January in the Cairngorms

The first month of the new year is over and we look forward to the year ahead. Until the middle of January, the Cairngorms had experienced quite a mild Winter, with garden flowers starting to bloom. With a fresh layer of the snow, the countryside has gleamed, perfect for Winter walks and photos.

Badger Footprint in the snow (KateM)
Red Squirrel eating in the snow (KateM)

Walking along a woodland path of snow, you could follow a path of footprints from a variety of wildlife. Badgers, Deer and Red Squirrel footprints were easy to follow, often leading to a food source. Sitting quietly near Red Squirrels while they search for food, you can be lucky to get them coming within feet of you, getting some close-up photos. In the Winter, Red Squirrels grow thicker fur, with added insulation on the tufts of their ears for extra warmth. They will visit feeders in gardens, woodlands, car parks for easy food, their favourite being shelled hazelnuts that are good for their teeth. They will ‘cache’ their food under grass, vegetation in order to use when the weather gets worse and hide it from other squirrels.

Winter Woodland path (KateM)

The Winter weather arrived just in time for the BBC Winterwatch team, who spent January exploring the Cairngorms and the wildlife it has to offer. Read all about the programme in a previous blog. The four-day set of programmes saw the Cairngorms and surrounding areas being highlighted, with wildlife stories being at the front of the agenda. Wildlife such as the Brambling, Crested tit, Pine Marten and Badgers were followed during the week as well as other Winter favourites. You can also have a chance of seeing Badger and Pine Martens at our very own Evening Wildlife Hide.

Snow is still falling in the Cairngorms and if you are coming to visit, remember to wrap up warm and take a camera and binoculars! You can also book a Day Guide with us, for a chance to see some of the Winter wildlife at its best.