Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Black Grouse

Biking by the moonlight

Beinn Mheadhoin, Ben Macdui & Cairn Gorm

The Barns of Bynack

Kalmia procumben (Trailing Azalia) just in flower

Female ptarmigan

Male ptarmigan
Glorious morning 

Summit views
The Cairngorm National Park has some of the most unique, wonderful and rare wildlife. The Black Grouse may not be unique to the Cairngorm area but it is one of the best places to see these amazing birds. The sound and display when the male grouse is at the Lek is something quite extraordinary. To see them in their display you need to get there at daybreak, or before. With it being the middle of May we now have long daylight hours so I to drag myself out of bed at 2am this morning to get a chance of seeing these guys in action. It was a beautiful bike ride from the house with a half moon and clear skies. As soon as I got to the area I could here their very unusual sounds, nothing quite like it, I was in luck! Just has the sun rose over the heather moors it flooded the Lek area with beautiful light and the Black Grouse landed on cue! Brilliant.  After the action was over the day was still young! I headed up Bynack Mor in early morning crisp sunshine. Great views over to the Northern Cairngorms from the summit. The Black Grouse's cousins, the patarmigan, were not to be outshone, they were in abundance on the summit area. The finest feature of this Munro is 'The Barns of Bynack' which lie away from the summit cairn. These enormous granite tors always seem to look different every time I visit. Different light, seasons and weather! Just to the SW from Bynack Mor lies a 'demoted' Munro, A' Coinneach. What a shame most people don't include this in the days walk, it's a fantastic viewpoint  with Loch Avon, Beinn Meadhoin, Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm in full panoramic view. Top day out and worth the early rise!

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