Yes, whinchats. In the plural. Two family groups five years since my last sighting down in Galloway Forest. The year list gallops on to 185 – my best since 2004.
And no, this chap isn’t a whinchat. He was browsing near Loch Tulla when I pulled into the car park and quite unfazedly carried on browsing. So unfazed was he that he crossed to the other side of my car, where the passenger window was open, and calmly looked in at me. I bet if he hadn’t had antlers, he’d have stuck his head inside.
So, I was doing an interesting little loop from Crianlarich and Tyndrum, up to Bridge of Orchy and round to Dalmally. The last section won hands down for the very whinchat reason, quite apart from spotted flycatchers and sand martins too. I don’t know if it’s possible to hike the Glen but thirteen miles between stations would be a neat way of using the trains down to Tyndrum or Crianlarich to make a straight walk of it.
And probably rather a long day. Good thing there’s plenty of accommodation in the area. I must give it a whirl some time.