Cairngorms 2014: Day 4

With a forecast looking quite promising until later on in the afternoon, we decided to head up to the Caingorm Ski Centre car park as there are often snow buntings up there. On the way, I nipped back to Allan’s and set the Bushnell NatureView with the close-up lens at his feeders. As I was setting it up, the crested tit came in and onto the feeders! I could not believe it! He was about 40cm from me! A great start to the day!

We headed up towards the ski centre and, as we climbed higher, the snow on the sides of the road got deeper. Apparently there is more snow up here this winter than many of the European resorts! Hence, as we got to the lower car park, it was absolutely rammed with skiers and the upper car park was full and had been closed, with shuttle buses heading up there. We decided this was not the place we wanted to be… way too many people, so we took a couple of shots of the stunning  scenery and headed back to the car!

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Despite it being close by, we had not yet headed to Loch Garten, so we decided to head down there. The scenery is totally wonderful around here and the photos do not do it justice. All the mountains are covered in snow and look amazing…

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We then headed to Loch Garten Visitor Centre (closed at the moment) and had a walk around the paths there. There are lots of feeding stations set up by individuals and the birds are pretty hungry. We set up some bird feed with a few perches and there were LOADS of coal tits and chaffinches around. What we were thrilled at though, was when a Crested tit appeared! The light varied quite a lot and then deteriorated as a fine icy drizzle started, but not before Pete and I had had the chance to grab some shots of these cracking little characters! You just can’t help but love these guys as they are like the little punks of the tit family! That crest is very distinctive and looks stunning when they raise it right up… I could watch and photograph these birds all day and was thrilled to have them pop down to our little feed station!

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Another super day… I must admit, I think these birds have to be one of my favourites!