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 30, 2010

July 2010 was a very changeable month, weather-wise, with just about every combination of sun, rain, cloud & wind that you could imagine, though with the days still long, it's still a great month for wildlife watching. Bird day-lists topped 60+ species at the start of the month, though they dropped a little at the end as some of our wader species began to depart the area. Mammal day-lists remained strong at 6-9 species depending on our luck.

Wildlife highlights included:

Osprey action! July is 'Osprey month' (see pic) in my opinion, with the early part of the month seeing the adult birds working frantically to feed the ever-growing youngsters as often as possible, making it the best month for seeing the amazing spectacle of Ospreys fishing and delivering fish to the nest. With the added bonus later in the month, of seeing the youngsters perched on the edge of the nest flapping their wings furiously, and then ultimately fledging, making their first ever flights... great stuff!

Another dawn close-encounter with a female Capercaillie, on a forest track, with her happily taking grit quite unperturbed by us sitting quietly close by in my safari vehicle - a great start to the day - making the early start worthwhile.

Our closest ever views - down to 4ft away! - of a family of Crested Tits feeding at our eye level for a good 10 minutes, giving my safari clients the rare opportunity of getting some close-up photos.

Butterflies! July is our best month for butterfly spotting, with all the common species showing well, and our local speciality species such as Mountain Argus being spotted for the first time this year.

The first sunny day after a couple of rainy days giving us the rare & very enjoyable sight of 5 different species of raptor ( Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Peregrine & Red Kite) all seen from the same spot in a beautiful upland glen in a 20 minute spell - magic!

Most of the 'local speciality' bird species (Dipper, Red & Black-Throated Divers, Slavonian Grebe, Red Grouse, Osprey, Crested Tit, Crossbill etc, all with well-grown young, continued to show well & delight my clients, with the occasional sighting of Capercaillie, Black grouse & Golden Eagle sometimes putting the icing on the cake!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

June 2010 was mainly a warm, dry month - great weather for safaris, and with the days at their longest there was nearly 24 hours available for wildlife watching, for those with the stamina to attempt it! We usually get our biggest bird day-lists in June, with 60+ species a day not uncommon, and with mammal day-lists steady at 6-10 species a day, depending on our luck, my clients invariably went home very happy with what they had seen.

Wildlife highlights included:

Most of our local specialities (Red-Throated Diver, Black-Throated Diver, Osprey, Ring Ouzel, Red Grouse, Goldeneye, Dipper, Crossbill, Crested Tit, Red Squirrel, Red Deer, Mountain Goat, Mountain Hare etc etc) continued to show well, with occasional sightings of other sought after species such as Capercaillie, Black Grouse & Golden Eagle.

Our local Ospreys continued to delight us , with regular sightings of them fishing, delivering fish, & feeding the rapidly growing youngsters.

An incredibly close - less than 6ft away!! - dawn view of a pair of Woodcock in a local forest, giving us a rare chance to admire their incredibly intricate, cryptic plumage.

The fantastic, and very rare!, sight of 3 Golden Eagles in the air together, hunting in a beautiful local upland glen.

The (even rarer!) treat of a dawn sighting of Britain's rarest & difficult to see mammal, the Scottish Wildcat - my first sighting for over 2 years!

The end of the month saw me take a small party to one of my favourite wildlife-watching locations in the whole UK - Mull. An epic 16 hour day saw us on the island by 8am, and by the end of the day, we had enjoyed super views of Otters fishing, Golden Eagles & White-Tailed Sea-Eagles, Red- Throated Divers & many other various sea-birds - a tiring, but very enjoyable day!