Ok, so I'm miles behind on this blog, but here's the last of the Scottish Trip entries.
After leaving Aviemore, we had arranged to meet up with a friend of Ian's based in Forfar, who works on an estate, and has set up a hide for viewing red squirrels. We met up with Charlie in Forfar initially for a chat, before heading over to the woodland.
Sadly the weather wasn't with us that day, and it was either gloomy or piddling it down, making shots very tricky. That said, we made the best of it, and took a few of the rather bedraggled looking squirrels that came to visit. Not sure if they know how lucky they are, to have someone as generous and kind as Charlie is, looking out for them!
With free nuts and seed laid on, in steel cages to prevent bigger birds like jays from nicking the food, the squirrels came and went in turn, sometimes eating in front of us, or scurrying off into the woods, to bury their food.
Amusingly, jays seemed to watch them, before digging up the food and scoffing it!
The woods were alive with other birds too. We could hear buzzards around, and a sparrowhawk buzzed the feeders twice. Blue, great and coal tits nipped to and fro, and there was an abundance of chaffinches too.
With the rain getting worse, Ian and I opted to head back out of the woods, down to where Charlie had seen a tawny owl in a tree. We had to wait ages for the owl to show, and when it did, it took a very brief look at the weather (and probably us), and dropped back down into its hole.
We hoped that the owl would show again (it didn't) but while waiting, Ian spotted a stoat, mooching around on a stone wall near us, which provided a few moments of shutter-action, before it hurried off into the field behind. After a poor rabbit, no doubt.
And so came to an end, a fantastic trip north of the border. Shetland had been magical, and the Highlands had delivered what we'd hoped for. It just left us both wanting more... roll on the next trip, that's what I say!