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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A wonderful weekend in Scotland

 We spent the first weekend of February in the highlands of Scotland, a trip that we had been looking forward to for many months, staying in a lovely little cabin in the woods.  We went in the hope that we would get the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife including Ptarmigan, Mountain hares and Crested Tits and we were blessed to see all three but with the added bonus of seeing wild red deer, red squirrels and to also have a pine marten, badger and hare visit our little cabin.

Our first day was spent with a friend of ours who lives locally and he acted as our guide for the day taking us to a very remote and beautiful glen where we saw plenty of wild red deer......



 and then on to a beautiful mountain valley where we saw mountain hares.  While Gary and Graeme were photographing the mountain hares I remained a distance away as I only had a small lens on my camera and was happy to watch through the binoculars.  I was thrilled however when I saw a hare running down the mountain towards me, I instinctively crouched down and the hare stopped just a few metres away from me, staring at me - after watching him watching me for a while I slowly raised my camera and took some photos - what a magical experience that was!!!  Here is one of the photos I took


It had been a wonderful day and to top it all we had a pine marten visit the cabin that evening to feed on the peanuts we had left out!  This photo was taken by Gary through the cabin window


The pine marten wasn't the only visitor we had over the weekend - we also had a badger and a brown hare visit - I knew badgers like peanuts but have never heard of brown hares enjoying them - this one visited several times over the weekend!




On the Sunday we went to the Abernethy forest to look for Crested Tits and were thrilled to get good sightings of them - they can only be found in this area of Scotland and I have only ever seen one once before so it was wonderful to spend the afternoon watching and photographing them as well as a variety of other birds



On Monday we went looking for Ptarmigan on the way up Cairngorm mountain - it was a beautiful winter's day with blue skies and not a breath of wind - we could hear the croaky calls of the ptarmigan before we saw them.  Beautiful to see them in their winter plumage in the snow.  This photo was taken by Gary as I didn't get this close and was watching from a distance through the binoculars.  


I was also surprised to see lots of red grouse above the snow line - I hadn't known they came up that high - lovely to get photographs of them in the snow




After spending the morning with Ptarmigan and Red grouse on a snow topped mountain on a beautiful winter's day, it was sadly time for the long drive home to North Wales, leaving sunny Scotland behind ... but we have booked the same cabin for a few days in April so we'll be back!!!




2 comments:

  1. What a marvelous post, Sharon. The pics are fabulous and I loved reading every word.
    The crested tits just are extra special so I thank you for giving me goose bumps!

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    Replies
    1. they certainly were an absolute pleasure to watch Julie, thank you for commenting and glad it gave you goose bumps - I had goosebumps watching them!

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