Thursday, 13 June 2019

FREEZING IN JUNE

Frozen vegetation above 1000m

Young Ring Ouzel in the rain

A splash of colour, Roseroot

Plenty of ice about
Fiacaill Coire Sneachda

Quiet today

Beauty in the mist

Ptarmigan shell

Cairn Lochan a tad icy


Dwarf Cornel

Brightens up a dull day

Cliffs of Coire an Lochain
We're in yet another wet and cool spell of weather. Seems that Spring hasn't really got going this year. Today it felt like early winter on the tops with temperatures on the Cairngorm plateau around freezing point. I didn't have a thermometer, the ice caked vegetation and rocks were all that was needed to give me an idea of how cold it was, and a few extra layers of clothing! didn't see anyone all day and the Coire Cas carpark was deserted. Apparently it's getting warmer tomorrow. For how long is anyones guess. Summer is on hold. Spring would be nice though.

Monday, 10 June 2019

UNSETTLED WEATHER

The damp weather not deterring the Red Squirrel

Sheltering

Goldeneye and her good size clutch of young

Common Sandpiper

Wren

Mallard and her young

Grey Wagtail

Coot

Greylag and her young
Blue Tit
Looking lovely today

Caledonian Pines

Water levels recovering on Loch Vaa

It was another very wet day yesterday, some big downpours. The unsettled and cool theme continued. At least today we had a lovely sunny spells and dry day here in The Cairngorms. A good time to stay down at lower altitudes for some wildlife photography in the National Park. There is no need to travel huge distances from Aviemore with some beautiful woodland and lochans throughout the Speyside area. Today it was mainly an aquatic theme with excellent numbers of young seen on the lochs, especially Goldeneye.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

BEN NEVIS FOR A CHANGE

Summer smiles on Ben Nevis 

Unexpected sunny skies 

The usual busy Ben


Get off the tourist track and see the views!

Summit smiles

The locals on the summit

Weather changing on the descent

A storm brewing

Showers over Ardgour
Today I was guiding a lovely, small group of 3 folk on Ben Nevis for The Lake District Walker. It's been about 3 years since I lasted guided on the Pony Track, the easiest way to the summit. Since that time there has been some more vital footpath repair work which has made walking up to the highest point in the UK a bit easier. I had a nice fit group of folk today and they made the summit in a good time. I always like to get off the path a bit has we get onto the plateau. You get some great views of the huge North Face crags all the way down to the CIC Hut. It's also a nice way to escape the hoards of folk and a bit of peace and quiet to contemplate the mountains! The weather was far nicer than the forecast suggested. We had beautiful sunny skies and warm conditions all the way up to the top. The final hour of our return journey the skies darkened and some loud thunder and lightening , but we were well down towards Glen Nevis by this point.

Friday, 7 June 2019

SUMMER SUNSHINE

Sun on the cliffs of Coire an Lochain
Dotterel enjoying some sunshine
Warm rock on the Fiacaill for a change
Ring Ouzel
A fine day to be out on the hills
Female ptarmigan
Early morning on the ridge
Hares going into summer pelage
Newly fledged Ring Ouzel
Male ptarmigan
Wren
Dotterel
It was lovely to feel the warmth and light of sunshine again today. It's been a very wet few days here in the Cairngorms National Park. Near constant rain for two days in Aviemore. Quite unusual for this time of year, especially over in the East where we enjoy a much drier climate than the west. Today the wildlife were also enjoying the sunshine. Basking and drying out in the open. Lovely to see a group of 3 newly fledged Ring Ouzel and their parents out on the hill. Dotterel were enjoying the dry and bright conditions too. Early morning is a great time to be out when it's quiet and wildlife is waking up and out feeding. The light is also quite magical this time of year.
The Fiacaill Coire Cas ridge was warm rock for a change. Quite a pleasant romp along the ridge.
Yesterday (Thursday) evening

Yesterday evening we headed out late afternoon/early evening just as the sun started to break through the rain clouds. We walked up Cairn Gorm in cloud, reaching the summit just as the clouds lifted and it was a glorious evening. The clouds and light made for a terrific evening.
A huge transformation on the descent
Cairn Gorm summit
Loch Morlich & The Northern Corries
Wagtail sitting still for a change