Trip reports

Speyside

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

Saturday, 26 April 2014

A common sandpiper was seen on the edge of the loch before we made our way up to the hide. The female osprey was on the nest with the male perched in a near-by tree. A male capercaillie was feeding somewhere in front of the hide picked out by one of the cameras and showing well on the screen but despite all our efforts we couldn't get a glimpse as it was probably too far away. To everyone's delight there was a pair of redstarts using a nestbox just in front of the hide with the female busily taking nesting material. Siskins, tits and a great -spotted woodpecker were on the feeders.
Our next stop was at Insh Marshes RSPB reserve to meet Pete Moore the reserve warden. It was now quite warm and sunny and we stood on the viewing platform before walking down to the hide. Redshank, lapwing, curlew and a very colourful black-tailed godwit were seen on the marsh. A singing blackcap was hiding in a the blackthorn bushes and many willow warblers singing. Two red-legged partridges were in the field.
After we had eaten our picnic lunch Pete took us for a walk along the Invertromie trail explaining all about the reserve as an important wetland but also the woodland areas which hold Scotland's fourth largest stand of aspen woodland. He outlined the management work undertaken for the rare insect species which are specialists of the this woodland.
A tree pipit was displaying and a kestrel and two buzzards seen. Grey wagtails were on the rocks in the river along with a dipper.
We then headed back to Inverness briefly stopping by the side of Loch Insh to view the ducks on the water. A pair of goosander, goldeneye and tufted duck were added to the list along with a greenshank. Finally an osprey flew down to the edge of the loch and waded into the water to bathe.
A total of 55 species were seen during the day