With the summer coming to an end, the wild heather was at its peak and blooming a vibrant lilac purple that filled the ground throughout the moors and pine tree forests. The “Ling” heather that flowers here in August has many uses as a plant, whether it’s for decorative purposes for wedding bouquets, medicinal or in brewing. The most known use is as Scottish Heather Honey. With a decline in bees, the highlands certainly help the population of the bees that collect the pollen from our heather to make this delicious honey.
Most adult birds disappear into the woods in August. After a busy Summer raising chicks, they start to shed their feathers, making them less able to fly so instead they rest. Adult ducks go through ‘eclipse’ shedding their feathers resulting in the drakes (males) to look like females for a few weeks until their new feathers grow in. However, this year’s fledglings become active and very vocal and birds such as the Willow Warblers, Buzzards and Crested Tits tested their vocals as they hopped through the trees or as they flew over the trees. A walk through a local woodland, I was joined by a large group of ‘tits.’ Calls of the Coal, Long tailed, Blue and Crested Tit echoed through the trees and great views of the Crested Tit as they came closer in search of food.
The Cairngorms National Park has a wide selection of environments for our wildlife, from straths, moorland, mountain and forests. The outstanding beauty of the area makes it a popular place for visitors from all over the world. If you are lucky enough to have a week in the park, there are many places to explore and wildlife to watch. Many visitors however, may just have one day that they can commit, meaning our day guides are perfect for getting an overview of the area. You will spend the day in the company of our wildlife guide in our minibus that will help you find some our iconic wildlife, or just explore what the Cairngorms environment has to offer. You can visit our website to find out more about our Day Guides.