With the final full day in the Highlands pre-booked to be spent with Neil McIntyre, we chose to again head to Loch Garten for another go for the crested tits on the Wednesday, and unlike the previous visits, the sun decided to put in a most welcome appearance. Amusingly, this was the only day that Kate's handwarmer chose to warm up, on a day when it wasn't actually needed.
As before, the usual visitors to our feeders were coal tits and chaffinches, with crested tits coming in very occasionally. Kate had set up her Bushnell camera trap too, in the hope of getting some video captures of the cresties when they came in.
I also missed out on the goats that were feeding near the road, though Kate questioned why she was taking their pics, when she owns a pair of goats that seem to be remarkably similar in looks!
Neil had asked us to meet him near the Visitor Centre at Rothiemurchus and we were surprised to see a huge yellow Sea King helicopter descend over us, and land across the road. Certainly blew away any lingering cobwebs that morning.
Off to Neil's red squirrel location where I thought we would be in for the usual treat of seeing these cute characters, feeding right in front of us. Not to be though - one came down eventually, but only for a short while, as it appeared that they had perhaps been able to source food from one of his neighbours.
And so the break had come to an end - we all got up early; Ann because she wanted to head back quickly and us so we could try for a couple of hours at Neil's place again.
Once again the Scottish Highlands had delivered the goods, and for a change, I'd had the chance to share it with some great friends.