With the weather forecast not looking too good for raptor watching it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by clear and dry conditions with light winds when reaching the car park at Coignafearn. Once everyone had managed to negotiate the logging lorries on the single track road, we set up camp for a while in the car park to scan the ridges. A flock of several hundred Fieldfares in the heather up on the slopes was our first sighting as well as several Ravens sky dancing, a Kestrel and several Buzzards. It wasn’t long before Raven activity led us to a large raptor flapping across the glen, a Golden Eagle! Most of the group managed to get on it before it disappeared out of view over the ridge.
It seems the Fieldfare flock was attracting some attention with a Peregrine dashing along the ridge putting them up, not long followed by probably the best bird of the morning, a male Goshawk, giving some excellent views as it hunted the open ground. Our raptor list was growing quite quickly. We waited a while in the hope that the Eagle might make a return however there was no further sign from our vantage point. As expected at this time of year there were few passerines about, so far a lone Redpoll calling overhead was our only sighting.
Looking like the weather might be closing in at this end of the glen we decided to move down and park up for a while near the junction of the Farr road. Redpoll was heard over and several Goldfinches up in the larches though unfortunately the weather closed in and the forecast rain began. With little chance of any more raptor watching it was time to enjoy the last of our warm drinks and sandwiches before calling it day and heading home, seven species of raptor not a bad morning’s birding.