Sutherland Seasons

Spring arrives and the central band of the Highlands comes to life. Our Ospreys return from their long trip from Africa to start nest building for the breeding season. The Black Grouse leks are in full swing, and may mean some early morning trips out to watch their impressive displays. Curlews and Greenshank return to the floodplains and their distinctive calls echos around the glens. Black and Red Throated Divers can be spotted in their full breeding plumage on the inland lochs, and summer visitors such as Oystercatchers and Golden Plovers begin to arrive.Pine Martens are common around the whole area and many start venturingfrom their woodland homes coming into local gardens to feed.

Soon summer days are upon us and bring with them seemingly never ending daylight hours. Osprey chicks can be seen on the nests and making their first hesitant flights, whilst their parent birds can be regularly seen fishing for them in local lochs and estuaries. Golden Eagles normally nest on high mountain ranges often out of sight of visitors but with their growing offspring they are more active, hunting some of the lower ranges. The skies are full of swallows and sand martens enjoying the abundance of the famous Scottish midge, and in the early evenings bats take over the evening shift.  Cuckoos are very active and can be spotted perching on fences and telephone wires making their distinctive calls. Cries of young raptors such as peregrines, buzzards and sparrowhawks can be heard around the glens and woodlands. Dippers and Grey Wagtails can be spotted along the river banks and Goldcrests, Treecreepers and Bullfinches are frequently seen in the woodlands. Otters can be viewed along many stretches of the rivers and you may be lucky enough to see mothers and cubs playing together especially on the rising tide.

Autumn often sweeps in with misty mornings, bringing with it shorter days and the beautiful sight of autumn colours in the trees transforming the woodlands into a spectacular backdrop. Salmon are returning to the local rivers making their runs from the Atlantic to reach their spawning grounds, and can be watched bravely leaping through the raging rivers. Ravens and Hooded Crows are in abundance. The Red and Sika Deer rut begins, and the close proximity of some single track roads means visitors can be treated to incredible battles between stags, with their spine tingling roars something you will never forget.  Hen Harrier pairs quarter the fields and floodplains, and juvenile White Tailed Sea Eagles move along the river courses to find food and shelter for the forthcoming winter season. Wintering waders and species such as Pink Footed and Greylag Geese and Whooper Swans return.


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Thanks To:

Funding supplied by SSE       Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust