From to at Tomintoul, Cairngorms National Park
Starting from Tomnavoulin we drive up into the Braes of Glenlivet where our off road safari begins. Following a rough track along the lower slopes of the Ladder Hills we ford the Ladder Burn and are soon on heather moorland.
There is an excellent population of Red Grouse living here. During April cocks are often seen prominently advertising their territories with display flights and calls. Mountain Hare also resident although they are somewhat sleepy during the daytime. These two species are on the menu for the juvenile Golden Eagles that regularly use this area 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 these hills. Their calves are born in early June. Raven are usually not far away, ready and waiting to tidy up any carrion available.
Descending to the floor of the glen at 1,000 feet above sea level we follow the course of the Livet to the north west.
Many visiting waders and waterfowl nest here 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.
After fording the Livet we cross meadows that Brown Hare frequent in the late afternoon. As we rejoin the public road at Allenreid the glen narrows and we enter Birch-Juniper woodland around Tombae.
The birches of the Livet valley are a typical example of highland woodland just below the natural tree line in Scotland. Roe Deer are present in some numbers but wait until evening before breaking cover to take advantage of lusher vegetation in the open. On the river itself Goosander and Heron prey on young salmon.
Join us for an unforgettable tour of the Upper Livet and 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.