Aviemore +

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Aviemore +

Off up to Aviemore as a base for a chilled family week away from Sunday. Will certainly be off to RSPB Abernethy and up Cairngorm during the week, but this is not a rabid PSL tick-fest. My only absolute target is Ptarmigan - the only Scottish speciality I still need (excluding Scotbill, which possibly isn't etc). But whilst it's a family holiday I won't be wandering around eyes-wide-shut, so any pointers, tips or reminders as to what I should be aware of would be appreciated. Ta.

keep an eye out on pine

keep an eye out on pine trunks and raspberry flowers ~ just on the off chance of blera fallax ;)

from Colin Twist's site guide - twin-flower at tore hill nh 988170  a good stop on the way up (or back) near Pitlochry is Balchroaich meadows which has small white orchid (on the mound hard at the north end of the reserve), spignel, globe flower, alpine bistort, amongst others and a good selection of ferns (beech, holly and brittle bladder) on the access lane, and the old fortingale yew isn't far away. 

I''m sure there's some good spiders - one of the most interesting in the Aviemore area is pardosa lugubris sensu stricto ~ as opposed to the vast majority of british p.lugubris s.l. which got reclassified as p.saltans. Small dark wolf spider with strong pale stripe on the cephalothorax in woodland:-


Dictyna pusilla is supposedly common in the area.



Have a look at the small pond

Have a look at the small pond on the access road to RSPB Loch Garten, at NH 9664 1926  it is a reliable site for Northern Damselfly - Coenagrion hastulatum, it might just be a bit early (I've seen them there in mid-June)

There is also a small pond further on from RSPB Loch Garten which was good for White-faced Darter - Leucorrhinia dubia, (again I saw them mid-June) as long as the Sun was out, It is around NH 9807 1761 I think, or very near (it does not show up on Google Earth)

Grid finder references are : http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=NH9664819264%7CNorthern_s_Damselfly%7...

& :- http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=NH9807817610%7CWhite-faced_s_Dater%7C...

Good luck, 



As you might imagine, there's loads of beetle specialities therabouts. Dave Gibbs called in at the Forest Lodge sawmill and it is definitely now defunct - real shame as it was the best place to see a lot of the saproxylic specialities including the stupendous Timberman. DG did find Pytho depressus larvae just past the sawmill, on the way to Forest Lodge itself, on the north of the road "c here NJ01605 16097".

River shingle at its absolute best is well worth a look. I think the best river shingle is on the Feshie near Lagganlia, NH8502. Bracteon litorale, 5-spot Ladybirds, etc. Nip across the southern edge of the glider club runway to get to the river. Also Amara quenseli (drier, sandy areas?), Harpalus laevipes (weedy, drier, less recently disturbed areas?), Asaphidion pallipes. Kind of hard to predict what you’ll find but awesome habitat – hard not to find something good.

There’s a Speyside speciality latridiid called Corticaria abietorum. It’s almost guaranteed by collecting fallen Norway spruce Picea abies cones (especially if a bit mouldy) and rearing them out. I know it’s not a very exciting beetle but I'd hugely appreciate a bag of fallen Norway spruce cones!


Hi Mark. Just got back from 2 weeks up there. Had a great time, staying in Nethybridge. Red Squirrel in the garden every day, usually several times, Otter on the Nethy River, Dotterel, Ptarmigan and Ring Ouzel on Cairngorm itself, Some nice beetles on Hoof Fungus, though I may send the really tiny ones to Mark Telfer for id :-) Ant nests worth a look, pretty sure I've got Formica lugubris and Formica aquilonia but confirmation will have to wait till the new bulb for my microscope light arrives as it packed up in mid identification session!!! Crested Tit best at Loch Mallachie. Ptarmigan we saw from a trip to the top on the funicular railway but we also walked up onto the tops from the lower car park, using the well marked path that goes off to the right as you look up the mountain. We were seeing Ptarmigan from about halway up this path with most as you neared the plateau. As the path levels out at the top, there is a large grassy area on the right and this held at least four pairs of Dotterel, just in and VERY tame. Ultimate highlight of the trip, a bottle of Tobermory and a bottle of Ledaig that I have collected and brought home for further investigation. If you want to do some moth trapping while you are up there, contact Tom Prescott,  the Butterfly Conservation moth officer. I left a moth trap and a generator with him a while ago and if you don't have one with you I'm sure he'll let you borrow it.