Crestie_9410_LowR_edited.jpg

WELCOME TO THE SPEYSIDE WILDLIFE BLOG

Including our Evening Mammal Hide reports, seasonal updates and holiday trip reports.

 

The Inner Hebrides of Scotland

With its rugged coastline, remote islands, blue water and wildlife around every corner, the Coast of Scotland is a popular place to visit amongst tourists and wildlife watchers alike. Many of Speyside Wildlife’s holidays to the Coast include the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Isle of Mull, but this brand-new holiday for 2021 explores the harder to visit Inner Hebridean islands of Eigg, Rum, Coll and Tiree – each island with its unique landscape and wildlife only reachable by bo

March in the Cairngorms

Although many of you have not had the chance to visit the area for obvious reasons, we hope these blogs keep you up to date and excited about your next visit to the area. March has been an unseasonably mild month with blue skies for days, plenty of signs of spring appearing and birds singing from treetops in the Speyside area. Even staying close to home, walks to local lochans and through our varied woodlands, wildlife has been active and stopping me in my tracks to admire an

Guided Wildlife Day Trips in the Cairngorms National Park

Many people visit the Cairngorms National Park for its beauty and a chance to see some of the unique wildlife that can be found here. Speyside Wildlife, based on the northern side of the Cairngorms, covering the area of Strathspey and Badenoch with highland glens and coastal wildlife watching not too far away. If you are coming on holiday looking for a unique chance to spend a day exploring the area and look for wildlife, a day guiding experience with one of our experienced w

Spring Signs at the Wildlife Hide

The wildlife around our wildlife hide has spring in their steps and activity levels are beginning to increase. As the last of the birds like Song Thrush and Robin sing their evening song the Tawny Owls have been heard from nearby woods, getting ready for the breeding season ahead. Time for dinner! After the previous blog, the Badgers have been showing signs of breeding as the whole clan venture out in search of food. The females tend to arrive first for an early bite before t

For the Love of Otters

There is one mammal in Scotland that mainly people hope to catch a glimpse of diving or lounging on seaweed, the Otter. Here at Speyside Wildlife, we love to explore our rivers and coastlines for these unique mammals as they are always great to watch. If you follow our Facebook page you will have seen a recent video from our frozen marshes. Otter on frozen marsh (Kate M) What is an Otter? There are thirteen different species of Otters around the world, but the UK is home to t

January in the Cairngorms

Temperatures in the Cairngorms this month have barely got above zero degrees Celsius, looking set to remain through February. Along with temperatures, the snow has turned our landscape into a winter wonderland as winter really takes hold in the Cairngorms National Park. With thermals on, exploring our local patch has been breath-taking but very cold. (Top) Otter tracks on the frozen loch and in he snow (bottom) Badger prints and Pheasant wing marks Most wildlife has been keep

New Year at the Wildlife Hide

Happy new year from everyone at Speyside Wildlife and of course the wildlife here in the Cairngorms National Park! Thank you to all the support from opening our new wildlife hide next year, we hope to welcome you all to the hide this year. The wildlife hasn’t stopped over the festive period and we are going to look at the activity over the past few weeks here at the evening wildlife hide. Pine Marten prints in fresh snow Badger prints in the snow We have been in a winter wond

November in the Cairngorms

It has been a month of early sunsets, woodland walks and time at home this November in the Cairngorms as winter creeps up on us. It has however been surprisingly mild with only a couple of frosty mornings and snow on the high tops. The last of the autumn leaves have clung onto the birch trees and with the low winter sun, there have been lovely colours of burnt orange across our landscapes. Insh Marshes at sunset (Kate M) Anagach walk with Red Squirrel (Kate M) A walk in early

Acrobatics at the Wildlife Hide

The nights are dark, the snow has been in the air and the wildlife has been active in the evening watch hide. With fewer visitors, the cameras have been catching much of the activity as well as our weekly live streams from the hide on Facebook. Two Pine martens (Sue Parker) The female Pine Marten that we have been following from previous blogs has continued to be seen at the hide, sometimes enjoying a hen’s egg as a treat. On our night cameras, however, we have picked up a se

Fantastic Fungi

Autumn has been a perfect time to look for the fantastic fungi found in nature. Coming in all shapes, sizes and colours the wet autumn days have presented us with these wonderful fungi. Our previous blogs have mentioned some of these interesting organisms but let’s explore them more. They are split into three different groups that serve an important part role in our ecosystems, feeding on dead and live wood to give nutrients back to our soil. Angel Wings Deadman’s fingers The

Special Guest at the Wildlife Hide

The Autumn storms have passed over and the nights are drawing darker at the wildlife hide. Since opening in July we have watched the wildlife and their behaviours as we start to enter the winter months. Our guests have had the pleasure of enjoying these sightings and getting to know the animals too. Mike and Kate ready for the evening watch We welcome many guests into the hide, from members of the public to wildlife groups who are exploring this part of the Scottish Highlands

October in the Cairngorms

A month of rain, wind, sunshine and plenty of wildlife, Autumn has been in full swing this month in the Cairngorms National Park. After quite a dry season, the storms rolled in over October bringing plenty of rain to the area along with vibrant colours and fungi galore. With the arrival of heavy rain, our waterfalls were looking spectacular and small streams turned into torrents of peaty water coming from our mountain tops. Flooded stream and rain dropped leaf Common Puffball

Hide and Seek at the Wildlife Hide

Dark nights are upon us and as the Autumn turns to Winter the feeding and movement of the mammals will begin to change. The wildlife hide has still had plenty of activity over the last fortnight. Common Pipistrelle bats flying overhead, taking shelter under the tree canopy and Tawny Owls hooting from nearby trees, sometimes just out of sight of the lights. Wood Mouse with its snack (Kate M) The smallest mammal, the Wood Mouse has been keeping guests entertained with their spe

Autumn Wildlife to Look Out For

This is a unique time of year when we see the movement of birds on migration. The new season arrives, and we start to spot some interesting birds arrive or pass by the British Isles. Long summer days with singing breeding birds is replaced by wild weather and cold winds that bring in a variety of winter visitors that we can look out for. Here we explore some of the species found in the Cairngorms or surrounding areas and what makes them fantastic winter visitors to look out f

Autumn Activity and News from the Wildlife Hide

The nights are getting darker and there is a cool nip in the air, leaves are scattering on the ground and signs of autumn are all around. Red Deer stag rutting (David Braddock) As the meeting time changes to keep up with the Badgers feeding patterns, we are hearing the final bird songs of the evening before it gets dark. October is a busy month for many animals and one very vocal one that we now hear every evening is the Red Deer. Red Deer stags ‘rut’ in the autumn in prepara

September in the Cairngorms

Days that start off cool and frosty warming during the day, showers of rain and leaves beginning to fall, it must be September in the Cairngorms. After the vibrant purples of August, the grassy heathlands, bracken and trees are turning rusty orange. The frosty nights have covered areas in dew, making spider webs on heather very visible on a morning walk in the area. Bird migration begins making for some interesting days out in the field and autumn storms are on the way. Dew c

Bird species of the month – Osprey

As we come to the end of the summer months, we take a look at one of the areas favourite breeding birds found in here in the Cairngorms National park. The Osprey is a summer migrant and one of many birds of prey found in the UK and Scotland. As they now begin their journeys back to their wintering grounds, we look at our favourite things about these amazing travellers. Flying Osprey (James Stevens) These incredible migrators will travel around 5,000 miles from Western Africa

July in the Cairngorms

With travel restrictions relaxed here in Scotland, we have been able to explore the Cairngorms in July. Being the height of summer, the countryside and wildlife that is here is thriving and there has been lots to discover and explore in the area. The green scenery has been shown off in the dappled sunshine and rain showers have boosted the growth of wildflowers. Round-leaved Sundew Sundew plant with flower above As the bog cotton, mentioned in the previous blog disappears, th

Feeding Young at the Wildlife Hide

As June comes to an end, we update on the activity at the wildlife hide over the past couple of weeks. With the longest day falling last week, it has given a great opportunity for seeing the wildlife in daylight whilst watching the sun go down, creating some impressive sunsets over the distant hills. Tawny Owlet On an early evening stroll nearby to the hide, this young Tawny Owl was screeching in the dense forest and was not startled by the presence of a human, managing a cou

Wildflowers Galore!

As Spring rolls into summer, heathland becomes carpeted in every colour of the rainbow. If you read our May in the Cairngorms blog, you may have seen a small selection of wildflowers. Wildflowers become a spectacle at this time of year, some creeping along the ground, some pushing their way above the high grass all different in appearance. A lot of our flower appear in May and June, with July seeing the peak of their bloom. Keep a lookout for these and many other flowers over