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!
It is no secret the Fishery has been closed all winter due to flood damage. Several flood events during the autumn and winter meant that we sadly had to close the Fishery and wait for better weather to allow repairs to be carried out.
After a busy maintenance March we are delighted to say that we are back open for business as usual and as you can see from these pictures we have some rather large fish friends for anglers to catch this season. I am not sure from the picture if the fish is in control or the angler in this picture but one thing is for sure that fish is big!
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Fishery once more!
Well they do say Scotland is known for its rain and whilst many would disagree we undoubtedly get spells of it! Indeed on Saturday the rain poured and poured and coupled with snow melt gave the rivers no option but to swell up and fast. The end result in this corner of the world is that the River Spey and indeed its tributaries, such as the Druie, simply cannot cope and have no option but to go sideways resulting in a lot of Rothiemurchus going under water!
It has not been un-heard of for some of the Rothiemurchus staff to have to swap their cars for a boat and row themselves from their dwellings to get to the nearest main road!
Staff and students from Robert Gordon University visited Rothiemurchus estate this week to launch a weather balloon to raise money for a children’s charity called ‘Dreams Come True http://dreamscometrue.uk.com/where children with terminal illnesses can have a dream come true. The fund-raising involves ‘selling’ people their dream. They can think about their own dreams while being inspired by, and contributing to the charity. Dreams were t on a piece of biodegradable paper and attached to a weather balloon filled with helium. A parachute, a GPS tracker and a camera in a secure box with the bag of dreams underneath were also attached and the whole structure was released into the sky .
The balloon was released on Rothiemurchus and landed at a location in Aberdeenshire. These incredible pictures show the balloon being prepared for launch and then the balloon when it climbed its way to the dizzy heights of 21000m!!
A fantastic event to be involved in and it certainly provided a different view than the one that we are used to here on Rothiemurchus!!
Although our Ranger Service at Rothiemurchus are our eyes and ears out on the ground, speaking with visitors and looking to see what wildlife is about on a day to day basis, there are just some wildlife that is hard to spot due to the nature of their habits. Indeed Pine Martens are a species that can predominantly only be seen in the dark given their nocturnal behaviour. Our wildlife cameras manage to get a glimpse of one in the middle of the night and a brown hare also decided to show itself for good measure!
For those interested in nature another good reason for the enjoyment of snow is the ability to see much more clearly the evidence of what creatures have been out and about during the day / night and indeed not always that far from home! With snow on the ground the Rothiemurchus Ranger team can gain a better insight as to what type of animal is in certain areas that during milder greener times would be at times very hard to understand without 24 hour surveillance.
Whether it be badger, pheasant, otter or even dogs, walkers or tyre tracks; the snow is not just good for throwing, sledging or skiing on!!