Redwing and Fieldfare were streaming in straight off the coast and probably making their first landfall in clumps of trees on the edge of the moor, looking rather hungry and tired.
After re-fueling with the Grant Arm's cooked breakfast we headed off attempting to beat some rather ominous looking rain clouds in search of Eagles. As we drove in to the glen a shout went up of "what are those up there?"....screeching to a halt we jumped out to catch two adult White-tailed Eagles soaring towards us. They drifted right overhead, only to be then joined by an imm Golden Eagle which proceeded to talon grapple with one of the rather annoyed looking WTEs. What a stunning view. I never claim to be a wildlife photographer as you can see here....yep that's a Goldie, in the bottom right, I'm usually too busy trying to find the birds than photograph them....I leave that up to the clients with the big lenses.
As we headed back down the glen we stopped off at hidden spot beneath some birches where if you look hard enough you will see one of nature's most amazing spectacles....spawning salmon. Having swum thousands of miles in open sea before returning to a secluded spot in a Highland Glen to spawn, we watched several huge fish as they flicked the gravel with their tails and splashed in the slack water.
Well we beat the rain and headed off towards the coast, where we took lunch at North Kessock, scoping a huge raft of Long-tailed Ducks as they bobbed out in the Moray Firth and enjoying the sight of endless streams of Redwings and Fieldfares heading off over the Kessock bridge. We got more views of Long-tailed Ducks as they flew past Chanonry point, where several Turnstones also fed amongst the seaweed and pebbles close by. Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Slavonian Grebe and Red Kite were all added to the list as we explored the inner Moray Firth from the south side also, where one of the most unusual sights of the day was hundreds of golf balls washed along the beach at Alturlie?! A great day spent in habitats ranging from highland moors, glens to the coast and shoreline.....we headed back as the light faded for the drop of at the Grant Arms Hotel where a few more species were added to the guest sightings board for Wednesday!