July – September 2018

I did not photograph many birds in the garden during these months although there were still young around. A Treecreeper appeared in the garden and there was a spectacular Giant Horsefly at the garden pond. There was also a Willow Warbler which appeared in the garden briefly. Some of the flowers in the garden attracted large moths.

At the beginning of August I went on a boat trip from Macduff to Troup Head. We only saw one Puffin in the water as we were probably too late for them but there were the usual displays of Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots and Fulmar on the cliffs. It is quite a spectacle to see the cliffs covered completely with different birds. On the way back we had an unexpected stop beside this massive tanker to pick up four workers who were heading home. It was quite an experience watching them make their way down the gangway and ladders to reach our tiny boat. Let’s say rather them than me!

There was the usual wildlife to see up on the Dava during these months. I was fortunate to see Red-Legged Partridges with chicks on a few occasions. This is the time of year also when you can see deer close to the roads. At Loch Belivat I saw two unusual Hybrid Mallards which stood out among the other ducks in the water.

Although I nearly always see Stonechats up the Dava I saw quite a few at the coast during these months. At Burghead along with the usual Seals, I saw many Turnstones and Rock Pipits. At Cummingston, there were Whitethroats and Wheatears. On a visit to Kingston I was lucky to see a WaterRail which is a rare visitor to there.

There were many Butterflies around this year and some which I had not seen for a few years such as a Small Copper and a Ringlet.

Finally, I had been abroad for two weeks at the beginning of September. While we were there I heard that a Hoopoe had been seen at Cromarty. I was delighted to find that it was still there when I returned. I spent over an hour there watching this bird as it fed on the ground completely ignoring the small group of birdwatchers close by. No apologies for the excess photos of it as it a rare visitor to this country and I felt privilged to have seen it.