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Back from a week away in Aviemore, just love the place and will never tire of staying at our home away from home a static caravan at Boat of Garten
We almost didn't manage to get out of the borders due to flooding, even with the 4 x 4 it made for a white knuckle, bottom clenching journey, with some roads being closed and diversions in place.
Even though it rained for the whole journey up to Boat of Garten, the brooding scenery never fails to capture the imagination, the Drumochter Pass is a good place to see Red Deer from the road.
On arrival at The Boat of Garten Caravan Site we quickly settled in, being familiar with the place, both the heating and the kettle were on in record breaking time.
It wasn't long before we had our first visitor
This Robin was a daily visitor after discovering a liking for clootie dumpling.
As it began to get dark we were also visited by a group of rowdy Long Tailed Tits, very tricky to photograph as they tend not to stay still and also arrive as the light is failing.
The following day we decided to have a wander along the Red Squirrel Trail.
We Crossed over the road from the caravan site and walked down to the car parking area where we turned right along the path that follows the road, and quickly came to a viewing area of stone chips, a short distance into the wood revealed some empty squirrel feeders.
Seeing no sign of the squirrels we placed a small amount of peanuts into the feeders making sure to bang the lid of the box feeder as this announced that dinner was served.
I had no sooner turned my back to walk away when a squirrel arrived.
From a photography point of view this is not an image I would normally use due to the feeder and white washing line, but it demonstrates what you can see on the doorstep.
We were frequent visitors to the Osprey Centre at Loch Garten, even though the visitor centre was closed you can still walk up and see the red squirrels there and also the wide variety of birds that have been used to being fed and are not so shy of human contact.
Bringing along some bird seed and some peanuts, I used some fallen wood to make a natural perch in which I hid the seed and nuts, this allowed me more natural looking images.
I also made use of some Lichen covered twigs which other photographers had left set up nearby.
Whilst sitting waiting for whatever wildlife came along I was surrounded by Coal Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits and Chaffinches, who not content with waiting for me to put out the seed, decided to help themselves from the bag.
We were joined every now and then by other people who laughed to see the birds helping themselves to my bag of seed. At one point we were joined by and elderly lady complete with headscarf and macintosh, sturdy brogues and her son, there followed an interesting conversation.
Lady " where's the Ospreys "
Me " Sunning themselves in North Africa somewhere "
Lady " You mean to tell me I have walked all the way up here for nuthin "
Me " Well there are birds to look at and Red Squirrels"
Lady " Och I can get them at hame " " Where's the Tea Room "
Me " There isn't one "
Lady " Why not ? all the other RSPB Reserves have one and toilets ! "
Me " It's not a reserve ! its an Osprey Centre, it's seasonal and it's shut.
Lady " Well why were we not told that "
Me " It tells you on the gate as you enter Centre Closed ! "
Lady " Hmmph "
The off she marched in high dugeon back from whence she came.
Nae pleasing some folk
The week passed very quickly as time does when you are having fun, even though it was mostly wet, it did not stop us from going out, especially to The Boat Hotel for some top class meals.