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Cairngorms National Park

Abernethy National Nature Reserve

Nature from your Home

Cairngorms Nature brings wildlife into your homes with sounds, fun facts, amazing species, stories & activities for all to get involved in. Immerse yourself in nature, benefit from its relaxing, healing and escapism powers without having to step outside of your home. 

 

Sounds * Wildlife Spotter Cards * Species Spotlights * Amazing Facts

Sounds

Feathered Alarm Clocks

Spring has sprung and our feathered alarm clocks are up early filling the air with their melodies. Here we introduce you to commonly heard bird calls, from early morning to dusk you can hear their songs from open windows in your homes.

Blackbirds

As with all birds at this time of year the blackbirds are singing to defend territories and attract females. Some females are already hunkered down brooding eggs so its the males you’ll mainly be hearing even late into the night as they have a habit of singing after dark under street lamps!

The Great Tit

A fiery character with a loud call to match. Open your windows, lay back relax and see if you can pick this call out in the dawn chorus.

Siskins

Siskins may be unfamiliar to some, as these birds are often seen near woodlands, spotted by the bright green plumage of the males, they will readily visit seed feeders.

Robin

The charmingly dapper robin is a common bird found in gardens across the UK, these guys are fiercely territorial, singing loudly to defend their territories and attract mates. Listen out for one in your neighbourhood today.

The Chaffinch

In this video clip a male Chaffinch is calling to attract a female. Listen out for these from your home, common in town and country they are dapper little fellas.

The Song Thrush

Listen out for this week is the Song thrush. A beautiful melodic singing bird, busy nesting at the moment with males in full song defending territories & impressing the females! Sit back & enjoy the early morning concert as the dawn chorus is hotting up to its best at this point in spring.

The Greenfinch

Listen out over the coming week for the Greenfinch. In this clip he’s making himself heard over the chatter of people and succeeding! Enjoy the dawn chorus as its coming to its peak in early May and the evening bird song is a delight too.

The Wren

The small but very loud wren, is a charismatic bird, common in gardens and parks across Britain. A distinctive loud call see if you can here them in May early in the morning and throughout the day and early evening.

The Wood Pigeon


The wood pigeon is very common in towns and countryside gardens and parks. Open your windows, grab a cuppa, sit back and listen out for these calls and the relaxing melodies of our feathered friends.


Wildlife Spotter Cards

Wildlife Spotter Card Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Spotting Red Squirrels – download this spotter card for all the key facts relating to these charismatic mammals and see if you can spot one in your garden or whilst out on your local walk or daily exercise near home.

Wildlife Spotter Card Robin

Robin

Spotting Robins – The joyous Robin redbreasts, very common in our gardens and parks, can you spot one near your home?

Bank Vole Spotter Card
Wildlife Spotter Bank Vole

Bank Vole

The very adorable bank vole can often be seen under bird tables feasting on dropped seeds. Look out for them dashing across pathways and dashing down their small burrows.

Wildlife Spotter Common Frog
Wildlife Spotter Common Frog

Common Frog

At this time of year these amphibians are busy spawning in shallow bodies of water, garden ponds and even puddles.

Wildlife Spotter Lapwing
Wildlife Spotter Lapwing

Lapwing

Lapwings are often heard before seen as they return to grasslands and meadows in spring time to nest. Look out for them on open ground whilst our for your daily exercise local to home, they have distinct fascinating characters.

Spotter Card Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

The Wolf Spider is an easy spot when out in the garden or walking in local woodlands near home.

Wildcat Spotter Card

Wild Cat

We have an extra special Spotter Card for you today – one that we don’t expect you will actually be able to ‘spot’. Join us at the BIG 10 Days of Nature (at home) 15-24 May to find out more about how wildcats are being saved in the Cairngorms!

 


Species Spotlights

From June each year the Dotterel start to appear with their young, find out a little bit more about these incredible rare birds, the conservation work in place to look after them and what you can do to make sure you don’t disturb them in the future as they raise the next generation of Dotterel.

Click to download the species spotlight

 

The Scots Pine is the UK’s only truly native pine tree – find out more about this truly tremendous tree, how we use it, why it’s a priority for us here, where you can see them and how to get involved in caring for them.

Click to download the species spotlight

 

 

From July through to November these minute ants can be seen on the surface of wood ant nests…if you see some Shining Guest Ants be sure to record your finding on i-Record or let Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms know.

Click to download the species spotlight

 

 

Autumn is a season of stunning colours, as well as the leaves turning hues of red, orange and yellow look out for these dazzling beauties too – the Waxcap!

Click to download the species spotlight

 

 

The Red Deer of Scotland is perhaps one of the most iconic species, a majestic beast that roams across the Park all year round. Find out more about wild red deer, the contribution they make to the communities of the Park and how their population is managed throughout the year.

Click to download the species spotlight 

 

 

The Northern Damselfly is on the wing in the Park in June and July! Often mistaken for the common blue damselfly, the Northern Damselfly is smaller and tends not to fly very far from its home amongst the lochans of the Scottish Highlands. Find out more about this interesting insect, the conservation work taking place with the British Dragonfly Society and how you can get involved to help us understand these beautiful winged creatures that help make up the unique diversity of life here in the Cairngorms National Park.

Click to download the species spotlight


Amazing Facts

 

1: Mushroom Jerky Chefs – who you may ask? Red squirrels are great at making this delicacy, collecting & drying fungi in autumn, on tree branches to preserve them to see them through the winter months.

2: Wild primrose was used by the Victorians in a tea to treat cramps, rheumatic pains and paralysis.

3: Worms a million – did you know an acre of good fertile land can contain between 250,000 & 1.75 million earthworms.

4: There are 18,000 bird species in the world, in the UK we have 619 species recorded according to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

5: In Norse mythology the first Woman was made from the Rowan tree – but what tree was man made from?

6: Three-quarters of the land in the UK is farmland, making our farmland very important for wildlife.

7: Wood anemone is used in traditional Russian folk medicine to treat stomach pains, whooping cough and asthma.

8: A healthy forest has around 500 wood ants for every square metre.

9: The UK has 13% of the world’s blanket bog. Scotland has 1.7 million hectares of peatland – 60% of the UK’s total.

10: Red deer are the largest surviving wild mammals in Scotland, with stags weighing between 90kg -140kg and hinds 65kg-70kg.

11. Slugs have 4 noses.

12. Bats always turn left when leaving a cave.

13. There is on average 50,000 spiders per acre in green areas.

14. A snail can sleep for 3 years.

15. Some male songbirds sing more than 2,000 times each day.