For the whole of last week, we all went to the Scottish Highlands to try and get some of the Scottish specialities onto my life list. We arrived Saturday afternoon, and Sunday was our first day's birding. We thought we would go and look at the cracking Harlequin Duck in Aberdeenshire on the Sunday, as a mini twitch!
On route to Seaton Park, we passed a place called Tomintoul, an area of heather moorland. We were told to scan here for Red Grouse. Well, it didn't take long to get this bird on my life list. They showed really well quite close to the road...
When we arrived at Seaton Park, we parked the car, and set off. Walking down the River Don, we got great views of 2 Dipper, which were singing really well!
Further along the river, we located the target bird, the cracking Harlequin Duck, showing unbelievably well on a rock about 15 yards! What a stunning creature!
On the way back to the car, we noticed a couple of ducks sitting in the river, which turned out to be a redhead Goosander and a couple of drake Goldeneye...
Near the car park we saw a lot of splashing in the water, so we thought we'd go and investigate. Turned out to be a cracking Otter showing really well!
We then moved on to our final destination of the day, Meikle Loch, near the Ythan Estuary. Our target bird here was a drake American Wigeon that had been seen there the previous day. The weather conditions were appalling. From where we were parked, facing the flock of Wigeon, we had had 40mph head-on winds, rain and cloudy murk that lingered over the roadside pool. I got out, and the Scope nearly flew into the near-by field it was sooooo windy! I was out there for about 10 minutes, and still no luck, but I was determined to find it. Suddenly, I thought I saw it, but it soon went behind a Wigeon, but then, no it couldn't be, yes................................. A DRAKE AMERICAN WIGEON! My hard work paid off, and we were rewarded with decent views and pictures!
What a great opening day to our holiday. The following days will be on the blog soon!