Participants met in North Kessock to implement a voluntary car sharing. It turned out to be a necessary exercise in view of the numbers and 5 cars, each with 3 people, set out along the Beauly Firth. It was pleasing to see new faces, including an enthusiastic and knowledgeable young boy, who was well looked after throughout by all the adults.
First stop was the newish car park near the caravan park. There were good numbers of Teal and Wigeon, Grey Heron, and finches; also Blackbirds, Redwings and other thrushes.
Further on we took a walk up a farm track through an avenue of leafless mature deciduous trees. A flock of many Linnets flew back and forth and settled in the canopy. A much smaller flock of Twites was also present. Before we reached Redcastle there was a flock of Curlews resting on the shore.
There then ensued a lengthy sprint in the cars to Udale via Culbokie to bring us up to speed with Sue’s demanding schedule. Udale was its usual charming self but produced nothing out of the ordinary, and Jemimaville showed off its large flock of Scaups and a few Slavonian Grebes.
From whence to beautiful Cromarty; good sightings of Razorbills, Guillemots – including a Black Guillemot – well spotted the man who put us all on to it! Great views of Red-throated Divers.
As darkness started to fall all sorts of manipulations began to increase the day’s species total and in the Rosemarkie car park (yes, the one with the excellent toilets), after a quick walk in the Fairy Glen and almost all in their cars ready to wind their way home, someone spotted a Great Spotted Woodpecker, inspiring Alex to proclaim a 70-species day – hooray!!