Happy New Year 2023 Off To A Wonderful Start In The Scottish Highlands

Crested Tit photographed at RSPB Loch Garten on the 2nd January 2023.

Happy New Year! We hope your 2023 is happy, peaceful and full of wonderful birds!

Our 2023 began in the Scottish Highlands in heavy snow, we battled through the blizzard to reach Lossiemouth. It was a scary drive over the moors through thick snow and ice but it was clear when we approached the coast, thankfully. We saw two Waxwings briefly in Lossimouth near the Co-Op Store before moving down to the estuary. Lots of birds on the narrow estuary, all new for our 2023 year list of course. An adult Glaucous Gull was an exciting find on the sandbanks here. At nearby Burghead we enjoyed close views of Purple Sandpipers and lots of birds offshore including Velvet Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks and Common Eider. At Nairn seafront we enjoyed a Hooded Crow with two Black Guillemots offshore that brought our day list to 61 species of birds - happy with that given the poor weather.

On the second of January it was well below freezing the previous nights rain had frozen into sheet ice! We didn't venture far despite the blue sky and sunshine. We did reach RSPB Loch Garten where we enjoyed super close views of Crested Tits.

Snow Bunting Male Cairngorm Jan 2018

On the third of January we made it up to the Cairngorm Ski Centre car-park where we had close views of eight delightful Snow Buntings.

With a slow thaw finally happeing we hope to get out further afield tomorrow, so look out for more blogs soon!

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