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By Taylor Wildlife, May 30 2019 02:00PM


It's May. Rucksack packed? Check! Midge repellent? Check!


The time has come to start a new adventure in the wild glens of Scotland.


The landscape is breathtaking, and at times brutal. Getting to grips with survey techniques and navigation training with the guidance of experienced team leaders, everything starts to fall into place.


Walking out to your first survey area, a sense of excitement, determination and anticipation fills you with each step. You can get these surveys done!!


You've arrived at your start point (you hope!). Plotting your GPS coordinates; notebook and maps at the ready, you wonder what you will see today.


Manoevering through upland habitats proves a challenge; tussocks, heather and sphagnum moss bogs can be, in all honesty, a pain. But without them, there wouldn't be the fantastic array of species for you to find.


The first time you see or hear something new to you, or even something familiar that you love in such a beautiful place (for me seeing buzzards soaring high above, calling wistfully) is inspiring.


A couple of weeks in and (Scottish weather permitting) several surveys under your belt, the landscape seems more familiar and you will feel confident navigating through the vast moorland (although you will always be childishly happy when your survey route happens to take you along a path).


Gaining experience as you go along, you quickly learn the best (and worst!) places to put your feet when out on difficult ground. Your fitness levels quickly improve and your knowledge of the species and ecology around you increases. Undoubtedly, you will also discover muscles you didn't know you had, as well as a genuine and heartfelt appreciation for blister plasters!


Falling over is, i'm afraid, inevitable, and in hindsight can be comedy gold! At least there's no chance of you appearing on an episode of 'You've been framed', after all only a couple of bemused grouse and perhaps an observant eagle spotted you - but did you spot them? Quick! Where's my pencil?!"




By Taylor Wildlife, Apr 30 2018 10:00AM

The Scottish Highlands has mighty lungs. Windswept though it may be when her gusts lash across the heather hills and whip over bending burns, her force and the rough conditions she creates are finite. As her breath becomes feeble and the winds die down, the landscape comes alive.


By Taylor Wildlife, May 1 2017 05:34PM

A nomadic existence has two sides. One, being able to revel in the beauty of nature. Two, the slow but definite emergence of blisters. No one has managed to escape the puffy sore feeling which goes hand-in-hand when the bane of hill walking makes their appearance on the heels and tips of your toes, gradually expanding in all dimensions. For most, visiting the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides was something new to experience. Being able to venture right into the very heart of the island to conduct surveys, granted us all spectacular views of both Golden and White-tailed Eagles. Simply stunning.

From the very heart of Mull
From the very heart of Mull
The mighty Field Assistants returning from the Isle of Mull
The mighty Field Assistants returning from the Isle of Mull