Field trip: Strathspey area, Saturday 25 March 2023

We met in the Loch Garten car park at 10:15 am on a cold and dreary morning. There were ten of us turned up. We set off on foot towards Loch Mallachie and encountered Coal Tits, Chaffinch and a Treecreeper before we crossed the road. Heading off down the track past Loch Garten, we heard several Crested Tits but most of us couldn’t actually see them ! We had a look across the loch itself hoping to see an Otter, but although they didn’t show we had good views of Goldeneye, Greylags, Common and Black-headed Gulls, and a Little Grebe. We got back on the path to Mallachie and saw more Coal Tits, Chaffinch, Robins and Dunnocks, and heard some Siskins. We also heard a Mistle Thrush. We arrived at the loch and were amazed to see a female Hen Harrier quartering the ground on the other side of the loch ! We spent some time there watching the Raptor and also a good number of Greylag Geese and the odd Goldeneye. We headed back up the path to the car park and saw a flock of Long-tailed Tits as well as the usual Coal Tits and Chaffinch. On the way some of us had another look across Loch Garten where we found a Grey Heron as well as the Goldeneye and Greylags. We had our lunch in the car park and then drove round to Dell Woods near Nethybridge. We had a nice walk around the woods and on the way stopped at the bird feeders. We saw a variety of birds on this walk including Great Tits, Buzzards, Woodpigeon, House Sparrows, Blackbirds, Greenfinch and Goldfinch, Lapwing, Wren, Rooks and Carrion Crow, Blue Tits, Collared Doves, a Pied Wagtail and a Song Thrush. On our way back to the cars we walked along the River Nethy where we had lovely views of a beautiful Dipper. A nice way to end the day and eventually the sun even came out for us ! A total of thirty two species seen, although it was a shame we didn’t see the Cresties or any Crossbills.