Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Saturday, 21 August 2010

August 20th Grantown on Spey

Late getting up this morning. No excuse just a bit tired. Beautiful sunny day too with some mist over the valley and a rainbow developing, seen from the tent hatch. Rainbow!? Rain coming. It was and it hit me as I cycled along the road to Grantown on Spey. Oh well, wet again.

Rain cleared as I got to Grantown and I had my jam sandwiches in the park there with a small toad, some common blue damsels and a few scotch argus for company.

Library for the blog and then cycled to the capercaillie forest following the instructions given by a birding friend very carefully.

Met a lovely family on the bridge over the Spey, who own a children's clothes business in Grantown. [  ]. Had a long chat and met Daisy, their very old West Highland White-hair terrier, who needs to be transported in her own buggy.

talked with a couple of local people whilst walking and pushing along the track deeper into the forest. Alan was a keen hillwalker originally from Bolton and still had a strong accent. he told a story of Prince Charles helping out a loal crofter with his farming diversification plans. Also met an older lady who used to be a crofter. Told of harsh winters and terrible times.

Found the spot for capercaillies and searched for the rest of the day. No sign of any and very few birds around. A few mistle thrushes, the occasional coal tit and a stag roe deer with only one antler, that didn't see me crounched down by some logs until it was around 25 metres away. Then all it did was bark at me and march off barking all the way.

Did find 8 'tresses' like orchids though.

Camped just outside the forest where despite a gale blowing over the trees, down at ground level it was very calm and quiet.

All the best everyone


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