We took a wee trip down Strath Nairn today to enjoy the snow fields and views of the mountains from the comfort (and sunny warmth) of the car. We rushed along the A96 to get to Inverness and drove down to Dores for a lovely lunch and a Real Ale (so Kate took over the driving!). On the way we spotted circa 2,000 Pinkfoot in a field at Golanfield, no doubt gathering for the long trek ahead.
After lunch we headed toward Loch Ruthven taking in the scenery and the very few sightings of birds. Thankfully there were lots of Buzzards again – and we saw a real cross section of them, from very dark to very light phases. The lightest of all was being harassed by Crows for ages - at one stage, one of the Carrion seemed to mount the back of the Buzzard!
As we were passing Loch Duntelchaig a pair of Goldeneye were courting on the water – the female chasing the male from the loch’s eastside to west and back again! Approaching Loch Ruthven it was clear that it was still completely frozen! We stopped in the car park for a cuppa with not a single bird raising its head, or voice while we were there!
On the B851 along Stath Nairn we watched a Sparrowhawk hunting low over the fields. Further up the road was a lone Fieldfare and a Yellowhammer in a tree nearby.
As ever, Mallards and Chaffinches filled the gaps on the way home. Yet another sunny day in and around Nairnshire (and a wee bit beyond)!