Explore old Caledonian pine forest…
The Pine Forest wildlife tour explores one of the rarest forests in Britain. Located in the Cairngorms National Park, these are world famous remnants of the huge Caledonian forest.
That habitat once spread across the uplands of northern Europe, following the end of the last Ice Age.
Rare forest wildlife to be found
We will be sharing the woods with some of the most elusive and intriguing forest species in Britain. For example, birds such as scottish crossbill, capercaillie and crested tit and mammals such as pine marten and red squirrel. Indeed the famous osprey nest protected by the RSPB is located in the Abernethy Pine Forest Reserve.
Special pine forest insects and plants
However, birds and mammals aren’t the only stars. At the right time of year, spectacular insects, edible berries and mushrooms, medicinal plants and fascinating lichens can also be found.
Enjoy the pine forest wildlife tour in any season
During spring, trees ring with the sound of summer migrants returning, such as willow warblers and redstarts. There is also the chance of seeing a secretive capercaillie (my Speyside Capercaillie and Black Grouse tour focuses on these).
During summer delicious blaeberries grow under the trees and many birds and animals work hard to feed their young.
Autumn brings a wealth of fungi and the first frosts. In addition there are also more sightings of young resident birds and mammals as they become more independent.
Winter is a magical time to explore. A dense blanket of snow muffles sounds and reveals animal dramas through intricate footprint trails.
Being in the company of an expert guide, you will certainly get an insight into the life of the forest, whichever season it is.
Wonderful pine forest wanders
There are plenty of trails of varying lengths, all offering great views. These include relatively short all-abilities paths, narrow stalkers’ tracks and old drove roads that weave through the glens.
The challenge of finding forest wildlife
From the easily missed ‘chup, chup’ calls of Scottish crossbills, to the signs of a pine marten kill, it takes a practised ear or eye to locate some species. Furthermore, many animals frequently move between different parts of the forest. Therefore, we will often visit several good locations during the course of a day.
A wildlife tour that respects the forest
Many of the forests and their species are heavily protected, hence the designation of the Cairngorms National Park. As we explore, then, we will take great care not to cause disturbance at nest sites or at display territories. Additionally, we will seek to understand how these forests are protected and managed, for the benefit of both animals and people.
A memorable pine forest wildlife journey
The Cairngorms pine forests have a long history and some unique inhabitants. So whatever the weather, we will certainly be left awestruck after spending time amongst the mighty pine trees.
Half day options
This tour is available as a half day, but there are a number of other wonderful habitats nearby. So why not create a unique day out by combining this with another half day tour?