I have spoken for a few years about visiting Scotland to spent some time birdwatching and when work put the brakes on over a return to Laguna Blanca this seemed like the ideal opportunity! The British Airways flight from Heathrow to Aberdeen took just over an hour.
The drive from the airport into the Highlands was simply amazing. The Best Birdwatching Sites in the Scottish highlands suggests that you make tracks to your destination but it is difficult not to stop several times en route to admire the scenery not to mention taking in the fresh air!!
Once I had entered the Cairngorms national park I headed for Nethy Bridge which is a good site for Dipper. This is not a new bird for me but I can put on one hand the times I have seen this species. I walked up onto the bridge and began scanning the River Spey. Close to the far bank I caught a glimpse of white throat and breast but was it the sun reflecting off of a rock! The Dipper re emerged to stand on a rock before disappearing under the water again. I watched on contemplating how I would get some shots of the bird that was behind several overhanging branches.
The problem was solved by the Dipper itself who had realized there was a small audience on the bridge (3 people!) and could not resist the opportunity to show off its skills in the fast flowing river. The bird gave crippling views as it collected moss in its bill moving from rock to rock fantastic!
Further down-stream I caught up with a pair of Goldeneye who was navigating the deeper parts of the river. A pair of Common Sandpipers were seen displaying and on the bank.
Oystercatcher and a Lapwing were the other species of note seen in flight by a wooden bridge over the river.
Not a bad start to the trip with several other common species added to the list before I checked in at The Boat Hotel in Boat of Garten.