Trip reports

Little ringed plover wading in shallow water

Saturday, 29 February 2020

The forecast looked ominous but More...

Male snipe singing in the rain

Thursday, 14 November 2019

The Black Isle was the choice for today's trip More...

Tree sparrow on twig

Thursday, 10 October 2019

A small group of members More...

View along hillside woodland trail at the RSPB Vane Farm nature reserve

Saturday, 27 April 2019

The final field trip of the season was by coach. More...

Adult whooper swans feeding in fields

Saturday, 24 November 2018

When 18 Members set off in the morning it was dry and windless; the mist was very low and visibility was almost nil! However, at our first stop - South Kessock - we found that the mist had lifted showing a mirror Firth and just in front of us an otter was wrestling with a large fish. More...

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The forecast for our outing promised to be dry until late afternoon as 12 of us set off for Alturlie as our first point of call. Oystercatchers, curlews, carrion and hooded crows were busy pecking among the sea wrack with a couple of grey herons spaced along the edge of the incoming tide. More...

Wheatear in spring

Thursday, 19 April 2018

It was a lovely spring morning as 12 group members and 5 guests met at Loch Meig for a trip along Strathconon. More...

Male greenfinch perched on rhododendron bush

Saturday, 31 March 2018

A cold but dry morning brought 12 members together and after parking at Kiltearn Church we scanned the foreshore for waders and ducks. Quite a few Slavonian grebes were seen along with eiders, wigeon and teal. More...

Loch Kinellan and Brahan Estate

Thursday, 18 May 2017

On a sunny morning 14 group members assembled in the square at Strathpeffer where the first birds of the day were several swifts and swallows. More...

Goosander on water

Saturday, 1 April 2017

After meeting in Tomatin we drove slowly along the Strathdearn road checking the fields and river for birds.Lapwings were displaying over the fields which also held oystercatchers, curlews, greylag geese and several brown hares. More...

Male merlin perched on old fence post, Shetland

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Eighteen group members gathered at North Kessock on what was a rather chilly, damp, gloomy morning. A brief stop just outside Rosemarkie was made to look at a large mixed flock of chaffinches, linnets and bramblings. More...

Adult whooper swans feeding in fields

Saturday, 29 October 2016

It had been five years since the last time the group visited the RSPB reserve at Loch of Strathbeg and there was a good turnout of 22 members boarding the coach in Inverness with more being picked up in Elgin. Many geese were seen in the fields along the road. More...

Portsoy and Spey Bay

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Fourteen people assembled at Portsoy Harbour on a bright, albeit breezy day, intent on spotting a white-billed diver. This is a bird rarely reported in the British Isles but in recent years there have been regular sightings in Portsoy Bay during the spring on their journey to breeding areas in the arctic. More...

Glenmore grouse watch point and Speyside

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Having dragged ourselves out of bed early for a 6am start we were rewarded by snow flurries and a singing ring ouzel perched on a ski pylon when we reached the watch point at Coire Na Ciste. More...

Adult female blackbird on garden lawn

Saturday, 2 April 2016

It was a lovely spring morning as we drove up Strathconon to look for golden eagles. Only a few thrushes and pipits were seen on the way plus red deer on the hills. More...

Dark-bellied brent goose on water at Hayling Island

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The weather could hardly have been worse, cold and grey with heavy sleet showers. However as we were all kitted out with waterproofs we decided to go ahead with the trip. More...

Male wigeon swimming

Thursday, 12 November 2015

After meeting in Inverness we decide to go to Milton of Culloden first as the tide was high and the ducks close to the shore. The morning was mild and sunny and the sea very calm. More...

Troup Head boat trip

Saturday, 13 June 2015

MacDuff harbour was the meeting point for the boat trip to the spectacular sea cliffs of Troup Head. More...

Wheatear in spring

Saturday, 25 April 2015

It was inevitable that the lovely spring weather we had been enjoying would change for Saturday's birding trip. More...

West Coast again

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Another dismal weather forecast didn't put off everybody and 14 hardy members headed west to Gairloch, with a brief stop at Loch a'Chroisg where there were 8 whooper swans. More...

North Kessock to Tollie

Saturday, 31 January 2015

It was difficult to decide to go ahead with this trip, the weather forecast was dismal but we decided to give it a go. More...

Male greenfinch perched on rhododendron bush

Sunday, 14 December 2014

First stop on this year's Christmas coach trip was at a very chilly, windy Chanonary Point and we quickly walked around the lighthouse to the east side where the sea was much calmer. More...

Cromarty Firth

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The first stop on this trip to visit several sites along the north side of Cromarty Firth was at Ferry Point, Dingwall. More...

Male lapwing in breeding habitat

Thursday, 6 November 2014

As we woke to the sound of rain lashing against the bedroom window the prospect of a good days birding did not appear high. By the time we reached North Kessock the rain had at least abated but the sky was slate grey and the breeze chilly. More...

Adult whooper swans feeding in fields

Saturday, 25 October 2014

17 group members met by the hide a Findhorn Bay. Most had left a wet Inverness and were happy to find the weather much improved, although a strong SW wind was to make telescope viewing difficult for most of the day. More...

male stonechat perched on bramble

Thursday, 9 October 2014

We parked at Hilton of Delnies and walked along the salt marsh towards Whiteness Head. More...

Curlew standing on weed, County Cork, Ireland

Saturday, 27 September 2014

For our first field trip of the season we drove north to Brora. Our first stop was at The Mound where there were only a few curlews and redshanks feeding on the mud as the tide was low and most birds were still out on the Firth. More...

Rosehaugh,Rosemarkie and Fairy Glen

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Spring migrants were our target species for the morning and we were greeted by a singing blackcap and chiffchiff at Rosehaugh estate car-park. More...

Adult black-tailed godwit in summer plummage, at the RSPB Snettisham nature reserve, Norfolk

Saturday, 26 April 2014

As it was a grey, drizzly morning with brighter, drier weather forecast for the afternoon we decided to start the day in the hide at the RSPB reserve at Loch Garten. More...

Red squirrel in Scots pine tree

Thursday, 13 March 2014

It was an early start for the long drive down the A9 to Perth to visit the grounds of Scone Palace to look for hawfinches. More...

Adult black-tailed godwit in summer plummage, at the RSPB Snettisham nature reserve, Norfolk

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Our first stop was at South Kessock where many guillemots were coming into the firth on the incoming tide along with a few razorbills. More...

Culbin Bar

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Eighteen members gathered at Cloddymoss car park. Having been given access to the forestry track we squeezed into 4 cars and drove down to the saltmarsh. More...

Tarbat Ness and Nigg Bay

Thursday, 10 October 2013

On a bright and breezy day twelve group members assembled for the trip to Tarbat Ness. More...

male stonechat perched on bramble

Saturday, 28 September 2013

For the first field trip of the new season we visited the Isle of Skye on a fine autumn day. More...

Puffin with sandeels in beak

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Our final outing this spring was to Castletown Bay and Dunnet Head by coach. The weather was kind to us with lovely warm sunshine and a calm sea. More...

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Saturday, 30 March 2013

It was such a glorious day and the snow covered mountains looked magnificent so we had to stop and take a photograph of An Teallach on our way to Dunndonnell. Here we found our first great northern diver. More...

Round the Black Isle

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Once again our first species of the day was an otter feeding on the shoreline at North Kessock. A few red-breasted merganser and goldeneye were on the sea and curlew, redshank and oystercatcher were also seen. More...

In Search of Sea Ducks again

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The group met in Inverness for what turned out to be an excellent day. Our first stop was at Milton of Culloden where the sea was quite choppy and the tide higher than expected. More...

Tree sparrow on twig

Saturday, 24 November 2012

What a lovely way to start an outing on an icy November morning watching thousands of greylag and pink-footed geese taking off from the mudflats at Ferry point Dingwall in the beautiful clear morning light.The air was full of their calls. More...

West Coast

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Once again we went to West coast for our September field trip. We managed to avoid the heavy showers and keep dry but the choppy sea due to the fresh westerly wind made sea watching difficult. Many gannets were fishing close to the shoreline. More...

Troop Head

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The final trip of the season was to the RSPB seabird cliffs at Troop Head. More...

View of mountains through trees, RSPB Loch Garten nature reserve

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Despite a 6am start in Inverness 15 group members and a couple of visitors travelled to Loch Garten RSPB reserve hoping to see capercaillie. Unfortunately no-one had told the birds we were coming and we only saw one male on the monitor. He was not visible from the hide. More...

Loch Carron and Loch Kishorn

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Once again we enjoyed an excellent trip to the west coast. This year Richard took us along Lochs Carron and Kishorn and round to Loch Torridon. After a slightly drizzly start the sun shone, visibility was good so the mountains looked spectacular but the birding was even better. More...

Christmas Birding & Lunch

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The final field trip of 2011 was a coach tour of the Black Isle. We left Maryburgh soon after 9 o'clock and headed for Udale Bay, picking up several common species from the coach, including red kite and buzzard. More...

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Our first stop on this field trip with 18 members of the group was at Milton of Culloden. The weather was perfect with excellent visibility and a flat calm sea. More...

Adult black-tailed godwit in summer plummage, at the RSPB Snettisham nature reserve, Norfolk

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The first Thursday field trip of the new season got under way as a herd of whooper swans were seen near Dingwall. By the shore of Cromarty Firth near Evanton we watched flocks of waders including lapwing, knot, redshank, curlew and bar-tailed godwit come closer to our telescopes as the tide rose. More...

Crested tit on branch

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Thirty six members of the group gathered on this beautiful April morning at Aigas Field centre, where we enjoyed coffee and shortcake before going out in the minibuses to Strath Farrar. More...

Dark-bellied brent goose on water at Hayling Island

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Setting out from Inverness along the south side of the Moray Firth our first stop was at Milton of Culloden where there were four rafts of Scaup, a few Long-tailed Ducks, Mallards and many Wigeon. More...

Around the three firths

Saturday, 29 January 2011

20 members started the day's birding at Bunchrew on Beauly Firth. Along the shoreline were a selection of waders and ducks including oystercatcher, curlew, redshank, lapwing, wigeon and teal. More...

Adult whooper swans feeding in fields

Thursday, 11 November 2010

On a bright, showery morning a small group set off to visit the upper reaches of Strathconon. A stop was made near Moy Bridge where a flock of 60+ Whooper Swans were in the fields. More...

Flock of pink-footed geese at dawn over Loch of Strathbeg

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Our latest coach outing to Loch of Strathbeg began in Inverness where a flock of about 100 Waxwings were seen before boarding the coach. More were seen by the roadside as we drove past Forres. More...

Ramble around Ross-shire

Thursday, 14 October 2010

What a start to the trip! An otter on the shoreline at North Kessock eating a large fish. More...

Tarbat Ness and Nigg Bay

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Twenty four keen group members gathered for the first field trip of the new season. More...

Isle of May

Saturday, 22 May 2010

On a perfect, hot sunny day we travelled down to Anstruther to take a boat out to the Isle of May. The sea was calm and from the boat we watched many gannets diving for fish. More...

Osprey in larch tree

Saturday, 1 May 2010

As with all the field trips this year the weather was again unkind to us and the day dawned cold and grey. Our first stop was at Killiecrankie where a stroll along the river path gave us good views of dipper, grey wagtail, common sandpiper and singing wood warblers. More...

Quarry Lochs and Alturlie

Thursday, 22 April 2010

The day dawned cold and showery but this did not stop 12 of us gathering for Steve's field trip and we set off for Alturlie for a bit of sea watching. More...

Goosander on water

Saturday, 27 March 2010

On a pleasant but showery morning twenty group members visited Strathconon looking for golden eagles. More...

New Year Birdcount

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The annual new year birdcount went ahead despite the arctic weather conditions. More...

Whooper & Bewick's swans feeding in ploughed field

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Over 30 group members gathered at Maryburgh on a very cold, icy morning for the Christmas coach trip along the north side of Cromarty Firth. More...

Whooper & Bewick's swans feeding in ploughed field

Sunday, 13 December 2009

On a very cold, frosty morning about 30 members boarded the coach in Maryburgh for a trip along the north shore of Cromarty Firth. More...

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Despite the poor weather a small group of 18 members enjoyed a walk along the canal led by Maureen Macdonald More...

Easter Ross

Thursday, 15 October 2009

After a disappointingly damp start this trip to the coast of Easter Ross improved as the day went on and ended with almost 60 species of birds being recorded. More...

Puffin perched on rock, Isle of May

Saturday, 23 May 2009

For the final outing of the season the group left Inverness early for the long journey to the far north. More...

Loch Kinellan

Thursday, 7 May 2009

An evening stroll around Loch Kinellan looking for summer migrants was blighted by incessant rain and wind. More...

Loch Ruthven

Saturday, 28 March 2009

On yet another trip flurries of snow and a cold wind greeted the thirteen hardy group members as they ventured out looking for early migrants. More...

Findhorn Valley

Thursday, 12 March 2009

A forecast of heavy showers and strong winds didn't deter 17 members from setting out from Inverness for a day's birding. More...

Male merlin perched on mossy hummock, Shetland Isles

Sunday, 1 March 2009

On a cool showery day 40 members of the group enjoyed a coach tour of the coast of Wester Ross. More...

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Monday, 2 February 2009

Twenty nine group members enjoyed an excellent day which started with a spectacular display by a flock of over 2500 knot at Nairn. More...

Black Isle

Sunday, 14 December 2008

On a rather dismal december morning 38 members gathered in Avoch for the annual coach trip around the Black Isle followed by a pub lunch. More...

Skye

Thursday, 8 May 2008

On a beautiful May morning 14 members and 2 guests met at Kyle of Lochalsh. A brief scan of the loch produced our first Black Guillemots of the day. More...

Gannet with chick at nest, Bass Rock

Saturday, 26 April 2008

The group's outing to Troup Head began with an unusual sighting when three White Storks were seen from the coach near Llanbryde. More...

Male wigeon swimming

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Eighteen group members met on a grey, blustery day to visit several sites in the Nigg Bay area. More...

Male goldeneye

Thursday, 7 February 2008

On a cool,windy overcast day 16 members of the group enjoyed a day's birdwatching on the Cromarty shoreline near Evanton, Alness Bay and Fyrish woods. More...

Curlew standing on weed, County Cork, Ireland

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Despite a cold wet morning a group of hardy members started the days outing at Longman hide where the first good bird of the day, an Iceland Gull, was seen. More...

Swallow perched on wire fence in Spain

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

On a cold, sunny day, 26 members travelled to Assynt where we were met by Andy Summers, Highland Council Ranger and Beccy Garvie, RSPB, who escorted us to a variety of locations. We first  More...