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Birdwatcher’s Diary No.7

Published on: 4 Jun, 2012
Updated on: 4 Jun, 2012

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By Malcolm Fincham (reporting on a trip to Scotland)

Unfortunately, I am unable to submit a local report for this week, although I’m itching to see what changes have been occurring in my absence.

Puffin on Handa Island.

However, I have not been idle with my camera as I have just returned from Aviemore, Scotland, visiting Steve Reddick, an old friend of mine from when we used to play football together in the early 1980s.

Steve is also a keen birdwatcher and wildlife enthusiast. He moved to Aviemore 10 years ago and now runs his own wildlife safaris in the area. Click here to see his website. www.highlandwildlifesafaris.co.uk

Red grouse.

I decided to take advantage of his local knowledge to get a few photos of some rather special Scotish species, including Slavonian grebe, ospreys fishing, red and black grouse, red deer and red squirrel, to name just a few.

I was especially pleased to watch an osprey fishing and carrying its catch overhead back home to feed its chicks.

Capercaillie.

One of the highlights of my visit was to stumble across a ‘rogue’ male capercaillie which thought it was still leching season. That’s a springtime ritual of fighting to compete for females. It had no fear of anything that moved – including us. The only thing we could do was show him respect and let him feel he’d won by returning back up the track we had walked down.

Arctic skua.

I also managed to squeeze into my visit a trip to Handa Island up in the far north west of Scotland, to view puffins, great skuas (bonxies), Artic skuas, Artic terns and so much more…

On a trip to the Isle of Mull I had good views of golden eagle, white-tailed eagle and even three seperate sighting of otter.

I must say, inspite of it being a great stay with stunning views, excellent weather and marvellous wildlife, it’s always so good to be back home. Indeed, “home is where the heart is”.

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test One Response to Birdwatcher’s Diary No.7

  1. Steve Balchin

    June 6, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Sounds like you have been having a wonderful time. I am currently watching feeders at my ex-guilfordian birdwatching brother’s house in Dorset, observing greenfinches and goldfinches with various tits. Rather pleasent.