Field trip: RSPB Local hotspots, Thursday, 13 October, 2022

Eight of us met in Dingwall on the 13th October and headed to Dalmore for our Thursday morning trip. There was a cool breeze and rain was threatening. We walked through the woodlands (not much happening) and out to the open scrubby grassland. Normally a good spot for winter finches, it was quiet except for yellowhammer, greenfinch and goldfinch but there was a robin singing its head off, and pinkfoot and redwing flying over. We went down the Yankee pier to get the light behind us for good views of waders and ducks. Terry told us it was used by the Americans in the Second World war to transport mines. Now it’s a great place to get out into the Cromarty firth… but again it was quiet, with a few oystercatcher, curlew, wigeon and teal. However, we did spot some dolphins out towards the Black Isle. It rained on the way back to Ferry Point in Dingwall for the best time to see the waders, two hours before high tide. As we arrived the rain stopped ( well organised, I thought) and we were able to have coffee on the benches with great views of Dunlin and Redshank. Further down the track towards Dingwall, Pete photographed a sawbill whose colouration and fuzzy neckline looked like merganser, but on closer examination the drooping hooked bill confirmed it as a gooseander. 36 species were seen and a good day had by all.