Not a full birding trip just a few days of birding and mixed touristy things.



Friday 28th April


After a night drive we arrived in Tayside for dawn and headed for the black grouse lek that I know. Its only a small lek but its off the beaten track so you can view in peace. We had 3 males performing very well along with curlew and a couple of grey partridges. Here we also had two short eared owls a roe deer and many of the common upland species wheatear, meadow pipit oystercatcher etc. as well as a cuckoo.

After about an hour and a half we headed off towards Aberfeldy, here we saw red deer, and three black grouse feeding by the roadside.

Next stop Pitlochery for some breakfast and a visit to the salmon ladder to see the migrating salmon, three large adults were present. Only birds of note were grey wagtails and common sandpiper.

We stopped on Slochd summit but no ring ouzels. Then the drive down Findhorn valley, several common sandpiper and a dipper the weather clouded over and large raptors were absent. Merlin, kestrel and peregrine all showed well. Several wheatears were present, red breasted merganser and teal on the river and several common gulls.

The return trip gave up two cracking dippers a large herd of red deer and several wild goats, the trip up the Farr road only had red grouse, the loch at the end had goldeneye. Onto Loch Ruthen for the Slavonian grebes about a dozen were present along with two red throated divers. We headed to Culloden Moor for a bit of tourist respite. We then drove to Inverness and onto our accommodation in Embo on the Dornoch firth. We arrived at our accommodation with a couple of hooded crows present in the grounds.


Black Grouse

Grey Partridge

Short Eared Owl


Saturday 29th April


A lazy morning and we drove to Speyside, we stopped at several sites on the Dornoch and Moray Firths, Artic and sandwich terns, redshank, rock doves several buzzards. Several skeins of pink footed geese flew over.

We arrived at the Balnuaran of Clava, neolothic site and had a look round before heading to Lochindorb, where there were confiding common sandpipers, our quarry however was further away in the middle of the Loch. Two black throated divers were fishing quite happily. The next stop was Loch garten for the ospreys, they both showed well the male with a large fish. Lots of siskin were present at the feeders along with a red squirrel.

 Next stop was Mohr mor car park for the crested tits several were easily found in about 20 mins. We then headed for Cairngorm to take a look at the funicular railway. Some ring ouzels had been seen but we could not locate them, only red grouse and wheatears were present. Then back down the mountain to take a look at the reindeer herd present in the lower slopes, they were easily spotted, as was a female capercallie on the edge of the path.

We headed to Aviemore for some food before going into the Rothiemurcus estate for the pine marten watch. We had time before the watch so did some birding by the loch and had two osprey. The pine marten watch produced one pine marten, several badgers, wood mouse, brown rat, roe and red deer.




Red Squirrel



Sunday 30th April


An earlier start than yesterday, we headed west through Dingwall and past Loch Gowan to Loch Carron, but no eagles here. At loch Kishorn there were Red breasted mergansers, curlews, shelduck all feeding on the loch and the shoreline. Nothing else of interest, particularly no otters to be seen.

We headed across the pass towards Applecross to find some ptarmigan, stopping at the viewpoint for some great views, we walked to the summit, but despite an extensive search we could only find golden plover and wheatear.

Onward to Skye for eagles, but the weather closed in we had to do some touristy things and only ravens and hooded crows were using the skies, all the eagles were grounded. We headed home with little else of note bar red deer.


Red Grouse

Pine Marten


Monday 1st May


Some time was spent on the Dornoch firth and the Black Isle with nothing else to add from the previous days sightings apart from red kite.

We then headed to Farr and down the Farr road to the Findhorn valley. Here we had several showy red grouse but little else apart from meadow pipits.

The Findhorn had common sandpiper, dipper and merlin but little else in the worsening weather.

We again stopped at Slochd summit for ring ouzels still no luck we headed home late afternoon with several stops but nothing else of note.


Red Throated Diver


Black Throated Diver

Mammals etc. - 10


Pine Marten


Mountain Hare

Brown Rat

Wood Mouse

Red Squirrel

Roe Deer

Red Deer






Birds - 83


Red Throated Diver

Black Throated Diver

Slavonian Grebe


Grey Heron

Mute Swan

Pink Footed Goose

Greylag Goose





Tufted Duck


Red Breasted Merganser

Red Kite





Peregrine Falcon

Red Grouse

Black Grouse


Grey Partridge




Golden Plover




Common Sandpiper

Black headed Gull

Common Gull

Lesser Black backed gull

Greater Black backed gull

Herring gull

Sandwich tern

Artic tern

Black Guillemot


Collared dove


Short eared owl

Great spotted woodpecker


House Martin

Sand Martin


Meadow Pipit

Pied Wagtail

Grey Wagtail





Carrion Crow

Hooded Crow





Willow Warbler





Mistle thrush


Coal Tit

Crested Tit

Blue Tit

Great Tit


House Sparrow






Ringed Plover

Rock Dove




If you would like any further information please e-mail me





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