Thursday 14th July Light WNW sunny intervals
Up early to explore this expansive woodland in the hope of finally getting wood warbler onto the list. At this time of year the wood is almost silent; just a blackcap gives a brief snatch of song.
I walk pathways, try sit and wait tactics but no luck after four hours or so. There have been a few birds, same ones as last night with willow warblers high in the canopy, treecreepers on the low trunks and titmice at all levels.
I set off for Insh Marshes with forty miles of road to negotiate. It is mostly uphill until a series of lochs, The first one has a dam at the west end yet the water level is fifty foot down on the highest possible level. It has been this way for a long time as the vegetation is lush all along the old lake valley.
After shopping in Newtonmore I am surprised to arrive at Kingussie. I thought I still had around ten miles still to go but here I am almost at Insh Marshes. Brilliant.
I cycle past the ruins of the Ruthven Barracks on top of it's glacial mound left after the last Ice Age; the mound that is not the ruins, and get to the visitor's centre. Now this fabulous wooden centre has a balcony on top with magnificent views over the whole valley.
This really does have one of the best views of any RSPB reserve. I watch as a female roe doe cleans her young fawn. A couple arrive who I have met before this year, Vickie and Ryan from Blackpool. Great to have a catch up chat.
Downstairs and into the centre, the views from inside are equally good. A truly wonderful reserve. Tomorrow's exploration of it is going to be tremendous.
42.72 Miles 2111 feet elevation up 1699 feet elevation down