Another visitor more common in winter to the area is Twite, I had three fly over the other morning, that distinctive buzzing call unmistakable, these are birds which have bred further north and west in the Highlands, spending the winter around the farmlands of the Strath. The Black Isle can often be a good place to find them too.
In the woods Crested Tits seem to be everywhere, there were three together on the feeders in Anagach the other day along with the regular Red Squirrels and numerous Coal Tits. It seems a good year for Brambling too, with a flock of 60 the other day over the Black Grouse lek and they are been seen regularly in with Chaffinch flocks too. The Black Grouse have been showing well most mornings and at this time of year with sunrise at 8.30 no need for too much of an early start either! Scaup are showing well in the Moray and Cromarty Firths as are Long-tailed Ducks and Scoter, though not in such large numbers as previous years. The Scaup are usually accompanied by Slavonian Grebes, diving with them. I think the ducks probably are disturbing small fish as they scrape around for Molluscs and small invertebrates and this is what the grebes are after, an interesting symbiotic feeding relationship.
If I don't manage to get another blog post on before Christmas I'd like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year. I look forward to seeing some familiar faces again next year and a big Thank You to everyone who has joined me this year, it's been a pleasure.