Autumn

October

  • Autumn colours at their most spectacular as leaves turn
  • Peak of red deer rut
  • Grey seals pup around the Small Isles
  • Mergansers, goosander and eider regain breeding plumage
  • Migratory thrushes arrive, passing through in huge numbers
  • Grebes back on sea lochs, including dabchicks and wintering Slavonians
  • Crossbill feeding on cones, jay families on acorns
  • Red squirrels active as they stock up for winter
  • Salmon running up the rivers to spawn

November

  • Misty mornings provide atmospheric photos
  • Otter cubs more independent and readily visible
  • Deer start to move down off hills and become easy to see
  • Pine marten start to appear early following clock change
  • Wintering woodcock may be seen almost anywhere
  • Goldeneye, wigeon and teal numbers peak, along with migratory geese.
  • Waxwings feed around Fort William and Corpach in irruption years
  • Dipper start to sing

December

  • Leaves now gone and winter landscapes visible, with snow on the mountains
  • Ptarmigan and mountain hare now have white winter coats, along with ermine
  • Flocks of snow bunting and twite forage along strand lines
  • White-tailed eagles hunt around the coast and perch nearby
  • Golden eagles and ravens search for carrion
  • Holly berries attract thrushes
  • Large aggregations of sea ducks and waders along the Moray Forth
  • Robins sing lustily in defence of their territories.

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