August in the Cairngorms

The local area was booming with visitors in Autumn, and the countryside looks its Summery best with colour galore. The sunshine made an appearance and temperatures stayed above average, meaning days could be filled with wildlife watching. Our day guides have been popular as we aimed to show visitors the best of what the area has to offer.

Ling Heather in full bloom (Kate M)

On different routes taken to look for wildlife, the landscape is always admired for its diversity and terrain. But this August has been particularly breath-taking with the vibrancy of the ling heather. It was hard not to notice the lilac tones throughout the moorland. Heather is an important plant for many insects especially our pollinators like bees and this year it has bloomed extensively.   

Early fungi starting to push through
Devils- bit Scabious with Antler moth

Even though the temperatures were above average at times, signs of autumns arrival were all around. Fungi could be seen pushing through the ground and bracken began turning from vibrant green to tones of copper and yellow. As the wildflower season also ends, one of the last to flower is the Devils-bit Scabious. Found on grass verges this small rounded flower blooms right through until October and is important for many bees and butterflies. Especially the rare Small Scabious mining Bee, with only small numbers found in Scotland, relying heavily on the nectar of this flower. This Antler moth also enjoys this flower.

The Osprey’s in the area began to leave nest sights to begin their journey to Africa for the winter. As we head into September, we will see a gradual change over between the summer and winter migrants. Numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins are still flying in our skies and just in the past week, skeins of Pink-footed Geese have been heard flying overhead.

Visit our nearest coastline, inland loch or highland glens as the autumn migration begins and Red Deer start to rut in the hills. Visit Speyside Wildlife for how you can explore more of what the area has to offer this Autumn.