I had two short birding experiences, on a very hot and sunny day today – Bridge of Dun near Montrose Basin in the morning and up my favourite Scottish Glen – Glen Doll this afternoon.
I had gone specifically to visit ‘The Lurgies’ which is at the Western end of the Montrose Basin. I’ve had some great pics there in the past, including my first ever Osprey. However, on arrival I discovered that it was high-tide and the mudflats were completely submerged. Not to be put off, though, I went about two miles further to the bridge over the River Esk at Bridge of Dun.
The River is about fifty feet wide here and I was able to stand on purpose-built viewing parapets on either side of the bridge. On the river banks either side of the river there were dozens of Sand Martin nesting-holes. Parent birds were constantly zooming around, in and out of the holes with a constant supply of insects, presumably to feed young inside their nest burrows. It is extremely hard to photograph such fast-moving birds, but over the course of half an hour or so I was able to capture several reasonably sharp shots.
During the time I was on the bridge a pair of Buzzards appeared above me and so I had a new ‘target of opportunity’ to photograph. The birds were directly above me in the pure blue sky and some of my resulting photos look pretty good, if I say so myself.
By the time I left to return home I’d taken a good many photographs which also included Pied Wagtails, a Sedge Warbler and a Jackdaw which gave me quite a close fly-by.
Later in the day, my mother and I decided to take a drive up Glen Clova to the much smaller Glen Doll which lies at the head of the glen. This is a spectacular area with rugged mountains all around, acres of pine forest and a beautiful, fast-flowing river running through it. I had decided to take my camera with me just in case something exciting popped-up in front of me – and that’s precisely what happened!
About a mile before the car-park/picnic area, I suddenly stopped the car on the single-track road I was driving along as I’d spotted a Wheatear perching on a rock just a few feet from the road. The bird very obligingly allowed me to get out of the car, fetch my camera from the boot and take about twenty photographs before it finally flew away. And fortunately, no other vehicles came along the road whilst I was snapping away, as my car was completely blocking the road! Thanks Wheatear!
Another great Birding day!