Saturday, 19 June 2010

Wildlife in the Highlands

We had a wonderful holiday in and around Pitlochry. Wonderful mountains, waterfalls and wildlife!

We went to Loch of Lowes nature reserve where we had wonderful views of red squirrels, this one was feeding on one of the bird feeders and let Crafty Green Boyfriend take its photo. In the background on the left hand side you can see a greater spotted woodpecker, and we saw plenty of them on the trip! On the Loch itself we saw an osprey, not close enough for a photo but it looked wonderfully majestic as it sat on a tree across the water. Unfortunately if you read the Loch of the Lowes blog you will see that the female osprey has become very ill. Hopefully she will pull through and if not hopefully the male will be able to continue to bring up the chicks himself.
We saw a lot of red deer while we were away. While we walked along part of the River Dee, there was a herd of red deer on the hills on the opposite bank who followed us along as we walked.
There were lots of swallows, house martins and swifts everywhere. We saw a swallows' nest in a roof with a couple of youngsters almost falling out. On a couple of evenings we ate at a country pub, sitting outside with views of the village square, swifts and house martins chasing each other round the church spire and the rooftops and house sparrows chirping cheerily from the privet hedges. House sparrow numbers are plummeting across the UK and its always cheerign to see a colony so obviously thriving.
We also caught glimpses of frogs, toads, a lizard, a baby black rabbit and droppings from what we think was probably a pine marten.
We also saw lots of interesting insects and they deserve a post to themselves, so that will come along later in the week as will some photos of waterfalls and mountains!

12 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Just a lovely outing. Thanks for sharing. Edward hates our grey squirrels with a passion. I wonder how he would feel about the red ones?

Lily Wideaux said...

I've always wanted to see the highlands. So beautiful and green and I bet the air is so clean and fresh. Just seeing it stirs so many emotions in me, as though I have already been there...

Annette F Tait said...

very interesting Juliet! I'm heading North and shall maybe stop by, I usually always stop at Dunkeld for a break - it's such a beautiful place.
That red squirrel looks healthy and well fed and I've never seen a woodpecker before!
I hope the female osprey gets better!

gabriellebryden said...

I'd love to visit there one day. Toads are an introduced species in Australia and need to be eradicated. I gather that is not the case where you are? I've finished reading 'unthinkable skies' and absolutely loved it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

When the osprey migrate in the Autumn they often come through the Dales, Juliet - it is quite common to see one sitting on a pole, or by the river bank looking for fish.

We do get GS Woodpeckers regularly in our garden too.

Your walk sounds a delight - aren't we both lucky to live near to such lovely countryside?

Deb G said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! Someday I may erase all the good I'm doing not owning a car and take a plane trip to see your corner of the world. Next best is getting to see it through your eyes...

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Sounds like a fabulous time.

Gillena Cox said...

happy to hear you had a wonderful time; another nice photo banner

much love
gillena

HKatz said...

Lovely post. I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday and saw this wonderful variety of creatures. Looking forward to the waterfalls, mountains and insects :)

Gordon Mason said...

Really sad about the Lady. We were at the Loch last week and enjoyed seeing her feeding the chicks and flying herself. From the blog, it seems only a matter of time...

Caroline Gill said...

I always really enjoy reading about your holiday exploits, Juliet. I have seen Red Squirrels on Brownsea Island, but would love to see one in Scotland.

I continue to feel challenged by the knowledge and passion of my fellow bloggers, and by their commitment to conservation.

My own enjoyment of the natural world has increased hugely since I started blogging. Thank you, Juliet and all you others out there!

Robin Rule said...

thank you so much for posting a photo of the red squirrel! i have always loved greys, in fact our litter is racing up and down the tree like little boys on their bikes. But i have only seen reds through Beatrice Potter and Squirrel Nutkin. We still remember the rhymes he taunted the Owl with.

Our Scots cousins are quite beautiful. Do you have flying squirrels in yr neck of the woods? I know by watching animals one can see what they eat, but i have only seen a squirrel eat acorn. Do you know if they eat anything else? (our have been sneaking dry cat food off the porch, but i doubt that's a natural staple!)