Ptarmigan on the rocks

10th June 2013

A bright Saturday morning started with a run down the A9 to Aviemore, with a quick stop for a bacon roll at the Bakers on the High Street in Aviemore - can't recall the name of it - but the one opposite Tesco's, worth a stop if you are in the area.

They also supplied us with lunch and so prepared for the day - off we went.

Straight up the mountain road to the carpark.

Our quarry lurked somewhere out there in the Cairngorms, a high altitude specialist, with great camouflage.

Boots on, cameras packed we set off up the track under clear blue skies, which with less than a third of the journey completed although giving great views back to Aviemore, Loch Garten and beyond, began to take a toll on us and lots of water was the order of the day with a couple of stops here an there to take in the views !!!

Small birds fluttered through the heather and the silence was only broken by the noise of the streams running down the hillside, "fuelled" by the snow melt, and the occassional Red Grouse "call".

June and still plenty of snow on the mountain tops and valley sides.

We arrived at our location, with David extolling the virtues of doing the climb in winter and the associated rewards of Ptarmigan in their winter white plummage.

Having seen the boulder strewn mountain sides - I could see a lot of places to break an ankle and be airlifted off !! We shall see when winter comes - I did warn myself !

Sitting about watching and listening it was not long before eyes and ears became aware of quite a few Ptarmigan in and around the boulders.

In the photograph above a Ptarmigan can be seen emerging from behind a boulder.

There where a large number of "single" birds and very few in pairs.

But what a sight they are to see. photographed, had lunch photographed and then watched thick black clouds rolling in from the direction of Aviemore.

So discretion being the better part of valour we started on the descent.

As it turned out we did not get wet, being higher than the rain that was pouring down in the valley below.

So off for coffee and apple strudel with ice-cream, as we sat there blissfully unaware had we gone to the next set of ledges - we could have added Dotterel to the day !

Then it was off to look at Ospreys

But thats a whole new blog !

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