Trip reports

Strathconon

Wheatear in spring

Thursday, 19 April 2018

A pair of goosanders were on the loch along with several goldeneyes and mallards. A small flock of goldfinches flew past. Red kite, lapwing, raven yellowhammer and several commoner species had already been noted on the way up the glen.
Our next stop was at Glenmeanie where two distant golden eagles were found almost immediately. One of the birds then approached much closer giving excellent views as it flew almost overhead. Two buzzards were also seen here and a song thrush was heard singing in the trees.
On the drive up to the road end at Scardroy a dipper was seen by the occupants of one car and a redwing by those in another.
From the car park a black-throated diver in breeding plumage was located on the far side of Loch Beannacharain. Walking up the glen we found several recently arrived spring migrants - a male wheatear, singing tree pipit and willow warbler, a common sandpiper and three sand martins. Two golden plovers and a pair of oystercatchers were seen before we returned to our cars for a late lunch during which a grey and a few pied wagtails and a female stonechat were seen. The black-throated diver gave much better views as it had crossed to the near side of the loch.
After lunch we returned down the strath to Loch Kinellan where several more species, including Slavonian and little grebes, tufted duck, wigeon, coot swallow and singing chiffchaff and goldcrest brought the trip total to 56.