Sunday, 10 March 2013

WeBS Survey + Strathconon (10/03/13)...

The weather today has been pretty changeable with clear sunny skies mixed with snow showers. One thing that did remain constant is the cold biting wind. Still plenty of Siskins visiting the garden and the Yellowhammer has been visiting daily since I first mentioned it on here.

But today was WeBS count day and I had a bit of company in the form of my Northern Irish friend Luke. First stop was Loch Kinellan with the usual suspects of Coot, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Mallard and a single Heron.

On Kinellan Scrape there was also nothing much of interest with numbers of Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Mallard, Coot and Teal. On the way out of Strathpeffer I saw my first Kestrel of the year and had good views of a Red Kite.

Lastly was Loch Achilty, as usual there wasn't much to see apart from a couple Mallards. The conditions took a turn for the worse shortly after with the snow blowing in thick and fast. Visibility was so poor that we couldn't even see to the other side of the Loch.

We then decided to go exploring heading right up into the heart of Strathconon with hopes of maybe seeing a Golden Eagle. Conditions were on and off as we made our way up the Strath stopping and scanning. There were however plenty of Red Deer to be seen on the surrounding slopes.

Red Deer, Strathconon
We drove all the way up to where the public stops on the shores of Loch Beannacharain. It was now blizzard conditions and the snow was cutting into our faces so just time for a few photos and scans of the ridges before the weather really moved in.

Loch Beannacharain, Strathconon

Plenty of Buzzards around up and down the Strath as well as some Hooded Crows and another Kestrel but no signs of any Golden Eagle. We then decided to head back with a Goosander seen on the Conon River near to Marybank. We stopped off at the Tollie Red Kite centre to see if there were any still hanging around after feeding and to give Luke a better view of these birds than he has had in the past and we got lucky there were still 3 hanging around with 2 landing in a nearby tree and giving fantastic views in the sun. There was also a Great Spotted Woodpecker hanging around on one of the feeders. All in all a decent day with some very changeable weather!

Year List Additions:
86. Kestrel
87. Goosander

No comments:

Post a Comment