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Birds of a feather

Despite only being open for under a year we are seeing customers start to return to us for second and even third visits already.  They travel to this very special part of the Highlands for a variety of reasons, some for a romantic getaway, some for the walking and others for the Whisky Trail.  But recently, we had some guests who have visited this area again for a flightier reason indeed. After staying at our sister property Strathallan House last year, we were happy to welcome a group of birders from Guernsey.  As members of the Guernsey Chapter or the RSPB they were very dedicated, getting up in the middle of the night sometimes to sit in hides at Boat of Garten and over at Aviemore too.  Here’s a little snapshot of their adventures whilst they were here, and some hints for where to catch your glimpses of some of Scotland’s famous wildlife too:
“We had to get up at 3.00am on the Thursday to get to the Osprey hide in Aviemore and be ready for the first Osprey at 4.00am!  Gordon, our guide, was brilliant and we had four Ospreys before 7.30 am. Unfortunately there was a mist over the pond which took a long while to clear  but the Osprey action was superb.
James had some feeders in the garden’s at Firhall which he kindly filled with peanut butter for us after Royston spotted a pair of crested tits from his bedroom, the Hare Room.  I spent an afternoon waiting for them to return but sadly to no avail.  On the Friday, we went to The RSPB Osprey Centre at Loch Garten, not to see the Osprey but to find the allusive Crested Tit.  We wanted to go early in the morning, but had to wait for the centre to open at 10am. Anyway, we were lucky and a Crested Tit did come to the feeders outside the centre and we managed to get some pics of the bird away from the feeders. A first for Royston and I.
Then we went to the Potting Shed Tearoom at Inshriach Nursery as recommended by your goodselves and directed to by the lovely Isla, Stuart’s sister at Strathallan Bed and Breakfast.  We were not disappointed! Whilst sitting and enjoying a cup of tea and delicious slices of cake we watching no less than four red squirrels in the trees and on the feeders too!  Royston, June and I have never seen red squirrels before in all our trips to the Cairngorms – what a treat!  A lady in the tearoom told me she had seen Bullfinches on the grass in Grantown itself so when we got back to Firhall I slipped down to the sweet shop Sinclair’s to buy myself a few old-fashioned sweet treats and then took a walk down the grass and blow me, found this beautiful male Bullfinch right there. When we left Firhall on the Saturday morning there were six Bullfinches feeding on the grass right outside the Co-op – fantastic!
Just staying at Firhall is a holiday in itself but the location makes it easy to visit so many places of interest.  I do hope we can come back again soon.  Thanks to you both for giving us such a good time.
Best wishes
Mike, Roy and June the tea lady”

Try some of Mike, Roy and June’s top picks to have a chance of seeing red squirrels, all kinds of birds and maybe even a birder or two too during your stay here at Firhall.  To see some of the awesome shots that Mike and Roy’s took during their trip simply pop over to our facebook page Firhall B&B.