Speyside has been well known for breeding Goldeneye for some years, using nesting boxes in most cases. This year we only came across a couple of pairs which we found close to Aviemore. We also found breeding Wigeon , a female with 4 young on a loch in the middle of an ancient forest.
Another gem in the area is Slavonian grebe, we found a few pairs back in 1979 and although two of the nesting sites had been lost due to building work we did find a pair near Boat of Garten and two pairs on another loch.
We were told that that main area at Loch Ruthven only had a couple of pairs and most had moved into the Spey valley. Slav Grebes are lovely colours and the red eye really stands out again the black head and golden tufts.
A couple of pairs of Little Grebe , pairs of Teal and lots of Mallard all nested around these lochs. The vegetation held Sedge warbler, Wren and Pied Wagtail.
The rivers held the usual species, Dipper , Grey and Pied Wagtail, Common Sandpiper and thousands of midges which attracted numerous House & Sand Martin, Swallow and a few Swift
mother and Zepha the young dolphin
One of the jewels of the ancient forest is the Crested Tit and I manage to find a couple of pairs in Rothiemurchus Forest very close to the main path. They only called a few times in the half and hour I watched them so they could have easily been missed. No Crossbill on this trip and this was the case for several other birders who had searched good areas