The 3rd was again similar to the previous so again we couldn't try for the Snowy Owl. We started with Black Grouse and Crested Tits before heading off to the Lecht Ski Centre where Mountain Hares really gave me the run around!! Eventually I managed to approach one close enough to obtain footage suitable for my project.
However, weather for the 4th looked much more promising. We hired crampons and shortly after dawn made our way to the summit and then in the direction of Ben Macdui to spend our final day looking for the Snowy Owl. Low cloud was frequently rolling in, several times we became disorientated as you loose sense of direction and also distance but every now and then the cloud lifted so we could get back on track. Within 3 hours we had made it to Garbh Uisge Moi. The cloud once again conveniently lifted as I set out scanning, we walked the entire circumference of the valley checking likely exposed rocky areas to no avail. Thick cloud was on its way back in and just about to cover some rocks when I noticed a familiar outline. Ryan missed it at first as it disappeared from view so quickly but after several minutes of waiting the cloud retreated; and sat in amongst the rocks was a stunning male Snowy Owl. Simply incredible to see it in such a natural habitat surrounded by snow; far better than the bird I had previously seen on a moor in Cornwall. We watched the bird for a matter of minutes, Ryan got the shots whilst I got some footage before the inevitable happened. The cloud came in and we couldn't see no further than 50 feet infront of us but once it lifted several minutes later the bird had gone! We have no idea where it went and couldn't relocate it afterwards but judging by the displaying Ptarmigan it was no longer in the vicinity.
After Scotland I spent a few days at uni in Cumbria before continuing south to Hampshire where my visit was equally brief. With just enough time to see a few birds in the county that included the Pennington Marshes Green-winged Teal and Farlington Marshes Spoonbill and wintering Red-breasted Goose amongst the Brents. The remainder of the month was spent in Israel.