New at Heatherlea in 2011
25 January 2011
We have been busy this winter working on lots of unique experiences for you to enjoy in 2011. Here’s just a few of our NEW highlights!
New Raptor Viewpoint
Golden Eagle, Merlin, Osprey, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, wandering White-tailed Eagle, Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier and Goshawk … the area northwest of Nethy Bridge is certainly rich in birds of prey. Our private estate land in this area is just that, privately owned and only available to Heatherlea. We have been seeking Capercaillie here for 16 seasons, seeing the birds about 30 - 40% in 2010.
In 2011 we have new access to a fantastic lookout in this special place, with wonderful views for many miles around. We can see nearby slopes and flat-topped moorland which large raptors use to cross the north of Scotland, distant forests and the peaks of the Cairngorms. Below, the A9 trunk road takes unsuspecting birders right past, without ever realising how good the viewing is in this elevated location. You don’t have to walk, we can now park here in the middle of the day and enjoy unbeatable scenery as we have our lunch and scan the hillsides. You won’t get this view anywhere else, and on a sunny day it really is special. Our viewpoint will be active, weather permitting, each week from April 2011
Farmland Birding with an eco-friendly approach.
The Spey Valley in Nethy Bridge is a very important site for passerines, and Twite, Brambling, Linnet, Yellowhammer and Redpoll can all be seen here throughout the year. In winter and early spring, large flocks gather on the corn ‘stooks’ placed by the farmer, and later as the birds disperse, some stay to breed.
People tend not to think of waders as being important in this area, but as you can see, the fields are rich in nutrients from winter flooding, making this farmland area near Nethy Bridge one of the single most important places for wading birds in the UK, with a very high density of breeding Lapwing, ….. and many wintering birds too. With wintering Greylag and Pinkfeet on the fields, and breeding Goldeneye and Buzzard in the woodland, this part of the strath, where ancient Caledonian forest stretches right down to the wetlands, is a beautiful and important place to visit.
We will come here during many weeks in 2011, and as this absorbing destination is only two miles from our Hotel, it is convenient and easy too.
The Scottish weather wears out our feeders, and so we have organised some new and more substantial ones at the front of the Hotel. Already the birds are finding them irresistible, with even Waxwings (eying up some rotten apples), and Long-tailed Tits taking an interest.
We are delighted to continue our very successful relationship with Swarovski into 2011, which means you can borrow a pair of these top quality binoculars FREE OF CHARGE whilst holidaying at Mountview Hotel with Heatherlea.
We are expecting supply of the latest ‘Swarovision’ products in January 2011, so reserve your pair now – availability will definitely be limited!
Badgers with Jonny
Fancy watching badgers just a few feet away, inside a nice warm house perhaps with a cup of tea? We are delighted to announce Badgers with Jonny! Popular Heatherlea guide Jonny Pott has been busy tempting his local badgers to browse in his garden, and after a few trial sessions last year, we are pleased to launch this unique experience EXCLUSIVELY to Heatherlea guests. Some advantages;
- The animals come really close, just a few feet away.
- We won’t visit unless there is a better than average chance of seeing Badgers, which are monitored on a daily basis.
- A warm friendly environment means you won’t be cold or cramped. Loo facilities available!
- No walking across muddy fields!
- You pay no more! There is no extra charge to Heatherlea guests for this service.
- Because this very personal service is just for you, we pick the right day to go, and you won’t have to compete for space or wait for other groups to leave.
Badgers with Jonny begins around late February when the Badgers waken, we give them a rest in high summer (mid June – late August) when the animals are active very late in the evening, then begin again in early autumn through till hibernation in late October. Join any full week at Heatherlea in 2011within the appropriate dates, and if Badgers are showing we will take you to see them!
Please note, this service is on private land and is not available unless you are staying with Heatherlea.
Whether you are new to Heatherlea or have been with us many times, there is lots more to see and do in 2011!
- 25/01/2011 New at Heatherlea in 2011
- 09/06/2010 Rutland Birdfair 2010
- 12/02/2010 Heathlea Caption Competition
- 25/09/2009 Heatherlea Awarded Five Stars
- 12/09/2009 STRONG AA ENDORSEMENT FOR MOUNTVIEW HOTEL
- 26/06/2009 Heatherlea Guide and his unusual house guests on BBC TV!
- 01/01/2009 New Heatherlea Blog
- 18/12/2008 Great News from Kenya!
- 12/12/2008 Have a great Christmas, see you in the New Year!