Ian says ………. With several inches of snow overnight it wasn’t wise to stray too far so it was a careful drive round to the car park at Loch Garten where hopefully our feeders would still be keeping the birds, especially the Crested tits, interested. We set up our cameras and waited, and waited – it was a very slow start – not what I was expecting. The ‘common stuff’ kept us occupied but it was the Cresties I wanted. Eventually they appeared and made quite a few visits throughout the morning and early afternoon but again it was not easy to guess where they were going to land and then pick them up looking through the camera. Throw in frequent snow showers, spells of poor light and cold fingers and today I can definitely say I had a really bad day and did not get what I wanted. Something that was very interesting was the Goldcrest that made very regular visits feeding on the ground below the feeders. A Great Spotted woodpecker showed some interest in the bird activity and a Treecreeper made several visits to a Silver Birch tree to our right. By mid-afternoon the snow was melting slightly so we decided to go up to Cairngorm car park for the Snow Buntings but after driving through Glenmore we found the snow gates closed. We spoke to a forestry worker who was letting himself through the gates and he explained that they had tried to clear the road but given up due to drifting snow and so the skiers had missed a full day of fresh snow and we would have to wait for the Buntings. The light wasn’t brilliant by now so we decided to call it a day.
Pauline says: ….. We stood on the car park from 9.15am till around 2.30pm! The weather was changeable and challenging … heavy snow showers and a brisk breeze whipping it around, followed by a bright spell when all three of us were whispering ‘Look at the light -where’s the Cresties now?!’ I got a few crestie shots but that bird was on the ‘frantic’ setting and was as challenging as the weather! The Goldcrest however got more confiding as time passed - eventually it was feeding less than 5ft away on the floor in front of us! The coal tits were even tamer - Ian had taken the big peanut feeder down and hung it under his tripod while we concentrated the birds onto just the one feeder and perch ... the coal tits had other ideas and as soon as they spied where it had gone they were back on it just inches from Ians wellies! As you can tell from the above it was Ians turn to spit the dummy out and we had a very dispirited chap in the cottage last night!