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Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 22:13   #1
DireNuthatch
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Question Birding Advice in Cairngorm area

Hello,

I am planning to do a 2-3 days birding trip to Scotland in middle or late September. My target species are: Red and Black Grouse, Crested Tit, Ptarmigan, and Ring Ouzel. Would also like to see Scottish crossbill but I think it is impossible for me to identify!

After some research I believe the best area to find my targets is Speyside/Cairngorm area. I have come up with some ideas but not sure if they are good. So any advice is much appreciated, not limited to this area. I canít drive so only places accessible by walk/public transport please.

My current options:

1. Go to Grantown on Spey and then walk along the Dava Way to Dava Moor. Looks like the route crosses pinewood, farmland and moorland. So I guess there might be a chance finding tits, crossbills, black and red grouse in a day?

2. Go to the Caringorm Mountain for Ptarmigan, Ring Ouzel and other mountain species. But I donít know which path/site is the best.

3. Loch Garten RSPB.

Thanks
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 15:10   #2
jpoyner
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Originally Posted by DireNuthatch View Post
Hello,

I am planning to do a 2-3 days birding trip to Scotland in middle or late September. My target species are: Red and Black Grouse, Crested Tit, Ptarmigan, and Ring Ouzel. Would also like to see Scottish crossbill but I think it is impossible for me to identify!

After some research I believe the best area to find my targets is Speyside/Cairngorm area. I have come up with some ideas but not sure if they are good. So any advice is much appreciated, not limited to this area. I canít drive so only places accessible by walk/public transport please.

My current options:

1. Go to Grantown on Spey and then walk along the Dava Way to Dava Moor. Looks like the route crosses pinewood, farmland and moorland. So I guess there might be a chance finding tits, crossbills, black and red grouse in a day?

2. Go to the Caringorm Mountain for Ptarmigan, Ring Ouzel and other mountain species. But I donít know which path/site is the best.

3. Loch Garten RSPB.

Thanks
You will be a bit limited obviously not having a car, but there are some good forests along the main bus route. Anagach woods at Grantown and Loch Garten should get you Cresties/Crossbills. The Dava walk too a good idea, chance of both Grouse further up on to the moor but better early for Black. Probably a good hours walk from Grantown before you are in suitable habitat. I think you will be too late for Ring Ouzel at Cairngorm though there may still be the odd one hanging about. Maybe book on one of the ranger walks up there. Hope this helps.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 17:17   #3
Ratal
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You are going to have a long day out, but, if you are up for a good walk? I have a route that takes you through amazing habitat for Crossbill, Crested Tits, Capercaillie and Black Grouse, and ends up at the roadside so you can get the bus up to the Cairngorm ski resort for potential Ptarmigan sightings. The walk literally starts in Aviemore, no cars needed, all of the bus route.

What I'll do is write it up and send it via private message for you. That way you can grab a map (I'll provide the ordinance survey sheet number that you'll need for you on a 1/25,000 scale) and then see if it's within your physical capabilities. It's not strenuous, just a longer distance than most people would walk.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 18:06   #4
DireNuthatch
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Thanks jpoyner. It is very helpful. Anagach woods looks very nice. It is good to know there is a promising site just at the doorstep of Grantown.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 18:12   #5
DireNuthatch
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Thank you very much Ratal. It sounds a bit challenging to climb Cairngorm after a long walk but definitely looking forward to see the route!
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 22:37   #6
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Thanks jpoyner. It is very helpful. Anagach woods looks very nice. It is good to know there is a promising site just at the doorstep of Grantown.
Yes Cresties quite vocal in the tit flocks so learn the call. Capercaillie also possible if you venture deeper in to the woods. Hope you enjoy your visit!!
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