Trip report – west and north Scotland

13th April 2009
Dates: 7th to 13th April 2009

Destination: west and north Scotland

Purpose of trip:

The purpose of my trip was my regular annual visit to the region to see bird and mammal species that are not found on a regular basis in Essex or East Anglia.

Primary target areas:

The primary target areas for wildlife watching were:

Perthshire: Glen Quoich and Loch of the Lowes SWT reserve

Speyside: Rothiemurchus, Loch an Eilean, Loch Morlich, Loch Insh, Loch Mallachie, Loch Garten RSPB reserve

Black Isle: Udale Bay RSPB reserve, Jemimaville

Moray Firth: Chanonry Point

Wester Ross: Dundonnell, Little Loch Broom, Gruinard Bay

Getting there and getting around:

I used my own car for the whole trip.

On the nights of 10th and 13th April, I stayed at Travelodges in Dunfermline and Perth.

On the nights of 11th and 12th April, I stayed at a bed and breakfast in the village of Boat of Garten on Speyside.


The weather was bright and sunny for the whole of my trip but very cold and frosty in the mornings.


The following summarises the notable wildlife species seen on my trip, many of the birds being first records for 2009.

Travelling north: 16 Red Kites between Beaconsfield and Oxford on the M40 …. motorway birdwatching at its best!

Vane Farm RSPB reserve, Fife: still large numbers of wintering Pink-footed Geese

Letham Pools, Fife: Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper …. but unfortunately no sign of the long-staying Green-winged Teal

Dunkeld to Amulree: Roe Deer

Glen Quoich: Black Grouse, Brown Hare

Loch of the Lowes SWT reserve: Osprey, Goldeneye, Red Squirrel

Lochindorb: Black-throated Diver, Red Grouse

Dulnain Bridge: Dipper, Grey Wagtail

Rothiemurchus (Speyside Wildlife trip): Pine Marten, Wood Mouse

Loch Garten RSPB reserve: Osprey, Capercaillie, Goldeneye, Red Squirrel

Spey valley near Dulnanin Bridge: Pink-footed Geese

Loch Morlich: Red-throated Diver

Loch Insh: Osprey, Goldeneye, Common Sandpiper

Udale Bay RSPB reserve: still large numbers of wintering Pink-footed Geese

Jemimaville: still groups of wintering Slavonian Grebe, Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Eider and Red-breasted Merganser

Tore to Maryburgh: Red Kite

Chanonry Point: Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Red-throated Diver, Sandwich Tern

Dundonnell: Golden Eagle, Common Buzzard, Red Deer

Little Loch Broom: Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver …. but unfortunately no sign of the reported White-billed Diver

Gruinard Bay: Great Northern Diver


The main disappointment was failing to track down a single Crested Tit in the Caledonian pine forests of Speyside despite extensive searching at several locations.

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