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On top of the world, well almost!

After our amazing previous day, that lasted into the night, we enjoyed a rather more leisurely start and tucked into another wonderful breakfast before heading out. It was another perfect day, not a cloud in the sky nor a breath of wind.

Today we were going up, up the Cairngorm Mountains and could not have had a better day for it.

Cairngorm reindeer Oct

We stopped on the way up to admire the herd of Reindeer.

We then took the funicular railway up the mountain and gazed at the vast view opening up before us as we rose higher and higher.

Cairngorm view top 1 Oct 1

Cairngorm view top 2 Oct 1

Cairngorm view top 3 Oct 1

We had been transported to a different world in just twenty minutes! Mild autumn lay far below, we were now in a winter wonderland! Ice and snow all around, the crystal clear air allowed stunning views, how lucky to see it on such a day.

Cairngorm ice table Oct 1

Ice encased the whole of the viewing area.

We scanned the mountain for movement, a special bird somehow lives up here and we were very keen to see it. It only took Ruth a few minutes to spot a shape that was a bird not a rock! A Ptarmigan was standing still in a snow filled hollow, fantastic! With the telescopes trained on the bird everyone was able to see this hardy mountain grouse. After a good while the Ptarmigan walked slowly across the hill, giving us a look at those feathered feet. Then, amazingly, Ruth spotted a second bird, this one less white than the first. The birds were moulting from summer grey to winter white plumage, making them really tough to spot!

Cairngorm birders Oct 1

Cairngorm Tel Oct 1

All that scanning out in the cold deserves a reward, Tel tucks into a Mountain Hot Chocolate and cake!

Cairngorm view Oct 1

The views on the way back down the mountain were pretty good too!

Cairngorm view Oct 2

Next stop was RSPB Insh Marshes alongside the River Spey. The sun kept shining but there were not many birds to see here, though a group of six Whooper Swans was lovely to see.

Insh Marshes view 1

Insh Marshes view 2

Insh Marshes roe buck

This roe buck was enjoying the afternoon sun out on the marsh.

We then headed back towards the hotel stopping off in a beautiful ancient pine wood to enjoy amazing views of the cutest red squirrels in the late afternoon sun. No better end to any wildlife-watching day!

Red Squirrel Oct 1

Red Squirrel Oct 3

Red Squirrel Oct 2

Come and join us for the best bird- and wildlife-watching, just drop us a line...

For details of all our days out and tours. Our next set departure tour "Best of the Highlands" is 5th - 9th March 2014. But if that date doesn't suit, we are always very happy to arrange a custom tour just right for you, on date ideal for you.


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