Duck or Grouse

We’ve  just finished a week-long birding trip to North East Scotland and the Highlands, stopping in Upper Teesdale & Forfar on the way up and Mussleburgh & Flamborough on the return leg, with ‘base camp’ at Aviemore. We had fabulous weather throughout with clear skies and warm days. We managed to see all of the regular specialities, together with a few ‘celebrities’. It’s difficult to pick out the highlights but duck and grouse species must be at the top of the list. We amassed a grand total species list of 160.

Top of the pops was this female Harlequin Duck at Sputie Burn. Not as glamorous as the male we missed in Aberdeen but a very nice bird in a fabulous location.


A spectacular male King Eider on the Ythan estuary – seen on our second visit


American Wigeon, at Holywell Pond, added interest on our homeward journey


Red Grouse, most common of the scarce ‘game birds’


Not seen in Scotland, Black Grouse – upper Teesdale


Capercaillie, seen on previous trips but not quite as well as this time!


Ptarmigan on the slopes of Cairngorm


Other birds of interest included, Greenland White-front, Udale Bay


Juvenile Iceland Gull, Arbroath harbour. I’m still trying to obtain ringing details – if anyone knows of a good website for non-European colour ringing schemes, please do let me know


Flock of Long-tailed Duck, Ythan estuary


Black-throated Diver, undisclosed site


Golden & White-tailed Eagle together, Findhorn valley


One of several Osprey seen – this one was at Loch of Kinnordy


Iconic Caledonian species – Crested Tit


Last of the interesting birds on our way home. One of two Blue-headed Wagtail, Flamborough


This entry was posted in Birding.

One comment on “Duck or Grouse

  1. […] back home, from our ten day birding trip to Scotland, yesterday afternoon (click here for photos) and bumped into Tim & Dawn and Lee who kindly updated me on wildlife events in the […]

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