Saturday, 27 November 2010

28 Oct-The highlands, the lowlands and the wetlands

we had stayed the night with my Uncle, Aunt and two kid Cousins in Kirriemuir, Angus, and today Uncle Danny, Dad and Me went out around some of the spectacular areas of Angus. The first birds  we saw were 12 Pink-footed Geese, flying low over the house in Kirriemuir and honking all the time.

The first stop was Loch of Kinnordy RSPB. Out on the Loch we saw loads of Teal and Shoveler, quite a few Gadwall and a handful of Wigeon and Goldeneye, but not the Goosanders or redhead Smew put out on RBA the previous day. We also saw a few Fieldfares, while in the alders between Swamp Hide and Gullery Hide were a lot of Siskins and a few Redpolls. However, the absolute highlight was a flock of 40 WAXWINGS. They flew into one of the pine trees visible from Swamp Hide, and showed gorgeously in the early morning sun.
male Shoveler
two female Shovelers and a lady Teal (on the island at the back)

a few Mallard and two female-type Goldeneye

and a shitload of Waxwing!!

With Kinnordy done, we headed up into the mountains of Glen Isla. We stopped to eat luch on a small road through a mountain wood, with Siskin and Redpoll above our heads. A walk through the valley of Glen Isla had no birds, bar a few Buzzards, Crows and a flock of 15 Linnets. But no matter how Dipper-less were the streams, no matter how obviously Golden Eagles lacked from the mountain tops, it was a beautiful, scenic walk in some of the remotest country left in Britain.

October snow on the mountains

you see? not bad is it! kinda makes up for the avian dearth

Driving back to Kirriemuir, we were going through along a road through a mountain-side wood, when a RED SQUIRREL ran accross the road in front of the car! we saw it for about 30 seconds as it scampered away through the wood. This was the undoubted highlight of our two days around Kirriemuir.

following that, we headed back to Kirriemuir for a drink with Danny, in a deathly quiet pub. The only other humans were a couple of subdued alchholics, the only sub-human was an angry, sulky barmaid, and the only music was the morose, monotone noise that my generation seem to love for some unfathomable reason...

We bid farewell to Danny after this, and began the drive back to Edinburgh. With one stop along the way...

A Slavonian Grebe and a Greenland White-fronted Goose had been seen at Burleigh Sands, and we stopped along the way to keep a look. We saw 200+ Greylag Geese, a few Pink-footed Geese, 100+ Whooper Swans, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard, Wigeon and Gadwall and the highlight, 15 GOOSANDER and 3 Red-breasted Merganser (all redheads), but neither of our target birds. The Goosanders were a yeartick (no. 192)

After this it was back down to Edinburgh. We had one more day left before it was time to go home, and we saw a few mre good birds, as I shall write in the next post n the trip...


  1. Hi Liam,

    From the sounds of it, it sounds like you did some good birding in Scotland. I'm quite envious of your Bean Geese total at the salaciously named Fannyside Lochs! I will look forward to reading more about your ramblings.

    Unfortunately, with me changing the link to my new blog, your link to my new blog is now a duff one! Here is the new link which you can add to the blog list.

    Good Birding,


  2. thanks mate, I'll get around to it soon :)


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