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

Friday, July 01, 2011

June 2011 was, again, a very changeable month weather-wise, with some cold days and even a light dusting of snow on the high tops early on, and pretty much every type of weather experienced at some stage, though temperatures were generally higher than those in May. With the days at their longest now, there really is virtually 24 hours a day of wildlife watching available, and with a 'full-set' of summer species here, bird day-list hit their highest totals of the year, with often over 60 different species being seen. Mammal day-lists too were impressive with up to 9 different species recorded.

Wildlife highlights included:

Our local Ospreys continued to delight us, with many sightings of them plunge-diving to catch a fish, delivering the fish to the nest, feeding the youngsters, and the rapidly-growing youngsters stretching & flapping their wings - great stuff!

June is the best time to brave the high tops for the 'mountain species' - with Dotterel, Ptarmigan & Snow Bunting all being reported - though it has to be said that you should only attempt this habitat in good conditions.

Our local speciality bird species ( Dipper, Goldeneye, Osprey, Red Grouse, Red -Throated Diver, Black-Throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe (see pic), Crested Tit, Crossbill, Ring Ouzel, etc) were all seen regularly, though sightings of Capercaillie, Black Grouse & Golden Eagle were much harder to come by.....

Cuckoos featured regularly on my safaris, with as many as 5 being seen on one day, though many of my guests tell me that they find them very hard to see elsewhere in the UK....

Crossbills were seen not just regularly, but spectacularly well on several occasions - not a common occurrence! - ask any wildlife guide, and they will tell you that Crossbills are one of the hardest species to get a really good view of!

Although Golden Eagle is generally harder to see in summer, we did have one marvellous sighting of a juvenile bird duelling with a Buzzard in a beautiful upland glen - magic!

A strange, writhing, rolling, 'ball of fur' in the middle of a busy A-road suddenly turned into a family of young Stoats!, who suddenly (& thankfully!) scattered when we approached - amazing!

An early morning close encounter with a beautifully marked Woodcock and her family of fluffy brown chicks on a quiet woodland track - a bird rarely seen that well.

The end of the month saw a rare vagrant settle in a nearby village on the edge of a forest - a superb (& singing) bright red summer-plumaged Common Rosefinch - a bird usually seen much further North & East in Europe, so a rare treat for us!

Our local speciality mammals deserve a mention, as we locals can tend to take them for granted a little - but we must remember that species such as Red Deer, Red Squirrel, Reindeer, Mountain Goat & Mountain Hare are not exactly common in most of the UK, and my safari clients are always pleased to see them.

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