The Highlands of Scotland are full of marvellous areas well away from the traditional honeypots of Speyside and the like. The high country between Loch Ness and Glen Affric is one such. Here a sublime landscape of lochans and hills with a rich variety of habitats – meadows, Scots Pine and Juniper woodlands, open rocky areas and wet heath – are home to some truly lovely species.
Our day trip takes us on a four to five mile circular walk. The lochans will provide many of the days highlights. Aside from the beauty they’ll provide the arena in which we can enjoy gorgeous Slavonian Grebes in their full breeding finery. We’ll see Otter spraint along a burn leading to one of the lochans, whilst another has a breeding colony of Common Gulls, and yet another breeding Little Grebes. June is the finest time to see the flowers of the wet heaths and the meadows. Greater Butterfly Orchids, Heath Spotted Orchids, Fragrant Orchid and Northern Marsh Orchid bloom in the latter along with elegant Globeflowers. Dry rocky exposures have Thyme and Rock Rose. Wetter areas where Curlews will be nesting have little colonies of Sundew. Cuckoos will be obvious in June being harassed by Meadow Pipits whose nests they prefer to parasitise. Skylarks keep the air joyous with their songs. Moorland close to a large forested area might give us views of both Sika Deer and Roe Deer and just where we have stunning views down to Glen Affric we’ll look for Black Grouse. A fine array of flowers, birds and mammals in truly gorgeous scenery.
Landscapes, Birds, Flowers and Mammals