After missing out on the Capercaille (and Crested Tit!) at Loch Garten, we decided to head back up Cairn Gorm to see if there were any Black Grouse at the RSPB's viewpoint there. There weren't!!! Unfortunately, it was VERY windy when we got there, and there was no sign of any birds at all. Undeterred, we set off to the car park and found the flock of approximately 15 Snow Buntings feeding there again. We enjoyed watching them for about 20 minutes before heading back to the hotel for breakfast.
Our first stop after breakfast was a loch where we'd be informed breeding plumaged Black-throated Diver could be found. We found the loch easily and a diver was found straight away. It was too far away to photograph, but we had great views through the 'scope. We also saw an Osprey here, along with 3 Greylag Geese, 2 Mallards, a pair of Wigeon (possible breeders?), a pair of Oystercatchers and several Red Grouse, including this confiding individual that I was able to photograph from the car.
Our next stop of the day was the RSPB's Loch Ruthven reserve. This reserve is well known as a reliable spot for breeding plumaged Slavonian Grebes, and we managed to see 4 birds from the public hide. Again, they didn't come close enough to photograph, but we watched them well through the 'scope. There were also 2 pairs of Little Grebes on eggs, a male Goosander and several singing Willow Warblers.
Willow Warbler (singing)
Year List update:
142 - Black-throated Diver
143 - Slavonian Grebe