Trip reports

Strathdearn & Loch Ruthven

Goosander on water

Saturday, 1 April 2017

On the river were a pair of goosanders and a pair of Mandarin ducks which were missed by the unobservant occupants of the leading two cars. While having our coffee break at Coignafearn we were scanning for raptors with no success, although we did find quite a few feral goats and red deer. The only birds seen were meadow pipits and common gulls. We took a walk along the track listening for ring ouzels but hearing only singing mistle thrush. In the distance our leader found three soaring golden eagles which were followed by two buzzards and a kestrel. A grey wagtail flew up a stream. Just as we got back to our cars a pair of peregrines flew overhead, the female carrying what was probably a meadow pipit. The peregrine stayed around for a while keeping us entertained as we had lunch. A pair of red grouse were in the heather nearby. On our way back down the strath we searched for the Mandarin ducks but only a dipper was seen.
Our final stop was at Loch Ruthven where the weather was deteriorating. On the choppy loch pairs of Slavonian and little grebes were scoped and on the far shore a drake teal and a greenshank were seen.
A red kite flew over the loch. Over 40 species were recorded on the day.