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

Thursday, June 03, 2010

May 2010 saw us, at last, enjoy some decent wildlife-watching weather, with , apart from a few morning frosts, the weather remaining dry & warm throughout the month. The last 'missing' summer visitor birds - Swifts, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat etc.. finally arrived in our area, and this boosted our bird day-lists up towards 60, whilst mammal day-lists remained strong, with a new 2010 day record of 10 different species being recorded.

Wildlife highlights included:

Regular sightings, in the early part of the month, of Capercaillie at RSPB Loch Garten, with the odd 'random' sighting in suitable habitat.

The local Black Grouse continued to 'lek' at dawn, though activity began to tail-off towards the end of the month.

Fledglings! Many species were seen with young, notably Red Grouse, Goldeneye, Osprey, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Curlew & Crested Tit as well as many more common species.

Our local Ospreys continued to delight us, with us frequently witnessing the males plunging into the water to catch fish, eating the head, and then delivering them to the females - great stuff!

Most of our 'local speciality' birds - Slavonian Grebe (see pic) , Black Grouse, Red Grouse, Osprey, Crossbills, Red-Throated Diver, Black-Throated Diver, Goldeneye, Ring Ouzel, Dipper etc continued to show well, with occasional sightings of Golden Eagle & Crested Tit , and just a couple of views of Red Kite & Kingfisher.

A short (& very off-course!) visit to our area by a Hoopoe!! This exotic 'vagrant' was seen by just a handful of people, but sadly, not by me!

A trip to Chanonry Point on the Moray Firth gave us great, close-up views of Dolphins, including a mother with a very small youngster - well worth a visit!

Another 'out of area' day trip up North West to the Scottish Wildlife Trust's beautiful Handa Island reserve, gave us a chance to see some wonderful seabird colonies nesting on the island's cliffs - Razorbills, Guillemots, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, and, everbody's favourite - Puffins! and on the moors, Arctic & Great Skuas, Red Grouse Wheatears & much more, with a bonus sighting of an Otter fishing! Highly recommended.