Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Tales From The Highlands

Day 3 - An Osprey A Day Keeps Depression Away ;)

  I woke before the alarm went off at 6.45am and was eager to get outside and see what the moth trap held.Due to the chill in the air last night I wasn't sure what to expect so was pleasantly surprised by the larger total than I had hoped for.The most numerous species was easily the Hebrew Characters with 12 of them making an appearance.
  Hebrew Characters

  The stars though were the 3 Brindled Beauties

  After potting all the moths and putting them to chill so they are a bit more docile when I try to photograph them later(this doesn't always work especially with these hardy Scottish versions lol) , I went to collect the trail cam.
  I had found a nest hole near the cabin so had placed the trail cam there with a few incentives for the as yet unknown inhabitants.The food was gone and the SD card had recorded 36 clips of video.I sat down to go through them.

  The neighbours were a trio of Wood Mice.Their eyes shining from reflecting the light from the moth trap.I finished checking the footage, then rechecked the weather forecast, heavy rain for Fort William so we decided to head to sunnier climes, The Cairngorms :)
  The drive to Abernethy Forest was mainly uneventful with just a skein of Greylag Geese flying over in their perfect "V" formation and a Song Thrush on a grass verge near Carrbridge.Today was the opening day of the RSPB Loch Garten Osprey Centre so it would've been rude not to attend.When we arrived both Ospreys, EJ and Odin were on the nest.We stayed for a couple of hours watching their behaviour and chatting to the RSPB staff.Odin kept bringing back large branches to renovate the nest and we also got to witness their 27th mating attempt so far.

  I was surprised that other people arriving to view the Ospreys only stayed for about 10 minutes before heading off again and one couple were asked of they would like to join the RSPB as they were not yet members, they snapped "We can't afford to do that!" 
  I think my monthly RSPB donation is actually a bit selfish of me as I pay them to protect birds and those birds make me feel better so I am really just paying to help my mental health ;)
  There were more than the Ospreys to watch with Chaffinches, Siskins, Coal Tits, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Brambling around the feeders and Goldcrests around the car park.
  Great Spotted Woodpeckers


  Two Bank Voles were racing in and out of the undergrowth collecting the food displaced from the feeders.

  A cuteness of red appeared shimmying down a tree trunk to feast on the nuts.The beautifully tufted Red Squirrel was a joy to watch.

  After buying another two RSPB badges(a Hedgehog and a Bee) we left and headed to Aviemore for lunch.A coffee and Smiffy's chips later and we set off up to Glenmore Forest Park in hope of Crested Tits and Dippers.Unfortunately we "dipped" out on both but nature soon made up for it for as we left Aviemore something caught my eye and I shouted "Peregrine!" It was probably one of the residents from Craigellachie Nature Reserve and it was been harrassed by a determined Crow.
Checking the river for Dippers in Glenmore.

  We continued back to Roybridge where I spent the evening uploading photos from the cameras before releasing the now active again moths back into the night sky.

Raptor Watch Update - 
Buzzards - 10
Ospreys - 2
Peregrine - 1

Thanks again for reading.Hopefully more fun and wildlife to come tomorrow :)

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