood warbler (223), no photo worthy of sharing.

Even on a grey sometimes drizzling day it was lovely to be high on the hills even if we had to use our imagination a bit regarding the views!

On our way home we visited the SWT site at the Loch of the Lowes where we knew they had nesting Osprey. First we went into the visitors centre which attracts lot of visitors at and around the feeders.

It was quiet on the water, a Mallard with her chicks, a pair of Great crested grebe and a few geese. High above the water though was the nest of the Osprey , the female sitting on her three hatchlings, let’s hope they make it too fledging at least. As we left the reserve we saw a group of Fallow deer on the move.

Tomorrow is our last day at Blairgowrie and we may explore more locally. We have an exciting plan for the early evening which if we are lucky may produce another tick or two!