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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October saw the arrival of Winter to our area (we don't seem to get a proper Autumn anymore!). The transition is quite dramatic with temperatures significantly lower than September and the Cairngorms having snowy tops for much of the month.

Wildlife highlights included:

Rutting Red Deer stags: This has to be one of British nature's "must see" (& hear!) experiences, with the dominant stags attempting to secure their 'harem' of up to 20 hinds by roaring loudly, thrashing at trees and bushes and occasionally actually coming into spectacular antler to antler contact - an impressive sight! (see pic)

Numbers of Winter wildfowl such as Teal & Wigeon increasing on our local lochs.

Good views of Whooper swans, both in flight (when you can hear their distinctive "whooop whoop" calls, and quietly feeding in the margins of our larger local lochs.

Increasing numbers of visiting 'Winter' Geese being noted feeding on suitable fields.

Large flocks of Redwings & Fieldfares were seen , often covering a berry laden bush and soon stripping it of its crop.

Great views of a ring-tail (female) Hen Harrier, seen hunting low over heather moorland. We see many more Hen Harriers ( & Short-Eared Owls) in Winter due to an influx of birds from even colder climes to the North & east.

Friday, October 03, 2008

September,s weather could also , surprise, surprise!, be described as changeable. Temperatures ranged from a sunny 22deg c, down to 0deg c with a light dusting of snow on the hills at the end of the month. Most of the Summer visiting bird species have now left the area, and are being replaced by our Winter visiting bird species.

Wildlife highlights included:

Mountain Ash or Rowan trees becoming fully laden with their bright red berries, and the Thrush species wasting no time in enjoying this bountiful harvest.

The arrival in our area of Winter visitors from further North such as Greylag & Brent Geese & Whooper Swans.

The mixed woodland flocks grew noticeably larger, with some having 100+ birds of up to 9 different species.

Lots of sightings of 'purple poo' in the forests - the result of many different species of birds and animals feasting on the abundant crop of blaeberries.

Dippers started to sing again along the riverbanks - very noticeable & enjoyable as not many species of birds sing at this time of year (see pic)

The Red Deer began to 'roar' towards the end of the month, in preparation for the forthcoming 'rutting season''.