A trip a wee bit further east took us to Lossiemouth. The Lossie estuary is normally a really good spot for waders, but today was full of walkers and their dogs so only a few groups of Redshanks braved the situation, and flew from shore to shore as the dogs approached.
We moved on to a local loch and settled in with the telescope set well. Two Buzzards circled overhead as a Great Spotted Wookpecker drummed in the wood behind. The loch was very busy; Two Mute Swans flew in to join 14 others already feeding. Many Goldeneye and Tufted Duck (quite similar in shape and colouring, the Tufted having a tuft on top of the head and less white on the sides) as well as about 10 Coot. Now I really have struggled to see Coot around here, whereas they are numerous further south. Black Headed Gull screeched overhead and two Herons stood motionless on the edge of the loch.
Just as we were moving away from the loch a great flock of Teal flew overhead and dived down to land in the middle of the loch. At least 200 of them. What a great noise they made as they signalled their arrival! Whilst looking at these I spotted a solitary Little Grebe in the distance.
In the wood on the way back to the car we heard Robins and Wrens singing in the distance and spotted two Siskin, a Blue Tit, and numerous Chaffinches, as always, showing very easily. Finally, Kate spotted three Reed Buntings near the reed bed.
We set off and decided to pop into Burghead; not the most picturesque of places, but there are two great spots to do some sea watching. The best of them today was on the east side of the peninsular where 41 Eider were very close in. Two Long Tailed Ducks were further out and eight Common Scoter were just a bit further up the coast, but again very close and giving great views.
Driving west toward Nairn were more Reed Buntings, some Yellowhammers and lots of Buzzards. A good day!