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Scotland 22/04/2022 - 29/04/2022 campervan trip (1 Viewer)

Prestdj

its good to be back
Ukraine
a bit of sightseeing and birding a mixed trip


we are still 20 years old in our heads so off we set friday 22nd from Hebden Bridge at 8am and north we headed after a few stops for brews we crossed the border IMG_0496.JPG yeah bonnie scotland

headed to Falkirk for the Kelpies........colette loved them and they are stunning 2 magestic horse heads standing proud........very impressive

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over the Queensferry bridge and into the Kingdom of Fife, took the coastal road.......stunning place and one to visit again

parked up around 5pm and set up in the carpark at Kingsbarns which offered free overnight parking bingo!

very windy but we got settled

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given the strong se wind it was time for a seawatch 18:00 - 20:00

lots of birds passing

gannet 100+
fulmar 60+
kittiwake 76
auk sp 200
sandwich tern 6
red throated diver 2
common scoter 8
at around 19:20 i picked up a dark shearwater heading north, if it wasnt for the distinctive flight it would have been missed, it flew in large arcs towering above the waves before flapping then towering back up doing loops it was effortless playing in the wind.
about the same size as fulmar but longer looking wings and slimmer body dark head cap stood out, i put it out as a Great Shearwater great find

23/04

the sunrise was amazing

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breakfast was eaten on the beach and time to leave not before a walk in the dunes but it was windy though a nice stonechat made the cold walk lovely, and remembered id been here before way back in 1997 for a bonapartes gull

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driving north through St Andrews and over the Tay bridge it started to feel more different the landscape the culture

vanlife meant having a wash and teeth brush in sainsburys in dundee but its free so why not eh?

next stop

St Cyrus by the River Esk

still windy but suns out and grasshopper warbler reeling swallows over the carpark

continuing north past Aberdeen we found Cruden Bay a quaint little village with a big beach, parked up at the harbour

now its starting to get good

red throated diver 6
black throated diver 1
red breasted merganser 2
sandwich tern 4
eider 6
long tailed duck 1

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Fraserburgh yes we went! it sounds lovely but it was grim very grey looking.
we parked at the old harbour in Inverallochy
despite the smell and overall feel but i saw over 100 long tailed ducks in the bay, we wanted to stay at the Glenbuchty stopover but it didnt look good so we carried on to Rosehearty where we found the Community Boat Club perfect stop over great views over the bay nice group of eider and a single goldeneye in the bay 2 wheatears around the harbour and a whimbrel

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24/04

leaving Rosehearty we headed to Portsoy

we stopped at Banff for a walk on the beach, it was now clear we were in a different country but the brakes were making a scraping sound so we parked at Portsoy harbour

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despite the brakes needing doing it was a perfect spot......toilets and tap water and very quiet with very friendly locals........so what to do in Portsoy on a grey sunday? yes look for White Billed Diver
ive seen 2 before 1 Anglesey and 1 in Blyth but i wasnt ready to what happened next

i headed to the headland with the dolphin ....... 3 birders already i asked "anything?" the reply just hurt "no we have just got here! leave us alone" i set up my scope lots of long tailed ducks but the only diver was summer plumaged out beyond the harbour no one else noticed it sat on the sea looking stunning like a star spangled beauty with that ivory bill shimmering in the sun, i headed back to van for a coffee

theres worst places to breakdown and Portsoy just gave...........

another look at the White billed diver and off to the Shore inn.........after a few pints we felt like locals

by 6 i couldnt resist another look for the diver no luck but met 2 birders from Hong Kong i hope they saw the diver ?

25/04

with a lot of local love and help we were back on the road at 1100 so bow fiddle near portknockie great views of black guillemot plus puffin
col made a brew and i had look at the sea ............3 white billed divers amazing place

we got as far as Nairn and stayed the night in woods on the road to Inverness

26/04

leaving Inverness we headed north through some stunning landscapes, by mid-afternoon we arrived at Gruinard Bay

this place is special

26/04


Gruinard bay
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18 great northern divers
4 red throated divers
wood sanpiper 2
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went to bed to with the cuckoo calling and woke up the divers calling

27/04

Loch Garten

we stayed in the smaller carpark by the loch

after a week of visiting some stunning places i was totally underwhelmed by Loch Garten it was rubbish.........opens at 10am just awful more theme park
 

Prestdj

its good to be back
Ukraine
birding with a campervan makes life so much easier as you can stay in some great places for free........fife council have done a great job of providing free spaced out parking for campers as did portsoy
on the NC500 which we did not do, it was harder to find good spots but gruinard bay campsite is stunning right on the beach veiws were stunning and some great birding, though not sure if tents are allowed

arctic tern 1
common tern 2
bonxie 1
great northern diver 18
wood sandpiper 2
cuckoo 1
white tailed eagle 2


after portsoy and the white billed divers this was favourite place

i did really enjoy loch garten.........i like woods but this was special it looked different.......the light that comes through makes it a great place to stay

yes missed out on crested tit which i was hoping for but thats for another time now.........

bow fiddle rock

portknockie

nice and easy parking and a short walk........stunning place. we had a walk down and explored the beach and caves, was suprised at how many black gulliemot were here 8 seen and 1 puffin flying south maybe to troup head?

to be continued
 

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Last edited:

peter.jones

Well-known member
United Kingdom
birding with a campervan makes life so much easier as you can stay in some great places for free........f

You can change your plans without thinking twice too. My trip to Scotland last year, I pretty much ended up doing in reverse order to avoid some bad weather, and make sure the Dragonfly and Butterfly sites were visited in sunny calm weather. The Orchids and other good flowers were observed "feeding"!.

Loch Garten was unofficially allowing campervans overnight last year, but with a rule on 5 per night which wasn't being adhered to. I suspect a no overnight parking sign has gone up there by now!
 

Prestdj

its good to be back
Ukraine
No sign up! And stayed in the car park at loch garten the volunteer warden was happy with us staying overnight
You can change your plans without thinking twice too. My trip to Scotland last year, I pretty much ended up doing in reverse order to avoid some bad weather, and make sure the Dragonfly and Butterfly sites were visited in sunny calm weather. The Orchids and other good flowers were observed "feeding"!.

Loch Garten was unofficially allowing campervans overnight last year, but with a rule on 5 per night which wasn't being adhered to. I suspect a no overnight parking sign has gone up there by now!
 

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