I’m up in Forfar again just now and took the opportunity today to visit two of my favourite local birding venues – Montrose Basin and the RSPB’s Loch of Kinnordy reserve.
I hadn’t been to Montrose Basin for a while and was glad to be able to visit it again today. It was a lovely, sunny August morning when I arrived, but quite windy with it. It was low tide and so there was a vast expanse of mud stretching out before me as I looked out over the Lurgies area of the reserve. I could see large numbers of birds on the mud some distance from me, but unfortunately there was very little up close.
Not to be daunted, I walked along the path in the direction of the Bridge of Dun. Along the path here I’ve previously seen a large assortment of small birds in the trees and bushes to the left of the path, but unfortunately the strength of the wind was too great for any small birds to put in an appearance today.
A large number of Canada Geese were flying around over the mudflats as I watched, and a beautiful sunlit Cormorant flew diectly overhead, but the only decent sighting I had in my brief visit to the Basin today was of a beautiful Spotted Redshank as I returned along the path in the direction of the car.
As the day was still young I decided to drive to the Loch of Kinnordy near Kirriemuir. I’ve been to this reserve several times now and have had great success seeing Ospreys catching fish on the loch, along with other good raptors sightings including Marsh Harriers and Buzzards.
It was still breezy at Kinnordy, but being further inland, the wind was less strong.
The really striking thing about Kinnordy today was how overgrown everything was! The reeds had grown so tall that much of the loch was by now hidden from view. The only water birds visible here today were a few distant Mute Swans and a few ducks that were much too distant to be identifiable!
I decide to walk down to East Hide, passing the bird feeders as I went. This is where I had my best photographic successes of the day.
There were myriad small birds at the feeders; I saw Blue Tits, a Coal Tit, several Chaffinches and, something of a surprise – a Siskin. The greatest ‘poser’ of the day though was a Red Squirrel tucking into peanuts in one of the bird feeders, which didn’t seem to mind me gradually (and stealthily!) approaching ever closer to it, snapping away at it throughout.
Not one of my most productive birding days, then, but it’s always a pleasure to be out and about enjoying the countryside in all its glory.