I last week (Sept. 19th ~ 23rd) completed another unique 5-day Spey Descent with Outdoor/Environmental-studies students from Edinburgh University. All in all a great trip with a group of interesting & accomplished students from various parts of the world ~ incl. UK, US, Canada, Finland, Germany & China. We were blessed with good water-levels & the weather was, in the main, kind to us. Undisturbed by our presence, we passed close to many small birds ~ incl. pied & grey wagtails, dippers, as well as herons & also buzzards soaring above in the mainly clear skies ~ a bird-watchers' paradise.
At various points along the river, we saw otters on each of the five days. Never before on all my many Spey Journeys have I, every day, had such clear sighting of these beautiful creatures.
Over the weekend, immediately following the Edinburgh University descent, I facilitated a two-day river trip as part of a Beeches Boysie-Bonding (alias 'Stag Doo') ~ comprising one night D.B&B at The Beeches (~ www.thebeechesnewtomore.com) followed by two days on the River Spey ~ Advie to Spey Bay (~ www.spiritofthespey.co.uk). No otters on this Spey Journey but still a great many beautiful Atlantic Salmon leaping close to our canoes.
Right now, I am just back at The Beeches having earlier today been on the picturesque section of the Spey between Loch an Uvie & Newtonmore (~ www.newtonmore.com/events.html ) ~ delivering an introductory moving water skills session for a lovely couple from Torphins, Aberdeen-shire.
Lady Spey is currently wearing her rich yellow and golden autumn cloak as, along her banks, the leaves of birches, rowans and aspens bid their colourful farewell to 2011.