Highland Wildlife and Birdwatch Safaris, Guided wildlife excursions, Aviemore, Scotland
Highland Wildlife and Birdwatch Safaris, Guided wildlife excursions, Aviemore, Scotland

Sunday, May 06, 2007


May,s first week saw the amazingly warm, settled weather continue. I was therefore inspired to take a small party high up into the Cairngorms in pursuit of the true mountain species. We had only been walking a while, and had reached around 2,000ft, when we had good views of male Ring Ouzel and male Red Grouse, on both occasions being alerted to their presence by their distinctive calls, a harsh "chak-chak" and a guttural "go-back, go-back" respectively - a good start! By the time we had reached 3,000 ft we had added several male Wheatears to our list, their smart grey, buff, black and white plumage giving them a very dapper appearance, and the views, of course, became truly spectacular in all directions. The gruelling "final push" up to the summit at 3,600ft was rewarded in great style, when our packed-lunch break was interrupted by a lovely close-up visit from an inquisitive male Snow Bunting in his beautiful almost all-white summer plumage (see pic). Our luck continued as we walked around the sheltered corries below the summit, when, within just a few minutes,we had good views of 2 Ptarmigan, their upper plumage beginning to turn a mixture of greys and browns, though their lower half remained winter-white, a splendid white Mountain Hare, and one of the Cairngorms Reindeers - giving us pretty much a full-house of the hoped-for species, Excellent!

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