We were met by an old friend (Andy Carroll) and the Speyside birding began in earnest with a quick walk through Abernethy forest to try and catch up with as many Crossbills as possible for sound recording purposes (for any anoraks out there, there will be more later...You have been warned!) There were many more Crossbill recording walks, with varying success almost every day.
Much snow cover made sneaking up on wildlife almost impossible, as the crunching noise under foot was deafening, but we still managed to see a nice assortment of goodies.
The real excitement for me started on the 10th when Andy drove me on a 440 mile round trip, to give me a 'chance' of adding Goshawk to my life list! After a start at 0430hrs, we arrived on site to find a beautiful sunny day and -1 degrees. We didn't have to wait long though, as the first showed up after only 5 minutes. This one was a very large female but unfortunately it was only a fly past...
The next up was a Male, which thankfully flew into the trees and perched up for about 3 minutes! Through the scope, we could get fantastic views but I never brought along my digiscoping kit, so no gripping pics (typical eh!) We thought this was perfect weather and time of year for a display, but in the next two and a half hours no other Goshawks showed, oh well, you can't have it all. The drive up the road also produced Red Kite on the A9, so all in all, a Good day was had by all. (and massive thanks to AC)
A few birds we don't get very often in Yell also posed for me.