I have been busy guiding several field trips for the Grant Arms BWWC over the festive period, with some great sightings. At Burghead we had over 50 Bottle-nosed Dolphins as well as an Otter feeding on the shore below us, with great views of Purple Sandpipers on the rocks feeding with Turnstones. In Strathdearn both Golden and White-tailed Eagles have been showing well, January sees the start of Eagles displaying on clear days, already thinking about nesting. Local Black Grouse have been lekking too on clear calm mornings and this activity should slowly increase as we head on in to the year. With daylight not being until around 8 still it doesn't even require an early start too. We are running regular morning trips to see them from the Grant Arms and Nethybridge, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01479 821357 if you are interested in joining a trip.
In the forest Crested Tit have been showing very well especially at the feeders, there have also been quite a few mobile groups of Crossbill Sp. around lately.
Finally, many people ask about Wildcat and how easy it is to see them.....well the answer is "not very"! It is one animal which really just does require a lot of luck and a chance encounter, which does happen now and again. Just before Xmas I was driving to Grantown as I do most days, it had just got dark and my lights caught something ahead crossing the road......it was a cat, quite bulky, and with a very stealthy gait, looking very good for wild cat with a well marked ringed tailed. It dashed quickly across and through a fence then vanished. I can't say it was one, there are plenty of Tabby's around here but based on experience I'd say this one was a pretty good candidate.
Well I wish you all a very Happy New Year, and some great birding. For all those I have met in 2013 I hope to see you again and thank you for your custom, it has been a pleasure. I intend to extend the Short Break itinerary at the Grant Arms as well as the day tours with some exciting destinations and boat trips this year so a busy time ahead.
John Poyner & Family.