When one talks about Elgin, a beautiful town steeped in centuries of important historical events and reformation immediately comes to the mind. Elgin may be the commercial and administrative centre for Moray but it is set in an agricultural heartland of rolling hills, woodlands and forest, miles and miles of walks and trails and beautiful golden beaches. With its cool summers as well as mild winters, this area enjoys a beautiful climate all the year ’round which is why so many visitors are attracted to the town.
But besides tourists, many species of birds seem to love it too! If you’re interested in experiencing this wonderful wildlife area, then we would love for you to join us here at Carden Holiday Cottages where we are wonderfully positioned for exploring all that this beautiful area of Scotland has to offer.
There are many species of birds that can be sighted around Carden Cottages and owing to its proximity to the sea, only a few miles away across the fields, you can get a really close view of some elusive seabirds on a local wildlife cruise or on a chartered boat. With miles of coastline, that include rugged peaks as well as pristine beaches, this area is easily one of the best places in Scotland to get up close and personal with Red throated divers, Peregrines, Kingfishers, Guillemots, Puffins, Green-winged Teal sand many, many more varieties of birds.
Carden Cottages are located just a few miles from the coast, surrounded by hundreds of acres of open farmland, they have small woodlands onsite and large pine forests nearby; they also boast their own small lake which attracts everything from nesting swans to early morning deer.
A special treat could be gained from spending a little time with out great neighbours at The Loft, a local small estate, where they have spotted over thirty different varieties of birds in their streams, pastures, ponds and fields. This is a direct result of their commitment to maintaining a sustainable landscape, favourable to a wide variety of local and visiting wildlife.
Mentioned below are the top five things you must keep in mind when you go bird watching in the Moray area.
Plan well in advance:
Most ornithologists and people from the birding community will recommend that you must avoid summer months, as the chances of sightings are not as reliable. Springtime, which occurs from late March through May, or autumn months – September through November and winter months December through Mid-March are the best times of the year for bird watching. Having a heads up about which species you wish to observe, will help you book tickets and make reservations accordingly.
Note: Season months have been mentioned to make it easier for you to plan a trip, as some species can be sighted only during particular times of the year.
Clothing and Footwear:
Summers in Elgin are cool due to its geographic proximity to the Moray Firth but that also means winters are quite mild. Keep in mind that you will want to pack semi warm clothing when visiting Scotland and If you plan to charter a boat, you may want to consider warm clothing as it can get breezy to mildly windy while you are out on the water. Not wearing season-specific clothes can cause you to miss an opportunity to sight rare birds. Scotland is known for its rugged terrain so you might want to consider wearing sturdy shoes/boots that don’t wear out easily. Mid-calf boots with a sturdy waterproof sole are highly recommended.
Seasoned birders always recommend that you carry lightweight optical devices such as monocular, binoculars or spotting scopes. Since these are light in weight, it allows you to move around freely. You can check the prices and reviews of the best compact binoculars here. However, if you are looking to catch the birds in flight, you can use a telescope.
Note: Telescopes need to be mounted on a tripod. You will want to use it only if you will be stationary as lugging around a telescope can be cumbersome and ruin your experience.
There are many apps available that can help you gain information on when certain birds can be sighted in specific locations. In case you sight a bird and are not able to identify it, you can use these apps to identify it. All you need to do is mention a brief description of the bird and you will receive detailed information. Some apps feature a calling out sound for some birds. You can use this feature to lure birds out of their hiding.
Code of ethics:
Code of ethics outlines the expected behaviour for birdwatchers. One must always maintain respect for the environment, wildlife, and rights of others. At all costs, do not cause undue stress to birds and expose them to danger. Always exercise caution and restraint during observation, filming/photography.
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