We were to meet at Forfar Loch at 10.00. I left early to visit Loch of Kinnordy before the the official start. I didn't see the two 'special' birds that have recently been seen there - Bittern and Smew - which was not that surprising as I was only there for half an hour or so. Even so I was just a little miffed when word came through during the day that the Smew had been seen from one of the hides I visited. However I clocked up over 30 bird species. This included a rather battered male Pheasant and a smart looking Mute Swan
It was during a brief introduction, while I was seeing what was on the Loch from the car park that I saw the first of the birds to add to my year list - Great Crested Grebe.
|Great Crested Grebe|
|Cormorants, Oystercatchers, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Black-head Gulls, Herring Gull|
On the return journey the wind was at our backs and the branched seemed to behave themselves.
I got a bit damp taking these photos as I was lying down to get to frog level. They are manually focused. The cameras auto focus didn't seem to like frogs!
To get to the next sites we had to take as few cars as possible. I sat in the back of Trevor's X-Trail. Bill sat in the front.
The lunch stop was at the Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve Balgavies Loch. A nice little hide has been built overlooking the Loch and the island where a pair of Ospreys nest. Unfortunately we were a few days too early. They had not yet arrived back from West Africa. However we did see two migrant birds back from warmer climates to feast on the abundance of insects in Scotland. The Sand Martin was too quick for me to photograph. I will have to wait until they are at their nest site for that . I did get a shot of a Chiffchaff, there were two, and they were very active. Two more for the list.
The Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinches were so used to people in the hide that they came right up to the hide window to take crumbs of a folded down shutters. Far to close for me to photograph with my 100 - 400mm lens.