Insh Marshes 18th May

After the second visit to Loch Garten, I made a detour to a nearby RSPB reserve, Insh Marsh, an unmanned reserve with good hides, which is only a couple of miles from where I was staying in Kingussie.

The other two hides are

  • Gordonhall accessed by a long downhill path, I didn't fancy the uphill trek back
  • Invertromie accessed by a narrow and tricky path, which again wasn't accessible for me.

PLEASE NOTE; Though I have accessibility issues, I am in no way critical of the access to these hides, I fully accept and respect the reasons for the locations of these hides and fully support them. This is more to allow the readers advanced information should they want to visit the reserve at any time.

Many of you know me well enough to know, I look for the positives rather than the negatives, and that remains the case with this post.

It is a truly marsh based reserve on the western edge of Loch Insh, and there were plenty of curlew and black headed gulls on the day of my visit, but sadly they were a bit too far away for a decent photo or two.

From the Lookout, for me the only accessible hide out of the three, the feeding station was busy, with siskins, predominantly one female holding her own against other would-be feeding birds, particularly male chaffinches and the views northwards to Kingussie and the Monadhliath Mountains, which i've walked in the past, were just brilliant.

My visit was well rewarded with god photo opportunities, not just the landscape, as in the next photo (I won't bore you with the many landscape photos I took unless requested, and my arm could very easily be twisted).

The above photo was taken from the accessible roof of the Lookout, which provides a camera location post

I did say good hides, though I only visited and used the Lookout, and I'm sure that will be a good representation of the other two hides.

Now for the wildlife, a siskin showing his plumage, even if her back was turned....

The remaining photos are of various feeder fisticuffs from a very dominant female siskin to any attempts to get on her assumed nut feeder

Though I say it myself, some brilliant action photo opportunities and well worth the time spent in the hide.

Mike

Flickr Peak Rambler

  • what beautiful markings the little Siskins have and another great place to visit, thanks Mike.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Hi Mike,
    My wife and I visited Insh Marshes on our visit to Scotland recently and had a similar experience and the only bird pictures I got were of Willow Tits behind the platform hide overlooking the marshes.
    We didn't find the enclosed hide in your picture and didn't see the bird feeders so missed out on the feeder action.
    At least you got some very good action shots from the feeder station.
    Without borrowed views from someone else's scope we wouldn't have seen much at all.
    Hope you had better luck with the birds elsewhere.
    Trevor
  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:
    what beautiful markings the little Siskins have and another great place to visit, thanks Mike.

    They were fascinating to watch, particularly that one female, she wasn't going to be moved by anone or anything.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to TJS:

    TJS said:
    Hi Mike,


    My wife and I visited Insh Marshes on our visit to Scotland recently and had a similar experience and the only bird pictures I got were of Willow Tits behind the platform hide overlooking the marshes.
    We didn't find the enclosed hide in your picture and didn't see the bird feeders so missed out on the feeder action.
    At least you got some very good action shots from the feeder station.
    Without borrowed views from someone else's scope we wouldn't have seen much at all.
    Hope you had better luck with the birds elsewhere.
    Trevor

    The hide was signposted from the car park, as you walked downhill, though you could access it from the picnic area just above the car park.

    I wonder if you took in the views from a wooden platform overlooking the marshes?

    That was the roof of the Lookout, and accessed from a few steps back from that platform.

    I would be happy to return, and investigate one or both of the other two hides, with more time to spare.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Hi Mike,
    From what you say it looks like we were on the roof of the hide looking out over the marshes. We had met a Guide from the Grant Arms Hotel with some other guests in the car park and were taken straight to the platform so never saw what was underneath. We did find another hide on a path leading away from the platform, but the views were equally distant.
    Trevor.
  • In reply to TJS:

    TJS said:
    Hi Mike,


    From what you say it looks like we were on the roof of the hide looking out over the marshes. We had met a Guide from the Grant Arms Hotel with some other guests in the car park and were taken straight to the platform so never saw what was underneath. We did find another hide on a path leading away from the platform, but the views were equally distant.
    Trevor.

    I wondered if that was the case, and you would have been looking very downward to the feeders?

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Casting my mind back I do think I remember seeing feeders below us. We were out wildlife watching every day for two weeks on that trip and many of the details are blurring together now.
    Trevor
  • Lovely beaky-cuffs shots Mike :o), and the hide...looks in better nick than some of the accommodation I've stayed in lol
  • The hides have certainly improved since we visited about 12 years ago when staying Kingussie. We walked over from the village via Ruthen Barracks and found a lovely path through the woods. I think it must have been autumn time as we stood on the bridge watching the Salmon in the Spey.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Another sucessful visit Mike, even although you maybe did not see much but the scenery I am sure will have made up for that.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.