Sunday, 16 April 2017

Heading North

We are about halfway through our traditional Easter break to Scotland. This time we are focusing on Speyside, staying in a lovely house on the edge of Aviemore. We drove up on Good Friday, stopping the first night at Dalhousie outside Edinburgh. We stayed in an old castle now converted to a slightly too posh hotel - perfectly pleasant thought.

On the upside the grounds had a stream running through them which yielded a pair of dippers! They were showing well albeit in the gloom under the overhanging trees!

After that we stopped at Rosslyn chapel, made famous by Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code novel. Apparently visitor numbers quadrupled after that! Fascinating place, and you can see why symbologists love it.

 Anyway, back to the wildlife. We then drove up to Aviemore, staying in a nice house on edge of town. Very central for all the min spots.
First trip on Sunday morning was to Loch Garten to pay homage to the ospreys. I remember visiting here in probably 1975 or 1976 when the RSPB were first showing off the nest. It still attracts crowds, with EJ and Odin the resident pair already having 3 eggs.

There is an osprey on here, honest. Whilst we were there though she ddi stand up once allowing us to see the 3 eggs on the CCTV they have set up another nest. Siskins and brambling on the feeders kept up amused, as did a small vole opportunistically grabbing the spilled seeds.

After that we went for a walk around the woods. One of the last surviving areas of old Caledonian pine forest in the country, the views and shapes of the trees are amazing. Loch an Eilein was looking particularly moody in the low cloud and mist.