One day to remember was a booking with two American clients who were on a four month tour of Europe, their specific targets were Dotterel, Ptarmigan, Red Grouse, Bullfinch and Tawny Owl, an ususual selection of species!
Dotterel and Ptarmigan took a good proportion of the day, ticking off Red Grouse on the way, with a five hour walk in the Cairngorms. It wasn't long however once we were on site that we spotted a lone male Dotterel with three chicks, though Ptarmigan were playing very hard to get.
Taking a different route back down, soon after stopping to watch a superb summer plumaged Snow Bunting feeding around one of remaining Snow patches we stumbled across a female Ptarmigan with 7 chicks right next to the path.
And so it was off to the forest to search for Bullfinch, which although relatively common, I had never had to specifically go looking for one before, it's always a bird you just come across.
Checking all the sites I could remember seeing one in the past few weeks drew a blank and finally we headed to one spot where I see them more often than not. Sure enough, while watching a Crested Tit family in some pines, we heard that distinctive weak piping of Bullfinch. We searched high and low with nothing in sight we headed back to the car park. It was just as we were about to give up Gina shouted with delight "I've got one"...as a white rump disappeared in to some small birches. With a little more searching we managed to track a pair down as they moved through the foliage, a great end to the day. I then recommended a route for them to drive at dusk for Tawny Owl, and was delighted to learn afterwards they came up trumps with one flying in front of the car.
As well as another American Party I've been delighted to take out several Czech Ornithologists who were keen to see Divers and Slavonian Grebes in their breeding habitats.
Looking ahead to autumn, there are Short Breaks running at the Grant Arms every month, full details here. On the September break, we join the CalMac ferry across to Stornoway for a fantastic day seawatching. Shearwaters, Petrels and Skuas as well as a good chance of cetaceans.
We are also running several day trips out to Stornoway as well during August/September.
If you'd like to book on a Short Break, Day trip or bespoke guided day out just drop us an email or call 01479 821357.