Thursday, 13 April 2017

Tales From The Highlands

Day 12 - Dolphins & Dippers

  The day started with the very short 2 minute drive(I couldn't manage the walk up the beach) to Chanonry Point at around 8.15am.Low tide had been at 6.30am so now was a great time to catch the Bottlenose Dolphins as they followed the tide back in to feed on the Salmon.We had only just made it to the point when the unmistakeable dorsal fin of a Dolphin broke the choppy water's surface, quickly followed by a second smaller one.I think it was Zephyr and her calf.



  A third Dolphin came closer to shore.


  If Charlie Phillips, Moray Firth Dolphin behavourial expert and author reads this then maybe he will identify the third Dolphin.We started to leave after about 75 minutes when the rain started to get too much and met Charlie up in the car park and was able to get his new book "On A Rising Tide" with the most stunning Dolphin photographs you will ever see.You can check out about his book on the link below.

http://www.nesspublishing.co.uk/books/on-a-rising-tide/

  This is why Chanonry Point is one of the best places in the UK to watch Dolphins from the shore.

  We left Charlie in the cold wind and headed back to warm up with a coffee.With a couple of hours still to go til lunch Majella suggested a walk up the nearby RSPB Fairy Glen in Rosemarkie.Only 5 minutes into the walk and a Grey Wagtail flew up and settled in a tree on the other side of the stream.

  The Fairy Glen

  Not much further along and I saw what I had hoped to find since last week.The bouncing white bib of a Dipper.Usually I may get a couple of photographs before it flies off but this one seemed happy to have an audience and came within a few feet of us.





  Dipper film clip by Majella Fox
                              video

  It was just amazing to be able to watch this fantastic bird so closely.After 20 minutes of a breathtaking wildlife encounter we left it to continue further up the trail.
  Dipper De Do Da
  Dipper De, Yay
  I found a Dipper
  That made my day ;)

  Okay don't leave just yet ;) lol Unfortunately there are no photos of the Fairy Glen waterfalls as we only got a bit further before my left knee(the one drained and injected before we came up here) decided that if we were to press on, it was going to punish me with more pain so we called it a morning and headed back for lunch.

  In the afternoon we set off to meet a friend and fellow Nature lover who was lucky enough to move up here.I am envious of her garden lol A constant procession of Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Siskins, Starlings, Robins, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Treecreepers, Blackbirds, Dunnocks came to the feeders while we were there.
  Treecreeper

  Siskin

  Red Squirrels usually frequent Helen's garden but had decided today to stay out of the rain.We all then went for a walk with a couple of crazy dogs.

  The 3+ hours were over way too quickly but we are moving into her shed shortly so are not too upset ;)

  All in all in was a good day, lots of wildlife and meeting up again with two great people.
  Thanks again for reading.It is getting near now to the end of our time up here so you will all get your 2 minutes a day back very soon ;) lol

Stuart

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