Leaving Brough just after 9, we headed North towards our first target bird in Cumbria. Arriving at 11.30, we immediately saw the bird before we'd even stopped the car, albeit distantly. Feeding along side the stone walls we had 4 Black Grouse (161), far easier than I'd expected them to be at this time of the day. Driving a little further on, we then found another 3 feeding much closer to the road.
Male Black Grouse
Continuing along the road and looking further back into the same field we found a total of 12 males altogether. Surprise of the day then came when a Hooded Crow (162), flew over the field being mobbed by the nesting waders, totally unexpected and one we thought we'd have to wait until Scotland for.
By now it was time to make tracks for Aviemore and we headed towards the M6 getting a couple of roadside Red Grouse (163), on the way.
We arrived in Aviemore just before 6pm and checked into our accommodation for the next few days. We then headed out hoping to make the best of the last couple of hours of daylight. The rain didn't help but we struck lucky with a fabulous pair of Black throated Diver (164), at a nearby loch. Also seen here were Goosander, Goldeneye, breeding Redwing and Mistle Thrush.
Pair of Black throated Diver (honestly!!)
All in all a fabulous start to our trip, let's hope the weather holds off for the next few days.