A couple of years ago, during the latter part of February, a group of us headed off to the Cairngorm ski slopes hoping to add Snow bunting to our list of iconic Scottish species.
A flock of approximately 30 flitted around the chalet rooftops, occasionally alighting on a small area of well trodden snow, to feed on grain left by some of the lift attendants.
To be fair, I suppose it was inevitable that the sight of a row of long lenses all pointing in the same direction; a patch of undisturbed snow was bound to attract some attention.
“Hi. I’m just being nosey. Are they here?”
“You have just missed them by about 20 minutes.”
“Really? Where were they?”
“Over there, by the lift attendant’s office”
“Oh! Do you think they will come back this way?”
“I’m rather hoping they will use this small stream to wash in?” I replied somewhat optimistically.
“William and Kate?” Doubtfully.
“Right” I was not sure what to make of this. “I see… err… who exactly are they?”
“Prince William and Kate Middleton”
“Oh no! We are here to photograph snow buntings.”
“What are they?”
“Local residents, they look rather like white sparrows.”
“Never heard of them!” She said stomping off.