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

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


May 2011 was unfortunately, a bit on the wild side weather-wise in this area! With just about every type of weather imaginable being experienced at some point, and seemingly 4 seasons in one day at times! Temperatures fluctuated wildly from -4c to +20c, and the end of month floods proved disastrous for many birds nesting in flood plain areas such as our local Insh Marshes and the cold wet weather and accompanying lack of insects could not have been timed worse for those birds needing them for food. However, it was not all doom & gloom, with the last of the summer visitor birds such as Swift, Spotted Flycatcher & Cuckoo arriving, bird day-lists crept up into the high 50's & low 60's and mammal day-lists averaged 8 species.
Wildlife highlights included:
Capercaillie were seen regularly at dawn, though sightings tailed-off noticeably mid-month as the 'lekking' season came to an end.
Similarly, our local Black Grouse entertained us superbly (see pic) up to the end of the month, though they too became more elusive later on.
A marvellous early-morning close encounter with an Otter on a local loch - cue big smiles on my & my safari clients faces!
Our local Ospreys provided fantastic entertainment, with us witnessing plunge-dives (some successful, some not) , numerous fish deliveries and parents feeding youngsters - great stuff!
Fledglings! Just about every species of bird now seems to have youngsters - including our local Ospreys, Red Grouse and Crested Tits.
Most of our 'local speciality' species (Dipper, Black Grouse, Red Grouse, Red-Throated Diver, Black-Throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe, Goldeneye, Osprey, Crested Tit, Crossbill, Red Squirrel, Red Deer, Mountain Goat, Mountain Hare etc) continued to show regularly, though Golden Eagle sightings became harder to come by as the days lengthen & they have more available hours of hunting time.
A couple of other more common bird species that proved very popular with my customers, more because of their gorgeous good looks rather than their rarity value were our local Redstarts and Golden Plovers, both looking splendid in their summer colours.
Dolphins! A trip to the Moray Coast saw us enjoy a fantastic couple of hours entertainment as a group of around a dozen fished & dived & leapt & played, sometimes at amazingly close range - superb & highly recommended!
To summarise, May is an amazing month for wildlife-watching in this area, and although the weather can be a bit changeable, I can honestly say, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world than here during Springtime!