1st February 2014 - Loch of Kinnordy and Blairgowrie

Stuart's uncle lives in Scotland just south of the Cairngorms so we drove up (yes, from London, I don't want to talk about it) for a long lovely weekend.  The first full day we were there we went on a group expedition to Loch of Kinnordy, about half an hour away.  Five minutes into the drive I asked politely if we could stop as I'd spotted a flock of swans and I was desperate for Whooper.  The first one I settled my binoculars on was a Mute Swan - darnit!  However, as I scanned along I realised the flock was a mixed one with plenty of Whooper Swan further along.  Yay!  

Whooper!

We parked up at Loch of Kinnordy, went to the first hide and I instantly spotted my second ever Scaup.  I have no idea how I knew it was a Scaup as it was further away than my first one and I had a little trouble with that but never mind!  There were a lot of Goldeneye around, which are one of Stuart's favourite ducks although their dislocating neck action freaks me out a bit.  We saw our third Brambling for the year, which in our terms is pretty amazing as we very very rarely see Brambling.

Whooper!

Upon returning to the house, we mentioned we loved Dipper but had only ever seen 3.  Stuart's aunt then told us very exciting news - there were Dipper in the river in the village!  We went on the way to the pub, thinking it couldn't possibly be that easy, but within minutes there were two Dipper and we happily watched them for about 15 minutes until the rain started pouring down and it was time for beer.

Dipper

Charlie, my favourite pub dog

Trip list: 28
Year list: 70
Lifers of year list: 2

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