Cairngorms 27/28 April

Had a good couple of days since my last post here.

Went back to Loch Garten yesturday morning (27th) to see if I could spot Odin and EJ the Ospreys and although I didn't see them as such, I had a good view from the visitor centers cameras. I also had a good view of the Red Squirrels near the feeders. I was well impressed to see them!

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I wasn't too sure what to look for after Loch Garten so went for a quick drive and ended up near Lochindorb on the road from Duthil to Milltown, the weather turned out a bit nasty here, I stopped in a random layby and just looked out upon a bleak terrain, it was extremely windy and the sleet was harsh. I opened my window for some fresh air and heard a bird calling, I had no idea what it was but had a feeling it was a game bird of some sort, so it was on with the waterproofs, my camera was wrapped up in a bin liner secured with insulation tape and off I went, there was no way I was going to wuss out because the weather was poor, I'd come all this way to take photos and not to sit in the dry and warm! I never did find the calling bird but I did spot a Wheatear in the distance. I was some 100 meters away and Mr Wheatear was already nervous, it was time to crawl. I crawled up the path for some distance and set up next to a mound of grass and waited. It was a worth while effort despite the awful weather.

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By the time I had finished with Mr Wheatear, the wind had dropped and the snow/sleet had diminished, back to my wheels I went and away, soon after I was at Lochindorb itself. Another layby and another opportunity, No sooner had I stopped by the waterside, I saw a huge shape approaching, I was out of my van like lightning, camera in hand and couldnt beleive it, an Osprey, what timing. It was a fair old distance away but a fishing Osprey none the less.

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I see a flock of Pipits also, I'm not clued up on Pipits but I'm thinking Meadow Pipit?

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Today, the 28th. A trip to Loch Ruthven for hopefully Black and Red Throated Divers and Slavonian Grebes. No Divers :-( but I did find the Slavonian Grebes, a bit gutted that they were so far away and in the wrong light but hey ho. A new bird and a new photo.

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From Loch Ruthven it was back to Lochindorb to see if the Osprey came back, it didn't. On my way out, I went via a spot I had seen Red Grouse the previous day. I did try and photo it yesturday, but it saw me coming and was gone. Today, I stopped a little further away and went on a crawl mission, it worked! I crawled close to the spot and waited low down.

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A good couple of days really, worth the effort!


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