Field trip: Where the birds are, Saturday 28 January 2023

Nine of us met up at Dingwall on a calm but cool day. First stop was at Loch Kinellan,
Strathpeffer where the sun came out and lit up the surrounding hills which were reflected in
the loch. The water was high and had flooded under the nearby trees, where a robin and
redwing scratched amongst the wet leaves. On the loch were a group of tufted duck, mute
swans, a couple of coot, herring gulls of different ages and a male goldeneye. On our walk
around the water we picked up tits, blackbirds, bullfinch, ravens calling overhead and at a
house feeding station several yellowhammers and chaffinches. A single brambling had been
spotted on the road up to the loch but not seen by all. After a much needed coffee we
headed to Evanton shore where curlew were calling. Our walk took us over the footbridge (2
dippers) and up the stream. This was an excellent spot – redwing, fieldfare, yellowhammer,
reed buntings, green and gold finches fed in the stubble and were spooked by walkers. A
treecreeper, dunnock, robin were seen up the track and a pair of long-tailed tits.
A late lunch ensued where a couple of goldcrest fed in the bushes by our cars much to our
delight. Our last stop at Ferry Point, Dingwall we added teal, little grebe, redshank, dunlin,
oystercatcher, shelduck, red-breasted merganser, and a distant skein of pink footed geese
to our list with the regular gulls, more red kite and more bullfinches.
Notable ‘misses’ were jackdaw, buzzard, tree sparrow and cormorant.
To sum up – 55 species; a good day, good weather and good company.