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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Day 6: Scottish Highlands & Islands: Last day on Speyside

Sadly, the last day was soon upon us and the beautiful summery weather had continued although temperatures were slightly down on what we had experienced but still pleasant. First stop was a local Loch, where Ospreys were breeding on an island in the middle of the Loch. We took the lower path and walking down I saw a male Great- Spotted woodpecker on a tree trunk in front of us that flew right. We settled in a good position and could see the nest well (without disturbing the birds) with the female Osprey's head occasionally poking up over the top of it. Eventually the male came and circled around twice before alighting on the nest, the female then departed. This was cue for our exit having obtained a couple of pics (I as always would have liked a few more!) 2 male Goldeneye was seen on the loch plus near where we parked the car perched in a tree by the gravestones, a fine Spotted flycatcher. We stopped in at a Nursery for tea and cake and one of the feature of this is you sit on stalls by a large window overlooking a load of peanut filled feeders on 4 trees in front of you. 2 Red Squirrels eventually came in and started feeding on the peanuts. Other birds seen included Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits and 2 Siskins. At Dulnain Bridge, we saw Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper. At Lochindorb, a repeat visit again in the afternoon, failed to reveal the elusive (for us on this trip) BT Divers, 5 Red Grouse seen by theside of the road, a fishing Osprey that flew down and crashed in to the water rising again into the air with a fish clasped in its talons was yet another memorable experience from this holiday, although it was too far away to capture on camera. 3 Common Sandpipers seen briefly by the rocks by the side of the loch. Stopping again at Dulnain Bridge, we saw 2 Grey Wagtail, a Dipper flew to the side of the bridge and up a stream to the left. 1 rather scraggy looking male Red- breasted Merganser swam quickly first up and then down the stream making it surprisingly difficult to photograph. 3 Common Sandpiper also seen on the rocks. At the river at Grantown on Spey we saw 2 Grey Wagtail and 3 Common Sandpipers plus around 6 Pied Wagtails on the rocks here too. In Grantown on Spey Pinewoods./ Anagach woods, we entered the Caper core area but failed to see any here but one Roe Deer was seen only just eluding the camera by seconds and I found a trail of Wood Ants but sadly couldn't find their nest. A Treecreeper was also seen here and finally back at Aviemore. Tim and I in the evening went for a final visit (for me, Tim sneaked another visit the next morning when I was taking pics of the Cairngorm hotel. We saw in the silver birch just above the lake, 2 relatively confiding Bullfinches first a female and then a peachy coloured male, which I managed to get a few pics of. We also saw 2 Spotted Flycatchers here. Walking around to the left hand side, I saw a close female Red Deer, she seemed enormous and Tim walking up disturbed her and she ran up the hill. Willow Warbler seen here and again we heard Wood Warbler singing. A Treecreeper flew across the road and scaled a tree at the front of the Catholic Church grounds. Back at the Cairngorm Hotel we were delighted to see the Bagpiper back outside the front entrance from 8pm!

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