It’s a year to the day since Helen and I first visited Loch Garten in the Cairngorms National Park, so it was quite fitting that we should have returned there today.
As last year, we were too late in the Summer to see any Ospreys, as they have all set-off on their return trip to Africa by September each year. However, with lots of other enticing species on offer at this superb reserve, we were both quite excited to be there again.
We first stopped at the kiosk near the car park, where we had excellent views of a Crested Tit last time. There were literally dozens of birds on the feeders there today: Coal Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Blue Tit were all present in good numbers. No Crested Tit there today though, alas.
It was fairly quiet as we walked through the beautiful woodland towards the Visitors’ Center and I began to get the feeling that today was going to be a bit of a let-down. However, the feeders at the VC were thronging with birds and the light was very good, it being a lovely, sunny day.
Over the course of an hour or so we took photographs of Coal, Great, Blue and Crested Tits, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Siskin, and a very tame Woodpigeon. We were particularly pleased to see a Crested Tit again, of course, especially given that the Cairngorms National Park is the one and only place they occur in the whole of the British Isles. The one we saw today regularly visited the feeders at the VC, but never stayed more than a few seconds on each visit, which made it all the more challenging to photograph!
Helen and I both agreed that we need to spend longer at Loch Garten next time, to explore some of the woodland trails. Let’s hope it won’t be another full year before we come back here again!