Trip reports

Cromarty Firth

Cromarty Firth

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The first birds seen were several wigeon which were very close to shore as the tide was already quite high. Other waterfowl included greylag geese, many shelducks and a few red-breasted mergansers and goldeneye. A little grebe was diving in the river mouth. In the bushes were blue and great tits, greenfinches, song thrush, wren and dunnock. As we where leaving at last we saw a couple of the expected tree sparrows in a small flock of their commoner relatives.
At our next stop by the Dalmore distillery near Alness there were many more wigeon along with teal, redshanks and curlews. On the walk out to the point we found Pink-footed and Canada geese, meadow pipit, two stonechats and some very obliging goldcrests. Out on the firth were eiders and three Slavonian grebes.
We moved on to the RSPB hide at Nigg Bay, seeing a few fieldfares and redwings on the way. In front of the hide was a high tide roost of oystercatchers, lapwings, bar-tailed godwits, knot, dunlin and a few golden plovers. Pintail and brent goose were new waterfowl for the day. As we walked back to the car park a peregrine falcon flew past. Two long-tailed ducks and several shags were seen from the jetty at Nigg ferry along with a rock pipit and more fieldfares.
A flock of whooper swans were passed on the way to the harbour at Balintore, where we added turnstone to the list, bringing the days total to 63 species.