Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Check out the acrobatic Moray Firth dolphins!

There are loads of great whale, dolphin and basking shark sightings at the moment. Get out there and see them for yourselves!

This great video was filmed last week onboard Moray Diving, who run trips from Lossiemouth. They also saw six orca last week (alas no photos!).

There are two other great videos, click here to see them.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Firsts for two Wild Scotland members on Mull

Two Wild Scotland members on Mull have become firsts in different areas:

Sea Life Surveys: first boat operator in Scotland to reach Gold in the Green Tourism Business Scheme

Islandscape Photography
: awarded 4 stars and graded as 'Excellent' by VisitScotland under their 'Tour' quality assurance scheme.

Congratulations to both organisations!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Naturally it was a Wild Week!

Here's the lowdown from Rosie of Wild Rose Escape about their Naturally Wild Week during May. Sounds like a great way to spend a week in the Highlands...

'We have just had a wonderful week at East Rhidorroch Lodge. The weather could not have been better, with scorching sunshine when we were on Handa Island! A big thank-you to Julie for her expertise at the beginning of the week and also Paul who cooked up some wonderful feasts, including mussels we had foraged from the shore. We spent the week looking out for wild plants, foraging for our supper and spotting birds. On our last day we spotted a golden eagle in the crags, which was a real treat and a delight to watch. Next year we will be running our wild week at the same time of year if you would like to join us.

Other holidays offered by Wild Rose Escapes:
Fleece to Felt: July 24th-30th (places available)
Learn a traditional craft in the Highlands and have holiday at the same time. Staying in a beautifully renovated old school house, home cooking, open fires, foraging for dye plants, natural dying your fleece, croft visits with hand shearing demonstrations and of course learn to felt using Highland as well as Mongolian techniques.

Family Escapes: Half terms, Easter holidays, July & August
Need to worry about cooking for the week you can have the freedom of a self catering cottage with delicious meals supplied so you can all properly relax. Choose from activities such as, wild food foraging for the family, beach days, rib ride to see the seals, bird watching, storytelling in the tipi and wildlife walks as well as much more...

West Coast Relaxation Week: September 11th -17th (places available)
Come and truly relax, with morning yoga run by Joanie, delicious healthy breakfasts, local walks to stunning sandy beaches, felting and art workshops, bread baking and evening massage and relaxation workshops.

Further information:

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

True value of wildlife tourism

Wildlife tourism worth over £60 million a year to the Scottish economy

£65 million - that's the value of dedicated wildlife tourism to Scotland as stated in a report by Bournemouth University announced today.

The £65 million relates to the 1.12 million trips taken each year by wildlife watching enthusiasts and which support 2,763 FTE jobs.

Commenting on the report, Wild Scotland chairman Ben Mardall (pictured) said,

'We're delighted that this report have been published, particularly as many of our members were involved in the study. The results confirm that wildlife tourism is now a significant part of the Scottish tourism economy, employing over 2500 individuals. The report focusses on only the dedicated wildlife watchers so just think how many more people include a wildlife trip as part of their holiday to Scotland.

'Wild Scotland has worked hard to get the wildlife tourism sector recognised as a key part of the tourism industry and this report helps highlight its value as well as some of the issues which need to be addressed in order for more visitors to enjoy the fantastic wildlife-watching that Scotland has to offer'.

The study, titled 'The Economic Impact of Wildlife Tourism in Scotland', was launched today by Richard Lochead, MSP, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.

Further information

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Don't mess with me as buzzard meets its match!

How's this for a spectacular shot?

Mull photographer Iain Erskine, who holds a special licence, captured the image while accompanying an RSPB team to a nest where eaglets were to be ringed.

Read the full story here.

Wildlife Sightings Update from Discover Mull

Here's a entry from Arthur Brown of Discover Mull's blog:

"June 8th was a fabulous day for the Mull specialities with a great start when a male hen harrier flew all round us as we were having coffee and biscuits. We then went to a golden eagle site and had terrific views of both birds sitting and flying. Whilst we were watching the eagles we spotted 3 red deer stags on a crag just below the skyline, the guests loved it, golden eagles on the wing and stags in the same view - the epitome of a Scottish scene!

"Later we watched a white-tailed eagle feeding a chick which made us all feel hungry so we went and had lunch of welcome hot soup and sandwiches which included, dare I say it, venison!

"After lunch we can an even better sighting of a white-tailed eagle and then an otter sighting - my best one of the year. We watched it for half an hour as it fished and then brought a large crab out onto a rock to eat, as you can imagine our guests were delighted.

"In a nutshell, a great time was had by all with no disturbance to the wildlife whatsoever, something we pride ourselves on."

Other species seen by Discover Mull during May:
  • Summer plummage dunlin, black-tailed godwits and whimbrel all passing through Mull on their way north
  • Great-northern and red-throated divers
  • A rare treat of pair of bee-eaters who stayed around for a few days
  • Corncrake seen on our special trip to Iona for Wild Isles Week on Mull

More info

Friday, 4 June 2010

The Big Bug Hunt! Cluny House Gardens, near Aberfeldy

Spend a morning or an afternoon with Craig Macadam Buglife’s Scottish Conservation Officer looking for and identifying garden bugs.

Learn how important all the wee creatures are in our gardens. On Tuesday the 22nd June he will be leading an event at Wild Scotland member, Cluny House Gardens, Aberfeldy from 10.30 to 12.30 and from 2.30 to 4.30 he will be at the Wildlife Garden in Pitlochry. The cost will be £4/person. All proceeds will go towards red squirrel and bird food for both gardens.

For Cluny, please contact Wendy Mattingley 01887 820795 and for the Pitlochry Wildlife Garden please contact Sally Spaven 01796 472020. Booking is essential as numbers are restricted.

About Buglife
: The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is the first organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, and are actively engaged in saving Britain's rarest bugs, slugs, snails, bees, wasps, ants, spiders, beetles and many more fascinating little animals. Buglife’s aim is to halt the extinction of invertebrate species and to achieve sustainable populations of invertebrates.

The events at Cluny and the Pitlochry Wildlife Garden are coinciding with National Insect Week 2010, 21st – 27th June. During that week, on the website and at hundreds of local events around the UK, there is the opportunity to “Discover Diversity in the World of Insects”.

National Insect Week is organized by the Royal Entomological Society, supported by a large number of partner organizations concerned with many aspects of insect science, natural history and biodiversity

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Seaprobe Atlantis: best wildlife events in the UK

Glass bottom boat, Seaprobe Atlantis based at the Kyle of Lochalsh on the West Coast of Scotland was in the top ten best wildlife events in the UK in the Daily Telegraph recently.

It was part of their National Wildlife Fortnight focus, and was providing ideas for wildlife-watching over the summer half-term break.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Speyside is UK's top wildlife spot says Chris Packham

Speyside in the Cairngorms National Park was heralded as one of the best wildlife areas in the UK last week.

During the Norfolk launch of BBC Springwatch's programme this week, naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham commented:

"It [Norfolk] is up there as one of the best eco-tourist attractions in the country. You've got Speyside in Scotland, and then you've got north Norfolk."

Too right, Chris! And the rest of Scotland is equally amazing too!

Click here for more information about the Cairngorms region

Quote taken from article in