Cairngorm National Park is a bit of a treasure trove for ornithologists with more high ground than anywhere else in the UK. Even on low ground though there’s plenty to see.
Cairngorm mountain is regularly used by birdwatchers looking to spot mountain species. Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting, Dotterel and Ring Ouzel are just four of the regular breeding species present in the summer. Round the edge of the plateau there are a few pairs of Snow Bunting, which has a small summer population in the Cairngorms. It is also not difficult to find Ring Ouzel, in Coire Cas or Coire na Ciste; Red Grouse are widespread below 800 metres; and Meadow Pipit, which nests right up on the arctic plateau.
Species often seen in the area are Black Grouse, Pied Wagtail and Capercaillie. The Crested Tit is common in the pine forests, and species such as Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grasshopper Warbler and Goldeneye make this a wonderful place to watch birds.
Then of course there are the famous ospreys of Loch Garten which have been recorded as breeding there for 50 years.
The Osprey Centre has CCTV cameras linked to osprey nests so you can watch them and their young close-up without disturbing them. The centre also opens at dawn during the spring so you can watch the capercaille lekking via remote cameras.
The best time to visit is April to August when ospreys and other wildlife can be easily seen from The Osprey Centre.
Ospreys, capercaillies, red squirrels, siskins, crossbills, crested, blue and great tits, great spotted woodpeckers and roe deer are frequently seen in Spring. A variety of guided walks are also organised during May-August.