Our young stags seem to be getting practice in a bit early! Some of them may have shed their velvet but they are a bit early for the rutting party and most probably too young! These beautiful boys are located in our deer farm on Rothiemurchus. Over the coming few weeks, more and more of the males will shed their velvet marking the end of the growing season of their antlers. Their testosterone levels will be increasing and the anger management will once more become and issue with one another until we near the depths of winter. For those lucky enough to live near red deer listening to the early morning roar or the clatter of antlers meeting really makes autumn come alive.
These pictures may paint a summer picture but this lucky Rothiemurchus Ranger set out on an estate patrol in one of the very few days when the weather actually resembled summer this year! The Ranger team are responsible for checking the condition of the path network that weaves its way around Rothiemurchus. While out and about though there are obviously many more things to look for and enjoy including the successful growth of young Caledonian Scots Pine in amongst the older Grandmother Pine trees.
This beautiful river is where two rivers join to make the Druie River that in turn is a tributary to the famous Spey River. it is used for our family river tubing activity. Finally but certainly not any less beautiful the team are lucky to get close up to wildlife. Red squirrels are in great number in the this area and have been used to people for a very long time. They have the confidence to not mind path users in their habitat and appear happy to share it with us. We are proud at Rothiemurchus to always be working towards ensuring nature and people can live in harmony and if the squirrels appear to agree with us then that’s a pretty good start!
Well there is nothing more to say other than summer has been like a starter motor failing to kick into gear properly thus far. A little taste of summer earlier on in June has been followed by temperatures more in line with spring!
Regardless of the weather wildlife has carried on as normal and there has been some good sightings of many species including two old time favourites, the red squirrel and otter. Both of them were captured out hunting albeit for two very different things – one a nut and the other a fish supper!
It is well known that the staff here do enough clowning around but when we were told that the circus was coming to Rothiemurchus we all thought we put on a good enough show already!
In what must be one of the best backdrop pictures the circus company could have wished for the 3 day event on Rothiemurchus was a huge success. The Netherlands National circus was a real pleasure to have here not only whilst setting up but the quality of the acts were also to be admired. We all wish them well for the rest of their tour.
It was also the 4th of July, ‘Independence Day’ where a group of Americans were over carrying out activities on Rothiemurchus. We thought that we would make them feel a bit more at home during their picnic lunch with a wee American celebration!
It is not only nature that is becoming more active at this time of year. Visitors and staff alike are out and about more ensuring that they are making the most of the fine weather in between all this rain that we have had to endure over the last few weeks, not to forget the almost winter temperatures as well!
Fishery staff have been out checking the boat on one of our lochs this week – a lovely spot for a bit of pike fishing. There are several options for fishing on Rothiemurchus including several wild lochs that are becoming renowned for pike fishing, the River Spey (speaks for itself) and our very own trout fishery that caters for all standard of angler.
Visitors were also out on the same day enjoying the fresh late spring weather. A few Bentleys that were part of a bigger rally decided to drop into our Druie café for a coffee and cake pit stop before carrying on with their day.
All in all life on Rothiemurchus is certainly heating up if only the actual temperature would as well!
The skies over Rothiemurchus and the wider area are a real delight during the spring and summer months. Many at Rothiemurchus finish the summer with crooked necks after spending much of their time outside looking up trying to spot ospreys. At Rothiemurchus we have spent many years developing our osprey photography pond where watchers and photographers come to hopefully watch the greatest hunter of them all, the osprey, dive and grab a fish. The hides are situated within metres of the action and the heart certainly increases in rhythm on-site and sound of the bird hitting the water at an almighty speed!
At this time of year the females will hopefully be incubating the eggs which leaves the males with the job of hunting not only for one but for two birds. Their job will only get busier once the chicks start to emerge and the number of fish required will certainly keep the adult male birds busy for several weeks and hopefully the osprey enthusiasts in the hides content aswell!
It is the month of all weathers, we all know that, but the change in 24 hours here on Rothiemurchus was pretty special!
One day, Ranger led activities and Fishing instruction was enjoyed in the sun by all with visitors wearing short-sleeved t-shirts, horses relaxing and basking in the sun and the flowers looking elegant with their fresh growth.
Fast forward 24 hours and there were few flowers to be seen being hidden under the snow, anglers were giving up for the day (although catching better than in the sunny conditions!) due to the onset of frost bite (well nearly!) and the wildlife were shutting up shop protecting themselves against the elements!