Staff blog: Young wildlife watchers explore Schiehallion

East Schiehallion property manager Liz Auty braves wintry squalls to take local nature-loving families bird watching at the fairy hill

Watch at schiehallion april 2016 meadow pipit detail

Last autumn my friend Cristie and I set up a new Wildlife Watch group. Watch is the junior branch of the Wildlife Trusts, and there are local groups across the country.

The Breadalbane Wildlife Watch Group is based in the Aberfeldy area and have explored different locations with activities including bug hunting, practising our camouflage skills and looking for night-time wildlife.

In late April, I was very pleased to welcome the group to my patch at East Schiehallion for a session on feathered friends. Our local Wildlife Trust staff lent us some binoculars and four families set out to explore and see what birds we could spot along the way. After a beautiful week of weather the wind direction had swung north and the wind was chilly.

Watch at Schiehallion April 2016 1

Our first stop was the ancient cup marked stone and we tried to imagine the people who had made the marks and the tools they might have used.

Watch at Schiehallion April 2016 2

Next we made a lovely discovery of frogspawn in a tiny burn.

Watch at Schiehallion April 2016 3

We spotted lots of meadow pipits (pictured at the top of the page) and heard wrens trilling away, and a robin was quite interested to see what we were doing, then the north wind blew and gave us a hail shower, so it was time to bring out the group shelter for some stories - with Cristie braving it outside while the children kept warm inside!

Watch at Schiehallion April 2016 4

After they had tried out keeping warm inside that ‘nest’ we decided to have a go at building some nests ourselves that we thought birds might like to live in.

Watch at Schiehallion April 2016 5

We had a lovely morning despite the weather and I am looking forward to more adventures with the group at different local nature reserves including pond dipping and habitat management. Find out about these and more at: Breadalbane Wildlife Watch Group.

Or, if you live in or are visiting the far north west corner of Scotland, you may be interested in the new Lochinver Wildlife Watch Group (you can download a poster with details of events here.)