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

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Late May saw bird day-lists hit the 70 mark for the first time this year, with most of the local specialities continuing to show regularly. Highlights included;

Good views of a hunting Golden Eagle being buzzed by a very brave Peregrine Falcon

A family of 4 Red Squirrels all feeding together

Good views of a flock of 20 Golden plover in smart Summer plumage

Super close-up views of a Cuckoo (see pic)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mid-May saw a return to unsettled conditions, with some days seeing us experience all four seasons in the space of just a few hours, and some light snowfall turning the mountain-tops white.

Day lists of birds crept up through the 60's with the arrival of more migrants such as Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher,with most of the local specialites such as Osprey, Red Grouse, Black Grouse, Red-Throated Diver, Black-Throated Diver, Ring Ouzel, Dipper, Slavonian Grebe, Goldeneye, Crested Tit etc etc continuing to delight us. Mammal day-lists remained steady at between 5 & 8 depending on our luck!

Highlights included:

The very unusual occurrence of a Red-Throated Diver beaching itself on the shores of a local loch just 50 metres from us, it,s comical attempts at walking hindered by the positioning of it's legs at the very rear of it's body.

A close-up fly-past by a female Merlin with a small bird in it's claws being harried by a Buzzard.

The discovery of a Crested Tit territory giving us the opportunity to get some decent views of this usually difficult species (see pic). Great stuff!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

May,s first week saw the amazingly warm, settled weather continue. I was therefore inspired to take a small party high up into the Cairngorms in pursuit of the true mountain species. We had only been walking a while, and had reached around 2,000ft, when we had good views of male Ring Ouzel and male Red Grouse, on both occasions being alerted to their presence by their distinctive calls, a harsh "chak-chak" and a guttural "go-back, go-back" respectively - a good start! By the time we had reached 3,000 ft we had added several male Wheatears to our list, their smart grey, buff, black and white plumage giving them a very dapper appearance, and the views, of course, became truly spectacular in all directions. The gruelling "final push" up to the summit at 3,600ft was rewarded in great style, when our packed-lunch break was interrupted by a lovely close-up visit from an inquisitive male Snow Bunting in his beautiful almost all-white summer plumage (see pic). Our luck continued as we walked around the sheltered corries below the summit, when, within just a few minutes,we had good views of 2 Ptarmigan, their upper plumage beginning to turn a mixture of greys and browns, though their lower half remained winter-white, a splendid white Mountain Hare, and one of the Cairngorms Reindeers - giving us pretty much a full-house of the hoped-for species, Excellent!