Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Hardcore you know the score!

A 3.30am get up on the 7th June to pick Marcus up at 6 from pudsey before going headlong to Scotland via Northumberland was the plan. We were headed for a week on Speyside, staying at Boat of Garten to nail the scots specialties. A quick journey through to Druridge bay where we were to try and nail a couple of Spoonbills. These evidently had moved along the coast but we did manage a Roseate Tern, Little Egret and an Otter at the various sites (Hauxley, Cresswell, Druridge Pools and East Chevington). Was the 3rd time Marcus had seen Otter at Druridge pools in 3 visits. Good skills.

We continued on to Long Nanny further north in Northumbs as it held a Lesser Grey Shrike. MArcus got some good shots and i got some out of focus rubbish digiscoped stuff. The bird showed really well for us for prolonged periods as we sat down in the dunes. Unfortunately that was ruined by other birders marching straight up to the bird. Here is a shit shot.

After this we hauled ass to the highlands making pretty good time. We decided on a sweepstake on Buzzard numbers for the holiday with my guess being 220 and Marcus going for the lowly figure of 150. 5 Buzzards in a kettle just after we crossed the border gave me plenty of optimism. An Osprey over a river as we headed towards Perth was a bonus lifer for both of us (we expected to score that on Speyside many times over). As we headed on the terrain became more hilly and Perth came and went. Eventually we arrived at Boat of Garten. Much smaller than I expected but according to Marcus right in the thick of it.

When we got to our cottage we dumped our stuff and full of enthusiasm went for a wander into the local woods. We heard Crested Tit and talked about Capercaillie but nothing was doing. In the end we had some crossbills which it seems likely that they were Scottish but we had nothing to compare them with and left them in the pending category. It went dark at 11pm. Thats quite late!

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