Uplands offer amazing opportunities for wildlife watching. Why not take a few
tips from the 'Hands on Nature' team as we get close to wildlife with activities
that you can participate in at home.
Britain's uplands are often hostile and harsh
habitats especially in winter, but they offer fantastic wildlife watching opportunities.
our tips on how to get the best out of nature from bird watching to flower spotting
and identifying animals from their poo.
The Cairngorms is arguably the premier mountain range in the
British Isles in terms of scale, grandeur and altitude. It's also a good place
to see on of Britain's most distinctive birds - the Ptarmigan.
starting point for nature watchers is Cairn Gorm itself which is accessible by
road and rail.
* Look for Ptarmigans amongst the rocks into which they blend
due to their grey, camouflage appearance.
* Take your binoculars, sit and
be patient. Look out for movement amongst the rocks if you're trying to spot the
* Bird feathers and poo is a good indication that you're
in the right location for Ptarmigan. These birds sit down and poo together so
look for mid brown droppings grouped together.
explore Scotland's uplands why not try your hand at tracking down wildlife using
a few clues in their droppings.
* Mountain hare poo - droppings resemble
those of a rabbit but are slightly flatter. Dropped singly, their poo is like
round pellets with a light brown colour when dry and dark brown when wet.
Fox poo - black droppings, often full of hair, indicating a carnivore. Their poo
usually has a strong characteristic smell.
* Ptarmigan - mid brown droppings
usually grouped together as these birds tend to defecate in on place.
wild in the mountains - precautions
you go wild in the great outdoors, take some basic precautions and advice on what
to wear, when to go and what to take with you:
*In big open
spaces birds and mammals can spot us humans a mile off. So think about what you're
wearing! But do keep a red scarf or hat in your bag - just in case you get into
bother and someone needs to spot you.
Otherwise wear greens and browns
so you can blend into the landscape.
*If you venture out - take the right
kit. Also carry food supplies for 24 hours. It may be warm in the valleys - but
on the fell tops it can be a totally different story. Take extra clothing, even
a blanket and a whistle.
* Don't forget to take a map when you're up in
the hills - it can also act as a valuable wildlife guide to features such as streams.
*And of course, let someone at base know where you're heading and what time
you expect to get back.