My new back garden?

 

So things aren’t looking too good for my time share proposition (see ‘Who needs birds?’) so far I only have one taker!!!

But this morning we returned, parked in the same spot but instead of walking down to the river we walked up away from the ‘cottage’ and up onto the heath, I liked to think of it as potentialy my back garden! Considering just a few years ago breathing was for me not the easiest thing and that Ian has, during this year had heart problems we did pretty well with our walk today. We had hardly begun our climb when a female black grouse flew out, smashing, the first female we had seen.

The views were lovely but I tend to find the moment I take a photo they flatten out, still I take some points along the way to keep the memories alive. Here is Ian literally putting his best foot forward.

We found this bug along the way, it was a funny thing. It walked a few inches then flew a few and so it went on. I have just identified it as a green tiger beetle and the behaviour I described with the short flights seems typical!IMG_4807 bug

As we climbed we found more and more dead stumps and trees, they stand out beautifully.

We saw very little bird life, some pipits and a pair of Stonechats. Also this damselfly, which seems to be a large red damselfly the same as we had before. Honestly you drive from Norfolk to the Highlands and still find the same one!

Apart from the damselfly and some wood ants the only insects we saw were dozens of the same type of moth. They never settled near enough to get a decent photo which was very annoying

.IMG_4708 moth

We walked for about two and a half hours through the heath which is just my kind of fun, of course it took half as long for the return trip! This trio of trees, alive and dead appealed to me.IMG_4723 3 trees

We were going to have a stroll over by the river where we visited before but there were other people there, what a cheek! We noticed this rather special squirrel the other day and were amused by it again today.

Later on, (I would say after lunch but somehow we missed lunch) we drove back to Nethybridge. Well  should that be Nethybridge or Nethy bridge, I don’t know and it seems no one really can make their minds up.

We popped into our hotel for a quick cuppa then went off to find the river walk just a short walk over the bridge.IMG_4821 river walk sign

It is really quite a fast flowing river,  I don’t know if it was a tad too fast for some bird life. We did a fleeting sighting of a Dipper but no wagtails at all. We were amused by the man sitting fishing!

It is a very pleasant walk and when we got back to the village we met the RSPB ranger and had a good chat. She said if we return later in the year to get in touch and she will take us out for a walk for better Crestie views!

We are saying farewell to Nethy in the morning so tonight I think we will get mostly packed up and ready to go. We are very much looking forward to our week on Mull and expect to have adventures to report on!

 

On the move again

We said our goodbyes to Blairgowrie and our B & B ‘Rosebank’, they have made us very welcome and been really helpful, the room was lovely and the only negative was the tiny en-suite shower room!

We decided to take the scenic route which was lovely although the presence of literally hundreds of cyclists didn’t add to the charm! How they can cycle the distance over the hills amazes me. I don’t know if they have the chance to take in the scenery.

Our route took us up an extremely narrow lane and to our horror the cyclists were going that way too! We changed our mind and found a different way and I was rather pleased as the new way took us via Balmoral. We decided to stop for coffee so we had our coffee watching the church not knowing that the Queen was attending, what a lovely setting.IMG_4321church

We went for a walk before continuing our journey over the bridge to admire the river Dee and were told the Queen would be driving by in the next few minutes, with Prince Edward and the Duke. You will have to take my word for it that the royal party were in the front car.

She drove on by, waved but didn’t pause to invite us to lunch so we moved on again! We stopped now and then to admire the views and on one of these stops we saw a new butterfly, a Small heath, a first for us.IMG_4305 SMALL HEATH

We came to this unusual stone followed by a small group of these seats! I think the route of the mater was, in my words,  take time to smell the coffee! We had passed a sign to a castle and seeing it from the stones it isnt the most impressive one I have seen but it is set in a lovely place.

IMG_4345We had joked that the cyclists were going our way and would probably be at our hotel in Nethybridge and as we turned in there a huge group of them were! Only on a water stop though they had more miles to go yet! As we settled into our hotel the heavens opened and we couldn’t help but feel sorry for them then!

Really pleased with the hotel, lovely room and smashing staff. I have tried this year to eat sensibly so I don’t put on weight but here we have a three course meal included for the next five days, I wonder if my resolve will hold 😉 We have met some lovely people here already and I can foresee more fun chats over the days to come.

There is a pretty little garden across the road and as we discovered in an after dinner walk, another lovely river near by. Looks like a good place to spend a few days. We hope to go to Loch Garten tomorrow with hope of a tick or two, fingers crossed!IMG_4360 gardenOooo I was just going to post this but the a pretty mist is coming down and creating nice images so I will pause and see if I can capture a picture. Doesn’t show it well but hpefully gives a hint!IMG_4368Bye till tomorrow!