Since arriving in the UK in 1998, it was always a dream to spend time in the Cairngorms. Not just at any time though. I wanted to go there at the height of winter. Before this trip, I’d spent a brief session in a red squirrel hide up in Scotland so knew how special it could be. Along with breath-taking landscapes, there were other species that I wanted to see and photograph if I got the chance.
So when I saw that Northshots were providing a week-long chance to visit and photograph these species, I booked immediately.
High on the list were Crested Tit, Red Squirrel and possibly, Ptarmigan. However, I got so much more.
For more images from this encounter with the Mountain Hare, please read – Chasing Mountain Hares in Scotland
In the Mountains.
On one of the days, we went up the Cairngorm Mountain because there was more snow up at altitude (none in the forests). It was a chance to see my first white mountain hare. No more than a few hundred meters from the car-park (and ski-lift) we found two Red Grouse sitting nicely for a few photos. We gladly took the chance before climbing higher. After another ten minutes of walking, we stumbled onto a mountain hare that was hunkered down in a hole. It decided not to hang about for too long, but we did manage some great photos as it disappeared. The unpredictable weather was turning, but we kept going up the mountain until the eagle-eyed guide picked up the crouching shape of a white ptarmigan. It was in near white-out conditions so proved a little hard to photograph, but I managed a few passable shots. This boy from Africa was very happy indeed.
New Species for the Life Lists:
Great Northern Diver
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Your pictures are quite stunning, the stag in particular is outstanding. Pete
Thanks Pete. It was a fantastic trip
[…] 250m from the ski lift, we encountered a pair of Red Grouse (more photos on the Trip report) and then another few hundred meters further on, our guide James Shooter, spotted the stunning […]
[…] squirrel hunt was on. I left Aberdeen at 6am in the morning for my journey across the picturesque Cairngorms to a small patch of Scottish forest in the Kingussie area. In February, the Cairngorms can be a […]