Sunday 7 July 2019

My foible and other animals

The one slight complication in taking a fortnight's holiday spent in two different cottages was that the changeover schedule for Week 1 was Friday to Friday, but for Week 2 was Saturday to Saturday. This did, however, present an opportunity to spend a Friday night at the Nethy House Cafe and Rooms in Nethy Bridge, en route between the two cottages.

After a leisurely drive across the Snow Roads through the Cairngorms National Park, we immediately went to check out the bog pools and lochans nearby for any potential odes. The pools which normally hold White-faced Darter were absolutely bereft of dragons and damsels, not even so much as Large Red Damselfly. We had slightly better luck at the Garten lochan, with half a dozen Four-spotted Chasers, a dozen or so Large Red and a couple of distant Northern Damselflies. The highlight was probably the (maybe Small) Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly which was seeking shelter from an unseasonally cool breeze.

Eventually, we gave up the unequal struggle with the weather and went to check in to our room, well, after tea and cake, obvs.


Later in the evening, the sun did put in an appearance, so we pottered around the village and discovered that a wildlife pool by the sports pitches was still busy with Large Red Damselflies and, be still my heart, plenty of Northern Damselflies.

By the River Nethy, a lone Dipper sat for ages in the fading light, which at least put the compact camera to the test. Well, it's an image.

The next morning, before we ventured back to the A9 and headed for Inverness, we had a brief visit to the wildlife pool again. In the early sunlight, it was teeming with damsels, including this mating pair of Northerns.

We took a rest halt on the journey north when we reached the Black Isle. Parking in Rosemarkie and walking along the beach to Fortrose and Chanonry Point. Plenty of folk were gathered at the Point in the hope of seeing dolphins, but there was no cetacean activity that we could see. By the Fortrose golf course, I was able to photograph a rather patient male Linnet, which rested on a wooden rail for a sufficiently long time to allow me to randomly press buttons on my compact camera.

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