From Edinburgh, we continued north towards one of the stars of our holiday, Dunotter Castle.
Not far from Edinburgh, on the Fife Coast, is the quaint fishing village Pittenweem, The harbour had a few fishing boats, and lots of lobster pots and Herring Gulls.
But the weather was deteriorating, and by the time we got to Dunotter it was too bad for us to visit. So we headed inland to our bed and breakfast near Banchory.
Next morning dawned cold, but sunny, so we took a pre-breakfast walk. We found a lovely little "burn" with it's resident Dipper. Heading back for breakfast we stopped for Pied Wagtail and one of many Pheasants for the trip.
As the weather looked OK, we headed back to Dunotter, and the long climb down to the castle. We learned later that there are about 300 steps to the castle.
Back at the car, the weather changed and down came the rain and then hail. We headed back inland towards the Cairngorm National Park. We stopped off at Bridge of Feugh, feeling chilled we stopped for a hot chocolate - yum!!
As we climbed towards the Lecht Ski area in the Cairngorms it started to snow. I was hoping to see Ptarmigan, but it was too cold and wet to go looking.
Next stop was Lochidorb, where I had previously seen Black-throated Diver. The loch was very full, and the road was under water in places. There were lots of Meadow Pipits on the fences, and at the far end we found a couple of Red Grouse feeding on the heather. Unfortunately they were scarred of by some noisy cars before they got close enough for a decent photo.