Day One 25th April 2016
Black Grouse Lekking.
I set of early for a couple of days birding in Scotland with several target birds to see , i normally go to Tulloch moor for the Black Grouse lek but always find them quite distant there so this year i tried a new lek (well new to me) in Perthshire and saw 8 male Black Grouse quite close , i stayed in the car to avoid disturbance and had some excellent views of this remarkable bird behaviour .
Jumping Black Grouse.
Dancing Black Grouse.
I didn't stay long at the lek as i wanted to keep disturbance down to the minimum , from here i headed to the Cairngorm Mountains , arriving in the car park to quite heavy snow and strong winds put me off going up to look for Ptarmigan , however i was compensated in approx 20 Snow Buntings feeding around the car park.
I then decided to try for White Billed Diver which had been seen around Burghead & Portsoy , on route i saw plenty of Red Grouse and a single fly over Woodcock , however i drew a blank on the White Billed Divers , the sea was very rough caused by strong winds plus i had several snow showers which made it feel very cold.
My last destination was a quick look in at Loch Garten , plenty of Siskin were around the feeders plus an Osprey was on view from the hide.
Osprey in the snow.
Day two 26th April 2016.
A very early start saw me checking out a location for Capercallie and i was not disappointed , i also added Crested Tit & Siskin at this site.
I then went to Loch Garten and had great views of a Crested Tit in the car park.
There were plenty of finches feeding on seed in the car park including lot's of Siskin & Chaffinch.
Stunning male Siskin
The feeders near the hide held plenty of Siskins to plus a delightful Red Squirrel put in a brief visit.
Male Siskin on a feeder.
From here I went to Poorhouse Wood which is a site for Scottish Crossbill and after an hour or so i connected with a small flock of Crossbills , a male bird sat out in the open and was calling constantly .
I then tried my luck at Lochindorb for Black Throated Diver and despite my best efforts all i could come up with were 3 Red Throated Divers two of which were displaying.
There were several Red Grouse around us showing very well at times plus Sand Martin & Wheatear were seen.
One of many Red Grouse seen near Lochindorb.
My final destination of the day was Nethybridge and my target here was of course the delightful Dipper.
Day Three 27th April 2016
The last day of my trip was spent looking from Portsoy again for White Billed Diver without success however i did see Great Northern Diver in summer plumage plus some cracking looking Eiders.
Plenty of Fulmars , Kittiwakes & Gannets were also seen at Portsoy.
My last site was at Largo Bay where we once again saw plenty of Eiders (No sign of the female King Eider) plus 80+ Velvet Scoters.