176 – Crested Tit
At long, long last I got to visit Loch Garten yesterday. Like the Loch of the Lowes, Scotland’s other Osprey centre, it’s a place I’ve wanted to visit since ever I can remember. Since we were staying at nearby Columbridge Hotel, Helen and I decided that yesterday was the day.
We were aware that this year’s Osprey breeding season was over and that the Ospreys had recently left for their African Winter home, but I personally hoped to see one of the area’s other fantastic inhabitants: the Crested Tit.
When we arrived at the reserve we found there is a reception kiosk (only in use during the Osprey breeding season). The reason I mention the kiosk is because there were some feeders set up on the trees around the kiosk, and as we walked towards it, the first bird I set eyes on was a Crested Tit! Success straight away!
As we walked along the path towards the main Osprey Visitor Centre we saw huge numbers of little birds in the trees around us. It was very difficult to photograph them, however, due to their rapid flitting about in the treetops, but we could see a large number of Coal Tits, amongst others. We also saw a few less common birds including a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Treecreeper, both of which we were able to photograph successfully.
On the feeders by the Visitor Centre there were several Red Squirrels which posed very nicely for us. It’s always a pleasure to see those, and I’ve had loads of Red Squirrel sightings whilst being in Scotland this Summer.
Back at the entry kiosk again, Helen and I stood for twenty minutes or so during which we managed to take lots more pictures of a Crested Tit, along with Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches and the near ubiquitous Coal Tits.
It was a magical visit to Loch Garten. We very much want to visit there again, preferably during the Osprey season next time.