Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Inverness: Aigas reunion

A few images from last weekend, when I joined up with friends to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of our year spent together working as field guides at Aigas Field Centre, near Beauly, Inverness-shire.
On Saturday afternoon we ventured up Glen Stathfarrar, the valley was filled with huge flocks of Fieldfare, feeding voraciously on berry-laden Rowan trees and worm-rich pastures.  The flocks seemed to be everywhere, even high up above the mountains: thousands and thousands.  A single Golden Eagle patrolled overhead, also, earlier on, a Red Kite - a bird we would certainly not have expected to see thirty years ago.
Red Deer stag
Glen Strathfarrar
Glen Strathfarrar
Huge flocks of Fieldfares with a few Redwings mixed in
That evening we had a great view of a Pine Marten attracted to peanuts next to our lodge  - they are now commonly seen here, but were still something of a rarity back in 1986.  On Sunday we stayed close to Aigas, wandering around the grounds including the idyllic small loch.  Fungi were much in evidence, nothing unusual but nice to see, especially the beautiful Fly Agaric.
Aigas Loch in the mist on Sunday morning
Aigas Loch
Shaggy Inkcap (Lawyer's Wig) toadstools
Shaggy Inkcap toadstools deliquescing
Fly Agaric toadstool
Thanks to John and Lucy Lister-Kaye for hosting us, and continuing to offer a great experience of Highland nature for the many visitors to Aigas.

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