Thursday, 13 April 2017

Scotland the Brave - Part II

Hark, when the night is falling, hear, hear the pipes are calling
Loudly and proudly calling down through the glen
There where the hills are sleeping, now feel the blood a leaping
high as the spirits of the old highland men
Towering in gallant fame
Scotland my mountain hame
High may your proud standards gloriously wave
Land o' the high endeavour
Land o' the shining river
land o' my heart forever
Scotland the brave

If truth be told, it was Dave who had the foresight to book 4 nights Bed and Breakfast, 
and not only by skillful management did he select the beautiful village of
 CARRBRIDGE
video
 which was smack in the heart of our intended area of interest, but also
by sheer luck found us what has to be the very best establishment of its
kind in the whole country!
As regular readers know we do not do advertising but, in the event of
turning up any GEM in any situation then we are pleased to be able to pass it on.
If you are anticipating a visit to this beautiful and extraordinary part of the world
it would be an 'absolute must' to stay with
Mrs Jane Mellon 
at the 
MELLON PATCH
(details on the previous post and if you are not roundly satisfied send the bill to me.)
Not missing a single trick, Dave also went on to ask Mine Host
if we could run a Moth Trap with the answer being
"most certainly as the gentleman next door also runs one".
This also turned out to be of extreme benefit as Toby (next door) is also a
Scottish (and elsewhere) Wildlife Guide
who happily provided us with much information on all the best sites!
MANY THANKS AGAIN TOBY
It is thought best to get the Moth situation out of the way in one hit by saying that
 catches were higher there that we have been enjoying in Dorset, 
there were a number of Firsts for the Year such as
 MOTTLED GREY
 BRINDLED BEAUTY
and

 ENGRAILED
However, the real prize lay in a prediction, again by Dave,
 that there was a likelihood of catching the local speciality
 RANNOCH SPRAWLER
So, onward to the 'full' Traditional Scottish Breakfast where there was 
no respite from the Wildlife Watching as a
 RED SQUIRREL
visited the garden pond each early morning to take a drink.
Our track for the day had been carefully considered before setting forth
and would mostly include scanning the vast chasm of the
 FINDHORN RIVER VALLEY
 where we first found good numbers of

RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE
 a liberal scattering of
 JUNIPER
 more than a single
 DIPPER
 before reaching the end of the

Drivable Path. 
Well beyond this point Dave picked out c2
 GOLDEN EAGLE
which were never going to grace camera range, which was also the case with a lone
MERLIN
after which we embarked on a human encounter (the Best none Wildlife event of the day)
as another car pulled up beside us. Out of the vehicle stepped
SHONA
 who we agreed right from the start to be an absolute delight.
She also was heavily engaged in fulfilling her passion and ambition to conquering all of the 88
plus all of the
Corbetts and Grahams
but she made no mention of the Donalds!
Only shortfall with this Brief Encounter was that it was all too brief as she
mounted her bicycle to ride the 30 miles to the next Corbbet on her list.
A Child of the Universe. Living the Dream
We too had to make tracks as enough time had been spent searching for an illusive
White-tailed Eagle
but there would be another day as we set course across the high moor for
No more than a couple of miles down the track another avian joy
manifested itself in the shape of a 'point blank'
 RED GROUSE
video
which simply strutted closer and closer
as we busied ourselves
video
photographing and videoing this most obliging beauty.
video
We didn't discover if it was FAMOUS or not!
Pass the Whiskey.
At Loch Ruthven we found a pair of
GOOSANDER
and ditto
 male
video
GOLDENEYE
along with a
video
female.
The final addition to the list that day was something of a surprise,
although it ought not to have been as
video
MANDARIN
is relatively common around here, it must have been the setting!
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