The oldest osprey of the UK – and probably the world – has returned to her eyrie in the Scottish highlands. When she left for West Africa at the end of last summer, no one expected her to return. At 26 she’s lived 3 times longer than most female ospreys. In her life she’s laid 58 eggs and hatched 48 chicks, a massive individual contribution to the survival of ospreys in Scotland, where there are still only about 200 breeding pairs. The questions now are if her mate will return and if she is still fertile. Events can be followed on the webcam of the Loch of the Lowes reserve.
Remarkable images of the rare Scottish wild cats in the highlands have been captured on automatic cameras. The photos give an insight into the secret world of one of Britain’s most endangered and elusive species, also known as the “highland tiger”. The camera photo-traps are attached to trees in the Cairngorms National Park. BBC
I enjoyed this short diary from the Highland News on the ups and downs of wildlife in the Highlands this summer and how to attract pine martens with jam. It also mentions the old persecution dippers which were shot in “unbelievable numbers” on many Highland rivers as they were thought to have a marked effect on the eggs and young of the salmon.
A red deer stag stands with its powerful neck raised, antlers filling the sky. In the background mists swirl over the Scottish Highlands. The Monarch of the Glen was painted in 1851 by Sir Edwin Landseer, a star in his own time. Animals were his speciality, both in painting and sculpture – the lions at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar square are his. Emotive portraits of animals went down very well with the Victorian public, crossing the class divide. Queen Victoria had Landseer paint her pets, while the middle classes bought prints of his work to hang at home. Continue reading The Monarch of the Glen – the most famous animal portrait ever?
Remote, basic but comfortable, award-winning hostel accommodation in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands. Inaccessible by car, Loch Ossian Hostel, a converted boat house, is 20 minutes walk from Corrour railway station on Rannoch Moor. Ecological from top to toe – with bat-friendly paint (for benefit of colony in attic) and powered by wind and sun. Ideal for walking and wildlife observation. More information here
Photo: A. Kurata
The deepest lake in the UK is Loch Morar in the Scottish Highlands, which reaches a depth of 309 metres (754 ft). This steep-sided glacial lake – 19 km long –has its own monster, just like Loch Ness, which the locals call Morag. Continue reading Deepest lake in Britain
Rather nice video here of a cheeky Pine Marten near Loch Ness. Continue reading Pine marten video
The Aigas Field Centre in Scotland offer you the chance watch wild Pine Martens and Badgers from their own specially-built hide. It was originally built to watch Badgers, which still visit the feeding station every night, but the Martens also took a liking to the spot, and are a regular visitor.The people who run it say “We encourage the mammals to visit by putting out a small amount of peanuts and a tablespoon of jam. The food is merely to entice them in – by no means do we sustain them or interfere with their territoriality.” They claim that the success rate for seeing Pine Martens during each 2 hour hide visit is a remarkable 95%, all through the year. They also promise prolonged views of feeding and playing Martens at distance of between 6 and 30 feet. The field centre looks a great place to stay offering “Wildlife, Birdwatching, History & Nature Holidays in the Highlands of Scotland”. More on this soon.
Visit the Aigas Pine Marten and Badger hide
According to the Telegraph the remotest place in Britain is near Carnmore in the Scottish Highlands. Grid reference NH02020 77000, height 2,000 feet. The greatest danger is being taken for a deer and being shot by a hunter.
“It all seemed so different from the comfort and warmth of home. When I rang Ordnance Survey the man had said, “Sure, no problem. We have that information on file. The remotest point in Britain is in north-west Scotland. We measure it by the distance from the nearest road (near Grudie). It’s 6.48 miles.”
Images from the area:
Yahoo Answers suggests Cape Wrath, the Assynt Peninsula or the Island of Foula, among others.