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

Monday, March 02, 2009


February 2009, can probably best be described as (to use an old football cliche) a month of two halves - the first half being very cold, with temperatures down as low as -18c, and lots of snow turning the area into a true winter wonderland - whilst the second half was unseasonably mild, with temperatures into low double-figures and a real spring-like feel about it.


Wildlife highlights included:


Bramblings, Yellowhammers, Waxwings & Redpolls were all seen in or around my garden during the coldest weather, taking advantage of the food & water on offer when natural food was hard to come by.


A fantastic close encounter with a flock of Waxwings in a fellow birder's garden (thanks Peter!) - with our kind host allowing us access to within a few feet of the birds - a marvellous experience (see pic).


A trip North to the Moray coast to escape the snow provided a good selection of waders, wildfowl, water birds & sea ducks including Knot, Long-Tailed Duck, Scaup, & Common Scoter.



The local feral Mountain Goats were seen to have (very cute) white, new-born youngsters.


Good views of a Merlin hunting Buntings & Finches over some local farmland - the speed & agility of these small raptors has to be seen to be believed!


Several species of birds were noted carrying nesting material, including Dippers & Ravens.


Red Grouse males are reaching peak condition, & are quite easy to see (& hear ) as they display from high points amongst the heather on the moors.


Wader numbers were seen to increase along the Spey valley flood plain, including Oystercatchers, Curlews & Lapwings.


Skylarks were heard singing properly for the first time for many months.