Saturday, 5 June 2021


On our way north Elaine and I stopped off for the night at Grantown on Spey and we took the opportunity to visit nearby Loch an Eilein and the Caledonian Pine forest at Rothiemurchus. I first called in here in July 1979 with my Dad on our way home from our first visit to Ullapool. On that day we managed to see crested tits and Scottish crossbill, in what were simpler times, when we counted any crossbill in the Rothiemurchus area as Scottish. 

These days I'm not even sure what a Scottish crossbill is, but the most recent study of similar habitat in Abernethy from 20 years ago, suggests that there is a 74% chance that the 10 crossbills I saw at Rothiemurchus today are in fact parrot crossbills, with an 18% possibility that they are common and only an 8% chance that they are Scottish. The only way to be certain is to record the call, but unfortunately I couldn't manage that today.

Also today, a single crested tit, a male redstart, singing tree pipits and several siskins.

Caledonian pine forest with Britain's second highest mountain, Ben MacDui in the background.

Several common sandpipers were on the shore of the lock.

Petty whin Genista anglica.

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