Sadly the star of the show arrived before the group! We planned to meet at 9.15 but around 9 am a White-tailed Eagle flew east over Udale Bay heading towards Cromarty! I could see that something was disturbing the waders and gulls and thought it must be a marauding peregrine, little did I suspect it would be a White-tailed Eagle. When the group arrived they were suitably sceptical of my sighting.
We started at Udale Bay looking though the waders and gulls. A sharp shower meant we had to shelter in the hide for a short time. The usual suspects were seen on the bay: curlew, lapwing, redshank, ringed plover, dunlin and knot as well mallard, wigeon, teal and shelduck but nothing untoward. We then moved along to the car park east of Jemimaville, where we saw scaup, long-tailed duck, a single Slavonian grebe and a single red-throated diver.
In the fields next to Kirkmichael we had a flock of pink-footed geese together with two barnacle geese. Walking down the hedge lined road towards Balblair we had flocks of yellowhammers and linnets as well a single brambling with chaffinches near the houses.
At the point at Balblair we had cormorant, a guillemot offshore and a great northern diver flying into the firth.
On our way home we stopped at Rosemarkie where we had an astonishing 39 light-bellied Brent geese and a grey wagtail.
A very enjoyable outing with great company.
Number of species seen: 64
Number of observers: 6