Saturday, July 08, 2023

πŸ“– 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 RSPB Aberdeen Local Group 26/06 & 06/07/2023

Apologies to my reader for the lack of posts recently due to health issues. Fortunately, Dazza and I have a plan moving forward and can at least return to some normality in the interim. 

Red-backed Shrike ~ Photo courtesy of David Dunlop

Over the past month, I had the chance to go on a couple of trips. I led an RSPB Aberdeen local group outing of nearly 30 members with David Leslie in assistance at Loch of Strathbeg on Sunday, June 26th, where we also enjoyed a 'bring your own grillables' BBQ. The highlights included Red-backed Shrike, Common Crane, Spoonbill and Marsh Harrier

Spoonbill on Starnafin Pools Strathbeg ~ Photo courtesy of Jayne Simmons 

A full report of the outing to RSPB Loch of Strathbeg can be found HERE.

The group riding the chairlift at Glenshee

On 6th July fifteen of the local group headed off to Glenshee in the Cairngorms. It was a unique experience for me, the first time I've actually begun my birding day with a trip up a chairlift but it was great fun. As you would imagine in the high Cairngorms the weather played its part today with low clouds and the odd shower not helping the cause.

Juvenile Red Grouse ~ Courtesy of Ruth Howie

Regrettably, we did not spot any Ptarmigan, our intended species today. However, we were fortunate enough to witness a Golden Plover with its offspring, as well as numerous Red Grouse with their own young. The Mountain Hares have donned their darker summer coats, making them slightly harder to spot, but we still managed to observe several individuals. 

Juvenile Wheatear from the car park at Glen Callater.

Following lunch, some of the group made their way back towards Braemar for a visit to Glen Callater, renowned as one of the best walks in the UK. Thankfully, while the bridge is undergoing renovations, the parking still remains accessible. In the immediate vicinity, at least five juvenile Wheatears, Meadow Pipits, plus Lesser Redpoll and Siskin flying overhead. After a brief walk up the glen, not I hasten to add the 5 miles to Loch Callater, we caught a glimpse of a Spotted Flycatcher intermittently appearing amongst the recently planted Aspen. Along the rocky Callater Burn, a Common Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail were also noted.

A brief appearance of a Spotted Flycatcher.

Also of note was my first Golden-ringed Dragonfly of the year and on the return walk to the car park it was good to see so many juvenile Stonechats, I estimated at least three families with several youngsters.

Other Images of the Day...

Golden-ringed Dragonfly 

Peek-a-Boo Red Grouse

Juvenile Stonechat

Male Stonechat

Juvenile Stonechat