Another year older

My birthday this week gave N and me an excuse to take a week off from work and head up to the Cairngorms for a few days of bird watching. At least, that was the plan. Tuesday began with a flurry of packing everything we might need, with a pause while N gave me my main present – a tenor uke he had adapted into an electric bass for me:

My brother, Helen, Bron and Hugh (Helen’s dad) had hired a boat to cruise up and down the Caledonian Canal, so we made a detour past Fort Augustus to meet up with them. N enjoyed steering the boat out onto Loch Ness:

They’d also bought me an amusing bottle of malt:

Then up to Granton on Spey, through hail and snow – we found out the next day that 7 inches of snow had fallen (though a lot of it did not settle, plenty did). Plans for walks in the spring sunshine might need to change then …

On Wednesday we drove up CairnGorm and took in the spectacular views:

 

Thursday was dreich, so we drove to Knockando, where I’d found a working Woolmill which dates back to 1784, and still has much of the old machinery thanks to EU funding. Of course I bought some yarn – one skein for my blanket and some lace weight for a future project:

The weather was still pretty dreich, and the hills were shrouded in cloud, but we were determined to take a ride on the funicular, so we drove back up CairnGorm to have lunch at the summit – the view was NOT spectacular from there:

But we appreciated seeing some snow buntings:

On Friday the weather was a bit better. We spent the morning up at the coast, seeing dolphins in the distance a Burghhead before wandering around Findhorn Bay taking pictures of birds in the gorse like this yellowhammer:

 

We then drove to the Culbin forest to look for crossbills – N saw one but there was no way I was climbing up where he went:

Then, on the way back to the hotel we stopped off at Lochindorb and saw these Greylag geese swimming around:

Then home, on Saturday – with two little cats glad to have their humans back.

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4 Responses to Another year older

  1. A very belated Happy Birthday, Sarah! And thank you for sharing this wonderful birthday blog! You have started my working week with a big smile!! All the best, Sandra xx

  2. dogtrax says:

    Sorry I am half-month late with birthday greetings. I actually read this when you posted it but forgot to comment. Our birthdays are close. Maybe I will remember next year …
    Kevin

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