With migration now seemingly at an end and things beginning to quieten down along the coastline, I've now turned my attention to some of the inland sites. With Dazza also on 3 days holiday from midweek, it was a great opportunity for us both to get out and about.
MUIR OF DINNET
|Muir of Dinnet Grid Ref.. NO449981|
Today we took the 40-minute drive out to The Muir of Dinnet. This is a national nature reserve which extends 1166 hectares from the River Dee to Culbean hill and encompasses a wide range of habitats including dry heath, raised bog, woodland, and two freshwater lochs: Loch Kinord and Loch Davan. We began at the Burn o' Vat Visitor and Interpretation Centre, which is a good starting point for all paths around the reserve.
Firstly though a short walk to the 'Vat', (above video) an impressive rock cauldron and according to local folklore, the cave behind the waterfall in the vat was used by Rob Roy, a notorious outlaw, to hide from the authorities. In fact, this is not true, with the cave instead being used as a hiding place for Patrick Gilroy Macgregor, an outlaw renowned for his exploits in Deeside during the 17th century and a possible relative of Rob Roy!
|A rather colourful Lesser Redpoll along the shoreline of Loch Kinnord.|
Scottish Crossbills inhabit the pinewoods here, although my experience of the species is thus far non-existant and several birds seen and heard today will remain in my log as Common Crossbill. There are also some large flocks of Lesser Redpoll and we came across one such flock of around 50 birds while walking along the shoreline of Loch Kinord. Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Bullfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker were also noted during our enjoyable long walk.
|Wigeon on Loch Kinnord|
The Lochs themselves held double-figure Goldeneye, Wigeon and Goosander. This is a wonderful place to explore and with species such as Tree Pipit, Cuckoo, Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher all found here during the summer months, this is somewhere that firmly has a place in my diary to visit again.