Saturday, May 3, 2014

Birding Scotland still: Seeking the Ptarmigan Pt 1

Up to the top of Cairn Gorm today hunting the Put Arm Igan. The walk up the hill (!) began well with a singing Male Ring Ouzel on the chair lift paraphernalia next to the car park. The sun was shining, it was hot and Red Grouse were calling and displaying around the lower slopes. Meadow Pipits were really common from the lower slopes all the way up to over 3000 feet. There was snow and there were skiers...but was there to be Ptarmigan?

Award winning study of a male Ring Ouzel!

Ring Ouzel on Cairn Gorm
Ptarmigan prefer higher slopes than the Red Grouse and we found that there was little chance of finding any down near the car park although they have been reported there plenty of times. I presume that they move down to lower altitudes during the more wintry weather and then move back to higher ground as the weather becomes more mild. Today being really hot and sunny it looked like being a trek to the top.

Ptarmigan Country

Searching for the Ptarmigan

Still Looking for the elusive Ptarmigan.

It took us two hours to reach the summit as we were stopping to grill every Red Grouse...even though we knew that they were going to be Red Grouse all along 'cus we were not high enough.

Here Ptarmy Ptarmigan!
Was it worth it? Did we actually see 'owt?

No comments:

Post a Comment