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

Monday, July 30, 2007

Late July saw us get a few sunnier days but daytime temperatures still rarely topped 18c and some nights saw temperatures as low as 5c! These big diurnal temperature ranges often create very atmospheric, misty mornings though, as compensation (see pic).

Safari highlights included:

Good views of Mountain Hare families on the boulder-strewn slopes of an upland glen - their mottled blue-grey/brown/white coats providing good camouflage.

Super overhead views of a Peregrine Falcon and Kestrel having a high-speed fracas, giving us a good chance to compare the the slim, lightweight build of the Kestrel with the altogether heavier more solid build of the Peregrine.

Watching an Osprey make several (sadly,unsuccessful!) plunges into a rather choppy upland loch - a fantastic sight to see!

Several sightings of Stoats chasing young Rabbits.

Our first sightings of Mountain Argus Butterflies, a local speciality.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mid-July saw no significant improvement in the weather, and perhaps these un-summerlike conditions hastened the Autumn dispersal of breeding birds from the hills and moors, with species such as Redshanks, Curlews, Lapwings and Oystercatchers becoming noticeable by their absence.
There is still plenty to see though, with recent highlights including:

An unusually close-up view of a pair of Red-Throated Divers on a local loch on a beautifully calm, misty morning.

A family of 4 Red Squirrels all feeding closely together.

A really close view of a whole family of 6 Spotted Flycatchers perched on a track-side fence.

Seeing the newly fledged Osprey young taking their first flights and watching intently as their parents teach them how to fish.

Some great early-morning close-ups of Roe Deer - why do they always seem to run out in front of cars?!!

Good views of a very un-seasonal Whooper Swan (usually a winter visitor). This bird has now spent nearly two full years on a local loch, and I suspect it is probably unable to make its usual migration flights due to injury (or perhaps it just likes it here!)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Early July saw a slight improvement in the weather, maybe Summer is here at last?

Safari highlights included:

A new mammal day-list record of 11 (Rabbit, Otter, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Reindeer, Red Squirrel(see pic), Mink, Water Vole, Sika Deer, Mountain Goat, Mountain Hare)

Seeing the 2 young Osprey in a local nest flapping their wings furiously in preparation for fledging, under the watchful eyes of their parents

A good close-up view of an Otter on the River Spey soon after dawn

Good views of a pair of Red-Throated Divers, a family of Crested Tits and a family of Scottish Crossbills all from the same forested lochside location!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Late June saw the unsettled weather continue, with a light dusting of snow being noted on Cairngorm on the 26th!!. Safaris continued of course, with the unseasonal weather adding a certain amount of atmosphere to the experience! recent highlights included:

A dawn encounter with a Scottish Wildcat and it,s 2 kittens - their robust build, thick black-circled tails and wariness of humans hinting at their lineage - though only a DNA test can confirm it for sure, as they are known to mate with domestic cats!

Several sightings of Stoats hunting young Rabbits - it always amazes me when I see them tackling prey that is much larger & heavier than themselves!

Great views of Ospreys feeding their young in the nest - with the youngsters visibly growing by the day!

Very close views of Red Grouse families - some with as many as 9 young.

Good views of Crested Tit families - their chuckling trills betraying their presence.

Several amazing close encounters with Sparrowhawks hunting smaller birds near bird feeders (see pic. courtesy of Joe Adams)