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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Griswold’s Vacations 2021 (1 Viewer)

Andrea Collins

Former member - no longer active
Supporter
England
Unless you can book cabins on the Shetland ferry🤔
Yes you can although only some cabins are pet friendly and there is an extra charge for those. My friend and I had an outside cabin both ways. Getting to Shetland is rather expensive if you have a cabin but it is of course a considerable distance and the journey is overnight both ways so we both felt it was worth it. We slept very well on the journey north though less well on the return due a rolling following sea.

Information for taking pets on NorthLink Ferries is here -

Travelling to Shetland and Orkney with pets | NorthLink

- though I have to say the photo at the top of the page wouldn't encourage me if I were a dog owner!
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Yes you can although only some cabins are pet friendly and there is an extra charge for those. My friend and I had an outside cabin both ways. Getting to Shetland is rather expensive if you have a cabin but it is of course a considerable distance and the journey is overnight both ways so we both felt it was worth it. We slept very well on the journey north though less well on the return due a rolling following sea.

Information for taking pets on NorthLink Ferries is here -

Travelling to Shetland and Orkney with pets | NorthLink

- though I have to say the photo at the top of the page wouldn't encourage me if I were a dog owner!
Cheers Andrea. Not a great picture as you said. We’ve got Outer Hebs booked for next year again so it’s going to be a while before I get anywhere near the Shetlands. :cry:

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Uneventful drive to Fairburn Ings yesterday. Well apart from a TT driver highlighting that my cars cloaking device was still engaged!

A lovely little reserve and our first visit. Nice to see 2 or 3 Spoonbills flying over and the usual array of wildfowl. A Kestrel was hunting here as well. Had a decent lunch at the Fox and Hiunds a couple of miles from the reserve. The gravy that came with my parent’s steak pies was immense. Absolutely superb.

News came in that Albert/ Alberta/ Jeff? was back so it was off to Bempton Cliffs. Amazingly we seemed to get stuck behind every tractor in East Riding :LOL:

Another stunning reserve. Only been before in the Autumn when it is much quieter. Headed straight for Staple Newk viewpoint and initially had a very distant view. After about 30 mins or so though he/she had the decency to give us an amazing flyby by the cliffs. Couldn’t get a photo as I was trying to get my parents on to it. An amazing bird and well worth the travelling. Black-browed Albatross in the bag. (y)

Really good numbers of Gannets, Puffins, Kittiwakes, Fulmar and Auks around as well. Also good to see we’re the good numbers of Tree Sparrows around. Very thin on the ground in South Wales.

On the way back to the car we got chatting to a birder from Devon who mentioned he’d seen a Barn Owl there most mornings so might head down with Max now before going out for the day.

A fantastic day.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Forgot to add Peregrine hunting along the cliff yesterday.

Just got back from Bempton again. 2 Barn Owls hunting in the field alongside the centre. Masses of Tree Sparrows again. A few Brown Hares in the fields.

Time for some breakfast and then off to Lincolnshire.

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
The traffic down to Frampton was a real ache. Took more than 4 hours. Pretty tired when we arrived. A gem of a reserve though. Missed out on the PGP but still thoroughly enjoyed.

Heaps of stuff around including Green and Common Sandpipers, Blackwits, Avocets, Ruff, loads of Reed Warblers and a Corn Bunting. Took a different route home which was MUCH easier.

A cracking couple of days.

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
So our Ardnamurchan trip has been put back from September until November. Hopefully we’ll pick up some Eagles and we’ve been toying with a trip as a foot passenger from Mallaig to Lochboisdale.

Does anyone know of any decent spots for Ptarmigan? If the weathers good we might go for a stroll up Ben More and take a look there. I suspect we’ll be doing a cheese run to Rothiemurchus looking for Cresties at the same time at some point as well.

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Left Neath at 6 this morning. Peregrine, Red Kites and Whooper Swans seen on the journey up. Titchwell relatively quiet. Heaps of Golden Plovers always good to see. Also present were Marsh Harrier, Ruff, Avocet and Grey Plover.

Hundreds of Red-legged Partridges in the fields around Docking and cracking fish and chips from the chippy there.

Mammals seen included Roe Deer, Muntjac and Brown Hare.

Year ticked Egyptian Goose as well.

Was thinking it was a relatively quiet afternoon but hundreds of Pink-footed Geese just flew over us in the car park. One of my favourite UK wildlife viewing experiences and a new one for my old man. Brilliant!

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
For some reason, despite it being half-term, I did not expect Norfolk to be so busy. Wells was like IKEA and the car park at Holkham was incredibly busy when we left.

Anyway. On the way to Holkham we saw our first winter Fieldfares of the year along with some Red-legged Partridges. Got to Holkham relatively early so was able to park by the entrance. Important to me as the old sciatica is giving me gyp!! Great White Egret seen from the car park along with a Marsh Harrier. Over at the cordoned off area we eventually had pretty good views of a Shore Lark. A tour arrived when we were there and a tour leader saw it fly and land. So cheers for that. A lifer for my youngest and parents. Snow Buntings had been seen by the beach but it was a walk too far for me.

Decided to head to Wells/ IKEA for breakfast. Pulled over to let someone past on the way and fluked a year tick in the form of 3 Grey Partridges. At Wells we eventually found somewhere to sit and eat. Turned out to be a pretty decent Yorkshire Pudding filled with Beef Stew.

Next it was off to Cley. Again, pretty busy. Like yesterday the wind was up and we missed out on Bearded Tits. Inside the hides I spent ages looking at a gull - pale grey mantle (tick), size (tick), yellow legs (tick), confidence in ability to identify big white jobs, lacking and accurate :eek: Anyway, some great views of more Marsh Harriers, an Avocet, Common Snipe and Ruff were had. Coming back to the pub we added to the mammal list when a Stoat ran across the road.

Was going to stop off at Deeping Lakes on the way home but have decided against it.

Next stop Ardnamurchan at the end of November. Stroll on.

Rich
 

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ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
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Wales
Ardnamurchan Trip - Day One

So I picked up Kev at 3:30 and headed for Blacktoft Sands. Sat Nav yesterday was saying 5 hours. Today it was 4. Traffic was very light. As predicted we arrived far too early. The day before though I’d made pork and pear stuffing, and garlic roast pork. These combined with some apple sauce made some excellent breakfast rolls.

At about 8:30 Stuart arrived and opened up. Very decent fella and very helpful. In the fields by the car park were heaps of Pink Foots and Greylags. Redwings were in the bushes around the car park along with some Tree Sparrows.

A very short walk to the hide and we were soon looking at what we were after - White-tailed Lapwing. Showed very nicely as well. Good numbers of Teal were also present along with a Ruff and some Common Snipe. Back to the office I picked up a couple of pins for the youngest and we were off. A lovely little reserve that we had no time at all to do justice.
 

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ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Next we were heading North along the A1(N) and our only bad weather of the drive. Our next “little” detour was to Musselburgh. Always enjoy visiting this place as well. Always something to see.

Today the sea was very choppy and the Scoter flocks were distant. Whilst Kev and I both watched a distinctly different bird, and the WW Scoter was reported at that exact time, neither of us were confident enough the view was good enough to tick it. One that got away. We’re confident about the Slavonian Grebe, Common Scoter and Long-tailed Ducks though. We called it a day and went in to the local cafe at Fisherrow. Lovely coffee but pretty ordinary Nachos.

It was then off to the cottage. The car in front had a near miss with a Red Deer outside of Glencoe but that was about it. Pulled into our cottage at about 19:30. There’s something about Ardnamurchan that makes you feel totally relaxed. Knackered though after having covered 670 miles. Red wine opened and pizza in the oven and all was good.

The cottage is stunning. Somewhere we’ve stayed before. It’s in Polloch and I’ll put a link up at some stage. Jam sandwiches have been put on the table outside and we plan on having a very local day today.

Rich
 
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ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Day 2

Stayed very local yesterday. Hooded Crow in the back garden and a nice flock of Siskins over. Down at Kentra had a decent view of an Otter and a GND and RTD. One further Otter on the way back along with some RB Mergansers. The jam has gone from the bowl in the back garden so we’re having a visitor. Need to make more of an effort to see him.

Rich
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Day 3

A spin over to the Cairngorms. Nice wander around Anagach woods. JP filling the feeders with a Crestie buzzing around him. 2 further heard along the trail with a couple of Bullies.

Picked up some supplies from Mustards but Rothiemurchas cheese shop was closed. Nothing up at Cairngorm car park so it was time to head back.

Stopped of at Garrison West in Fort William. Can recommend the Mussels and the Langoustines.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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