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The Highlands and Islands Thread (2 Viewers)

alan kennedy

Well-known member
Hi there,

Great place for birds, albeit March isn't the best time to visit. As you say, the weather is a big factor in the Hebs. Still, plenty to see though. Have a look at http://www.western-isles-wildlife.co.uk/index.htm.

As for catching up with birds on the beach, see if you can get hold of a scope. Try keeping to the dune tops and use the scope when you come across birds on the tide line.

Enjoy your trip!

Alan
 

smc4761

Well-known member
Thanks for the link Alan, very interesting. Now that i will be looking for birds i am hopeful that Balranald will prove to be even more enjoyable than before.
 

peteh

Well-known member
Does anyone know when the ski season ends on Cairngorm?
Is it set to a date or just when the snow is gone?
I read on the website you can use the railway to get out onto the tops while it is still ski season. Is this correct as that would save me a lot of pain with my knee if I can use the railway to get to the top to try see Ptarmigan next week! :)
 

Wig131

Steve C
Hi Peteh

The ski season is governed by the snow. We were able to get the train up and walk on the tops last year during the easter weekend. Managed Ptarmigan about 300m from the visitor centre. But once the snow goes and skiing stops you can no longer use the train and then walk to the top. Cairngorm's web site is the best place to see if they are still skiing.
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
Does anyone know when the ski season ends on Cairngorm?
Is it set to a date or just when the snow is gone?
I read on the website you can use the railway to get out onto the tops while it is still ski season. Is this correct as that would save me a lot of pain with my knee if I can use the railway to get to the top to try see Ptarmigan next week! :)

It ended weeks ago this year. First March for many years that there has been no skiing at all. Hills are all currently snow free zones! Though saying that, am sure we will get a last fall before spring gets going.
At this time of year you don't need to go anywhere near the top to get Ptarmigan, you can usually scope them from the main car park, admittedly still a walk if you want closer views I'm afraid.
 
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knotsbirder

Well-known member
You might have just as much of a chance of seeing Ptarmigan from the Glenshee Ski Centre Car Park. They can be scoped from the car, but if the ski lift is in operation you can take it up the slopes to have a closer look. Its not too strenuous a walk if it is out of action.

Sam
 

Ben Nevis

Registered User
Supporter
Scotland
You might have just as much of a chance of seeing Ptarmigan from the Glenshee Ski Centre Car Park. They can be scoped from the car, but if the ski lift is in operation you can take it up the slopes to have a closer look. Its not too strenuous a walk if it is out of action.

Sam

No snow there neither and no ski lift In operation.I walked up last Sunday and got some good views but the birds were very flighty.
 

Marcus Conway - ebirder

Well-known member
It was -8 and snowing today in the Northern Corries. Not enough to to open the ski lifts! A reminder though that Ptarmigan country is still a risky place if not well prepared.

Sent via Google mobile
 

peteh

Well-known member
Hi,

We are up in the region now and had a go at Ptarmigan on Ben rhinnes yesterday but all we found were enough feathers to build a ptarmigan and about 50 Ptarmigan toilets !
So tomorrow we are walking up the cairngorm path. Is there any direction we need to go when up by the restaurant to give us a better chance of finally seeing a Ptarmigan ?
Cheers
 

dave123

Well-known member
Hi,

We are up in the region now and had a go at Ptarmigan on Ben rhinnes yesterday but all we found were enough feathers to build a ptarmigan and about 50 Ptarmigan toilets !
So tomorrow we are walking up the cairngorm path. Is there any direction we need to go when up by the restaurant to give us a better chance of finally seeing a Ptarmigan ?
Cheers

go into the ranger station and ask for the path to the north corries.takes about 1hr to walk at a steady pace. have always seen them here.
good luck
 

michaelboustead

Well-known member
Flying over to see my cousins for a few days then meeting a group to go birding in this area and on Islay. Idea on temperature or is this just kind of unknowable. Be in Scotland last two weeks in April. Been to East Lothian many times. This area of Highlands and Islay never. Very excited.

Mike
 

Capercaillie71

Well-known member
Temperature is fairly unpredictable! For example the last two days have seen the warmest March temperatures ever recorded in Scotland - 23C (73F). That's unlikely to last though! Average temperatures for that part of Scotland in late April are about 13C (55F) during the day dropping to about 5C (40F) at night.
 

peteh

Well-known member
go into the ranger station and ask for the path to the north corries.takes about 1hr to walk at a steady pace. have always seen them here.
good luck

Thanks :). That tip worked a treat . Got a great view today of our first Ptarmigan :)
Last question is is there anywhere within a 2 hour drive that would give us a really good chance to see an otter?
 

Adam M

Well-known member
Just got back from a week up your neck of the woods. Have to say, I am VERY jealous of you getting to call this place home. The mountains, the lochs, the woodlands, the entire landscape is just incredible. Don't think I've ever said WOW! that many times in a week before.

Highlights were capercaillie, dolphins at Chanonry Point, crested tit at Loch an Eilein and an osprey literally over head as me and my girlfriend were canoeing across a loch (not sure if I should post exact locations or not?).

Didn't see any eagles, crossbills, or ptarmigan, but I'm just going to use them as an excuse to come back in the future :t:

Happy birding

Adam
 

vanellus

Andrew Hodson
We will be camping on Skye 3rd to 8th June. We plan to take a boat trip as foot passengers, with the hope of picking up sea birds such as Petrels and Shearwaters. Any views as to whether the Calmac ferry to Lewis/Harris or a smaller local trip boat would produce the better chances? My better half doesn't fancy too small a craft. We did Mull to Staffa a few years ago and that was a great trip.
 

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