Out again this morning and on my way to check out some more sites for Tom's visit next month. I was checking on the black grouse lekk at 7:30, rewarded with 5 males this morning, then on to have a scout of some potential ring ouzel territory. A nice valley walk beside a very productive stream which provided me with great views of dipper and grey wag, then up into the hills where I watched both peregrine and golden eagle displaying.
I know that it might be a little early for ouzel here, but I really wanted to get a feel for the spot and thoroughly enjoyed the walk - a gentle incline over 4 miles following the valley. The weather was as perfect as ever and I ambled the length of the valley, making note to arrive well before the sun gets over the southern edge of the valley to become totally blinding in that direction.
Turning back on myself as my stomach began to rumble I made my way back towards the car, taking the opposite river bank to hug the pine plantation. The dipper lead me to a beautiful confluence with a small stream and from there I follow a forrrestry track into the woods where I add two more species to my year list, common crossbill and mistle thrush. Officially ravenous at this point I hop in the car and head back home stopping to pick up a haggis, mince and potato pie before speeding home for the rugby.