Braemar Caravan Park and the fantastic landscape around us is home to some amazing wildlife species. Many of the species you can see here are specialists to the highlands and many won’t be seen anywhere else, making this a fantastic area to come to for bird watching.
Here’s just a few species to spot, some can be seen in and around the caravan park and others would need a walk in to the hills with your binoculars.
Ptarmigan are perfectly suited to the harsh environment of the high tops of the Cairngorms. In the summer months they are camouflaged with beautiful grey speckled markings, blending in with the rocks, and in the winter they transform in to Bright white so they are camouflaged in the snow. They feed on the shoots and leaves from vegetation in the high mountain tops, so a walk in to the hills is needed to catch a glimpse of this amazing species.
Black Grouse are really quite a rare birds and sight of one these birds is an incredibly special experience. In the Spring the males have a Lek where they display to their females. The Leks are few and far between and to prevent disturbance, one of the best ways to witness this amazing display is in a guided trip to a hide.
Snow bunting are fantastic little birds with a tough spirit. Climb to the top of Ben Macdui and you may well be greeted with the tweeting of a Snow Bunting at the top. In most parts of Britain if you ‘re lucky enough to see a snow bunting, it’ll just be throughout the Winter months but here in the Cairngorms they are resident all year round.
Crossbills are pretty tricky to spot but can often be seen flitting in the high tops of the Scots pines, eating the seeds from the cones. They have a beak which crosses over at the front which enables them to use it like a pair of scissors to prize open the cone to get to the seed inside. The males are a striking pinky peach colour and the females are a dark green. If there’s been rain they can often be seen drinking from puddles.
The Dipper is a very apt name for this little bird, full of character and a joy to watch. They can be seen on the River Clunie behind the caravan park, and on the odd occasion feeding in the burn in Braemar Caravan Park itself. They can be seen bobbing up and down on the rocks before dipping in the river to catch invertebrates.
From a distance you may mistake the Ring Ouzel for a Blackbird, but although related, they are distinctly different. Ring Ouzels arrive in the highlands in the Spring to breed in the rocky crags, crevices and gullies. They spend the summer here before setting off for warmer climates in September. The males are black with a distinctive white ring on their chest, and the females are brown with a duller colour ring. The Ring Ouzel is quite a rare species and a sighting of these fantastic birds is a real treat.
As well as the species described above, there are so many other bird species to see here in Braemar. We have a bird and squirrel feeding area at the caravan park which are always busy with hungry birds and squirrels, Snipe can be heard drumming as the sun is setting along with the hooting Tawny owls, woodpeckers are drumming, Buzzards calling and Meadow pipits displaying, Curlews, Lapwings and many more species all call this area home.