So beautiful is this part of Great Britain that we have been drawn back again late June early July 2008, 10 days of peace, tranquillity and the most beautiful scenery including melting snow on the highlands to nesting birds and wild flowers. Oh and if your thinking you have seen this photograph before? Yes it's on a previous page, one of my favourite spots/views and I not only visit it but photograph it as well, may be one day I will see it covered in snow and Ice again as I did in the early sixties when skiing with the army in this part of the World.
Bearing in mind that our visit this year was in late June early July there was without doubt a lot of snow still hanging about on the mountains, all adding to the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
Despite that lower down the flowers were out in their abundance including a large variety of wild orchids and not forgetting the national emblem of Bonny Scotland the thistle.
Bell heather was in bloom giving the hills a purple hue and the foxgloves tall and splendid added to the views as they wavered in the breeze.
These photographs were captured from the RSPB live cam on the 12/07/08 as you can see the young osprey are as large as their mother in this instance they had just had a meal. the Mother bird(hen) is on the far side the other two are this years chicks, growing at an amazing rate and so they should be while watching the web cam Saturday the 12th I have seen them consume 3 fish, the last one being quite large. They are now exercising their wings along with preening the feathers ready for their first flight which I suspect will be within the week or so. Although one is older than the other by two to three days the size of the two chicks is not far off the same, the photo however makes it look very much smaller.
If you would like to support the RSPB then connect to this link , Support the RSPB by making a donation your help in helping all birds survive in this ever changing and competitive World I'm sure would be appreciated by all concerned..
'Nethy'(White 'AY') the female youngster took her maiden flight at 1004 on the 20th July 2008. eventually landing in a nearby tree, She's now flitting from tree back to nest just to show her younger brother how it's done.
'Deshar' (White 'AZ') the young male took his maiden flight on the 22nd July at 6.28, however he returned to the nest after an hour or so, I suspect Desher might have said to 'Nethy', I suspect it's a little less precarious that perched in the camera tree and after all it is windy in Scotland today. ' I don't reckon this flying business is all it's quacked up to be duck's'
However in other parts of Scotland the birds are now nesting in locations which are not so closely monitored albeit the locations are closely guarded by the locals, these birds and their eggs are protected under British law but sadly that does not stop thieves attempting to steal the eggs and destroy the very large nests From where this female decided to perch it's obvious that she will spot you before you spot her although their call is very distinctive. In the photo both the male and female are perched away from the nest see if you can spot them?
Luckily for this young rabbit the osprey do not feed on red meat but eat only the trout and I suspect the odd salmon they take from the lochs and fish farms. Four years ago the fish farm where I fish was trying to deter the osprey who were taking the fish, now today they are making money from visitors who get up at unearthly hours to watch them catch their fish in the fishing lakes while they the visitors sit in the hides provided for the purpose.
However there is no time for complacency on the part of the rabbit as flying overhead are large buzzards, albeit these two were more interested in displaying their flying skills than picking up the odd rabbit.
So what of the Humans? Well depending on where you go you will see some, Not normally dressed like this and carrying pipes this piper had just been attending a wedding in the restaurant at the top of the 'cairngorm' mountain and yes he's also carrying a dirk (knife) it tucked down his sock, so does the law not apply to Scots or are they exempt when in national dress? Lets Hope so.
This is just one of the many red squirrels you will see , I feel sure this is a mature female as she appears to have been suckling/feeding her young. This one knew where she was best off and had taken up residence at he RSPB site where she pillaged the peanuts from the available bird feeders. Wise squirrel.
Nobody has told these young ducklings they they are supposed to swim and dive like their Mum, despite her demonstrating the methods none of them took up the invitation to follow her example.
This magnificent scotch pine has weathered many a storm and I know many winter, It is on the cairgorm road and was prensent when I was taken up to the Rothymerchase hut ski-ing with the Army in 1960. Part of the tree has collapsed and presents what looks almost like a shadow, the bark of the tree being missing, the trunk bleached by the sun and the weather.
There is always something to do, but if you do like fishing then take your fly rod, many of the rivers can be fished when in season, licences being available in post offices and fishing tackle shops, or like me you could visit a fish farm any time of year they have large fishing lakes where you can test your skill at catching the trout and hire the gear to do it. I would add these fish are pretty wised up and don't come easy so be prepared. for a long wait. For more details on fishing, walking, cycling and watching ospreys fish visit this site
I tied a number of fishing flies before I went so the reward was even greater when I caught this 5 3/4" pound trout, which made several nice meals, hot and cold.
So what's with the pile of old feathers? Well being a resourceful chap I picked them up from around the lake, they include ready oiled duck and heron feathers, the blue metallic feathers being shed from the cock 'mallard' ducks wings, ideal for tying another batch of fishing flies. I have just tied this fly which contains 95% feathers picked up at the lake/loch side.
Another version actual size.
I can certainly think of worse things to do on a beautiful day and as you can see the fishing lake is vast, plenty of space and live food available, all a distraction away from my fly!
Even a natural stone bridge when enhanced by the yellow of the flowering broom has a certain attraction.
Mountain tracks lead to spectacular views .
And if you still have time on your hands you can always admire the wonderful views, what ever you decide enjoy Scotland.