My custom bird tour guidebook is soaking up time, so there’s little left to post here. However, I can post an extract:
“With an average expected list of 40 species, the main target is Britain’s only endemic – Scottish crossbill. Good luck with trying to identify it. Location is about the best field mark and, outside migration periods, this area’s crossbills will most likely be Scottish. Another trick is to find one at the RSPB Osprey Centre while standing next to an expert.
“Other specialities are capercaillie, black and red grouse, black-throated diver, woodcock, hooded crow, crested tit and the region’s second most famous export – osprey. The Abernethy Forest, along with neighbouring Glenmore and Rothiemurchus, is one of the last remnants of the Caledonian pine forest. It’s a truly magical spot on top of having such cracking birds.
In other words, don’t miss out on coming here.
“So, the first port of call is RSPB Loch Garten, very early in the morning if coming in spring. This means as dawn is breaking – say five-thirty – for your best chance of seeing capercaillie. Wrap up well and prepare to wait a good hour or more. Note that even RSPB members have to pay a supplement of £1 for this session; non-members £3. No money back guarantee!”