Our next stop was further east at Milton of Culloden where the trees offered some shelter from the wind and rain. With the tide receding there were good numbers of gulls, waders and dabbling ducks, including a fine male Pintail. Craig’s call of a Great Crested Grebe was a good one considering he found it using binoculars and it took some of us quite some time to locate it, using powerful telescopes. This is a rare bird in Highland although this individual has wintered here for several years. Alex’s promise of Tree Sparrows here was, sadly, unfulfilled and, indeed, we saw no sparrows of any kind all day.
Alturlie Pools are fairly dependable for producing the odd good bird and a fine, male Shoveler was today’s highlight although a couple of Goldcrests feeding on a nearby bare tree were equally appreciated. We drove slowly along the road by the Alturlie shore where one carload enjoyed good views of a Stonechat, sadly missed by the leading vehicle, probably because the bird was so close. With the light fading we didn’t bother looking for the Lesser Scaup there, last sighted 2,044 days ago. Perhaps we should have but we did enjoy a great day’s birding with a groovy total of 59 species despite poor weather. Why don’t you join us on our next outing and enjoy some sociable birding with friendly experts?