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

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 2009 was warm but very changeable, with no two consecutive days alike and a fold-up waterproof jacket a must-have!

Bird day-lists hit 60+ early month but dropped into the 50's later in the month as many of the wader species vacated the area. Mammal day-list remained steady at 6-9.

Wildlife highlights included:

Many of the 'local specialities' (Dipper, Slavonian Grebe, Red-Throated Diver, Black-Throated Diver, Osprey, Goldeneye, Red Grouse, Red Squirrel etc) many with young, continued to show well and it always brings me great pleasure to see many of my clients add these to their 'life-lists', especially if they have struggled to find them themselves!

July is always a big month for our Ospreys, with the early part of the month seeing the well-grown youngsters stretching & flapping their wings and the latter part of the month seeing them make their first faltering flights - a magic, if nerve-wracking moment!

Several decent sightings of Golden eagles, usually being mobbed by other raptors which gave us the chance to see the huge size difference between the Eagle & say.. a Peregrine Falcon.

Several sightings of Stoats chasing Rabbits

A strenuous but very rewarding walk up a local mountain, along with great scenic views in all directions, gave fantastic close-up views of one of our rarest, most beautiful, and thankfully, most confiding birds - the Dotterel. Some patient searching on a grassy plateau near the summit revealing a small number of adult (see pic) and juvenile birds. Whilst at the summit, my mate Malcy & I also had an amazing 'too close for comfort' encounter with a plummeting Golden Eagle, which shot over his head at a speed which had to be seen to be believed, and which was so close , we could actually hear the wind rushing through it's tightly folded wings - an incredible moment!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Late June 2009 saw us enjoy some beautiful ,hot, sunny weather with temperatures even reaching 30c on a couple of occasions - unusually warm for this area! With over 20 hours of daylight available there is no shortage of time for wildlife watching, though the crepuscular (dawn & dusk) species require an early start & late finish!

Bird day-lists still topped 60 species, with mammal day-lists steady at 6-10 depending on our luck.

Wildlife highlights included:

Most of our local specialities (Dipper, Goldeneye, Red / Black - Throated Divers, Slavonian Grebe, Red Grouse, Crested Tit, Ring Ouzel, Osprey, Red Deer, Red Squirrel etc) continued to show well.

Fledglings! First sightings of young Slavonian Grebe, Ring Ouzel & Black-Throated Diver.

Regular sightings of families of Stoats hunting for Rabbits.

Continued regular views of Osprey fishing in local lochs.

Good views of large herds of Red Deer in upland glens - the stags & hinds still in separate groups, seemingly more interested in feeding than each other.

A short, but extremely enjoyable family trip to the isle of Mull - concentrating on the area I know best (the South-East corner) produced super views of all the target species - Sea Eagle (at nest & flying), Golden Eagle (hunting) & some of our best ever close-ups of Otter (see pic), along with good views of bonus birds such as Short-Eared Owl, Gannet, Black Guillemot & Snipe.