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Scottish Wanderings (1 Viewer)

Kincraig

Member
Hiking in Angus

Last weekend I was away for a four-day walk through the low hills of south Aberdeenshire and Angus, supervising a Duke of Edinburgh hike group. The weather was actually too sunny and hot at times, but all-in-all the weather was very pleasant, and that made sitting around during breaks from walking comfortable. I always take a pair of decent binoculars on these hikes, partly to check up on the hike group from afar, but also to spot all of the wildlife that inhabits these areas.
One of the most noticeable things about the areas we passed through was that from Glen Dye to Glenogil I spotted no deer at all. At one point there was an electric fence with signs on it saying that deer were being kept out to aid regeneration of the moorland – but that won’t work when there are sheep on both sides of the fence. I know that there are deer up around Loch Lee, but none further east in the areas that we were.
I spotted the usual moorland birds – meadow pipits and red grouse mostly, with one unidentified wader that hasn’t left the moor for the winter yet and some migratory thrushes starting to move in. There were still some swallows and martins, so not all of them have gone south for the winter yet. A couple of grey herons working the burns were also spotted. Of particular note were two groups of six black grouse, which were a welcome spot. Down in the valleys there were the usual common small birds – coal, blue and great tits, robins, black birds, song and mistle thrushes. Finally there were the raptors, and there were plenty of these, mostly working the ridges in the sunshine and easily visible with the binoculars. Particularly numerous were the buzzards, which were so common that I gave up on counting them. Alongside these we spotted three golden eagles, five or six red kite, one peregrine mobbing a raven (quite a few of those kicking around) and a single sparrowhawk. Once again, it was worth lugging the extra weight of a pair of good binoculars.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Wanderings catch up

October saw a very productive wander west into Ayrshire. Despite damp and blustery weather, three lifers were found. A Ruddy Duck came first, then in Ayrshire, a couple of White-Rumped Sandpipers and a Snow Goose made my list for the year.

More excitingly for me though was a later wander to a reservoir in Perthshire. There we found my most wanted bird. A Great Grey Shrike giving a prolonged hunting display. I'd thought that the Red-Backed Shrike I saw offshore earlier this year would be a shoe in for my bird of the year, however the Grey Grey Shrike has now taken that particular biscuit.

Which brings us to November. A solo visit to Outhead, nr St Andrews turned up a single but very welcome Snow Bunting. To say it was confiding would be an understatement! The following day, I was back out with Stonefaction. Ten minutes after picking him up in Dundee, we saw my first Waxwings of the year. Very welcome, as I'd spent two weeks checking reports a sites in Kirkcaldy, with no success. Only two birds seen in Dundee, however, a little later after making a stop on the edge of Arbroath, another two Waxwing found us, as we returned to where the car was parked. Later again, between Arbroath and Montrose, we scored the hat-trick finding a flock of fifteen Waxwing raiding berries from a cottage garden.

Also seen that day were a Great White Egret and a flock of approx fifty Twite at the Montrose basin.
 

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Gander

Well-known member
First of 2020

Today saw my first wandering of 2020. Somewhat delayed due to car problems, now resolved, I was glad to be out and about again.

Teaming up with Stonefaction, we headed out of Dundee to do a circuit in Angus.*First target was an old friend. The Backwater Great Grey Shrike had been my bird of the year in 2019, and having successfully found it again today, it is an early contender for my bird of the year, 2020.

Following uneventful visits to Lintrathen and Kinnordy, Murton Farm was our next location. Here, we found the currently resident Green-Winged Teal - a lifer for me.

Finally, a visit to the Montrose Basin revealed some usual, but welcome suspects.

Not a huge list today, however, as most of the birds seen were year ticks for me, I was not bothered in the least. Barry also picked up a few more year ticks to further boost his already lightening start to the year.
 

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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
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Scotland
The Backwater access road was where I saw my first ever GGS Paul.

Oh goodness.... that was way back in the early 2000's, remember digiscoping it as it was quite a distance off on the power lines.

Happy New Year to you lad.... hope it's a good 'un for you.
 

Gander

Well-known member
The Backwater access road was where I saw my first ever GGS Paul.

Oh goodness.... that was way back in the early 2000's, remember digiscoping it as it was quite a distance off on the power lines.

Happy New Year to you lad.... hope it's a good 'un for you.

The whole area looks like good terrain for GGS. We saw the same bird at the end of last year, but it was across on the other side of the water, so it appears to be ranging about a bit.

And a Happy New Year to you too.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Royal wander

January and February saw us wandering in both Fife and Angus. Lots of year ticks picked up, with Green Woodpecker at Tentsmuir, and Great White Egret at Forfar being the highlights.

Yesterday saw us heading out to Scone Palace to wander in the footsteps of kings. I'm not sure if Hawfinch would have been around when royalty frequented the palace, but it was with the Hawfinch that we were seeking an audience.

Last year I missed out on Hawfinch, as I left it too long into the year before visiting; allowing leaf cover to make viewing very difficult.. Yesterday, with the trees still bare of leaves, it did not take us too long to locate our targets in the tree tops. Conditions were murky (as you'll tell from the photo).
 

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WrenSolar

New member
I don’t have much time for going out looking, the best I’ve had recently was some pigeons eating a damp calzone off the pavement in Paisley Gilmour street. However I’m hoping to visit Drumpellier park at the weekend as there seems to be some nice variety around the loch there.
 

Gander

Well-known member
I don’t have much time for going out looking, the best I’ve had recently was some pigeons eating a damp calzone off the pavement in Paisley Gilmour street. However I’m hoping to visit Drumpellier park at the weekend as there seems to be some nice variety around the loch there.

Sounds good. Hope you have a good day. :t:
 

Gander

Well-known member
It's been a while hasn't it?

On Friday, I was forced to provide essential travel for someone, to Musselburgh and back. This meant I had three hours to kill, so I headed or the scrapes. Just to be socially distant of course!

There was not much on the scrapes, however, a wander along the sea wall proved quite productive.
 

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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
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Scotland
Yes, it has Paul.... far too long!

But it's been a difficult year, so I'll let you off this time. ;)

Lovely picture those lad; I'm glad the trip was worth it.
 

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