From to at The Braes of Glenlivet, Cairngorms National Park
Starting from Tomnavoulin we first explore the wooded valley of the Livet from Tombae to Allenreid.
The birches of the Livet valley are a typical example of highland woodland just below the natural tree line in Scotland. This is an excellent habitat for Roe Deer, Brown Hare, Heron, Goosander and many woodland birds.
Leaving the woodland we take to rough tracks to explore the Upper Livet. After passing a patch of rich farmland we ford the river to emerge on to heather moorland.
There are plenty of Red Grouse living here. During April cocks are often seen prominently advertising their territories with display flights and calls. Black Grouse are also present further up the glen and may be seen lekking during the late afternoon. Mountain Hare are resident on the higher ground although they are somewhat sleepy during the daytime.
These species are on the menu for juvenile Golden Eagles that regularly use the Ladder Hills as a fast food bar. Other birds of prey include Merlin that nest in Coirebreac. They prey on Meadow Pipit to feed their chicks. Other moorland birds are Black Grouse, Wheatear, and Stonechat. Herds of Red Deer roam the Ladder Hills. Their calves are born in early June. Raven are usually not far away, ready and waiting to tidy up any carrion available.
Following the course of the Livet to the north east at 1,000 feet above sea level we enter an area much favoured by visiting waders during the spring.
Dipper, Oystercatcher, Teal, Mallard and Sandpiper all nest close to the river and its tributaries. Curlew, Snipe and Redshank like the wet rushy areas a little further from water. Lapwing are found further up on drier, shorter turf. Golden Plover prefer the higher parts of the Ladder Hills whilst Dotterel and Dunlin nest on the summit plateau of the Ladder Hills.
Returning along the course of the Livet we are likely to encounter both Brown Hare and Roe Deer who generally wait until late afternoon before breaking cover to take advantage of lusher vegetation in the open.
Join us for an unforgettable tour of the Upper Livet to the Ladder Hills, otherwise inaccessible to all but the committed hill walker.
An off road land rover tour of the Braes of Glenlivet. Breeding Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Dipper, Sandpiper, Snipe and Red Grouse to name but a few.
3 hours 30 minutes approx.