September in the Cairngorms
Although Summer is at an end, some days have had warmth in the air with a mix of light showers and sunny spells. Autumn colours began to appear as well as some impressive looking fungi in the woodlands nearby.
Fly Agaric in the woodland
The Autumn preparations have begun for our hibernating animals and for the Badgers and Pine Martens at the Wildlife hide. This year’s wild fruit crops such as blaeberry, cherry and rowan berries have been in abundance making it the perfect diet for Pine Martens, whose diet in the Autumn is mainly made up of fruits. On regular walks in the area over the course of the month, I came across many Pine Marten scatt that was full of cherry pips and dark purple in colour (rich in wild berries.) Badger visitors to the hide filled up their tummies until they were full every night, even braving some fierce wind and rain!
Pine Marten filling up at the hide
Although Red Squirrels don’t hibernate in the Winter they were still busy feeding as they start to ‘cache’ nuts and fruits in holes and crevasses in trees to keep them going through the season. You can often hear crunching and cones falling from the tops of tree as they are busy collecting seeds from cones. I caught this friendly visitor to my garden conserving energy on top of my wood shed as it cuddled up and had ‘forty winks!’
Red Squirrel having a ‘wee snooze’
The Winter migration has started, with many of our Summer visitors such as Swifts and Osprey returning to warmer climates in Africa, to the arrival of Autumn/Winter visitors such as Pink Footed Geese and Whooper Swans to our fields and inland lochans. The countryside is filling with Autumnal oranges and yellows with October being a popular time to enjoy the sights of the Cairngorms National Park. To visit the area or to book a night in our Wildlife Hide, click here.