Bennachie Forum > Flora and Fauna

We would like to know what you have seen on Bennachie

I heard my first Cuckoo on 28th April, not far from the Bennachie Centre

walked from Donview carpark yesterday up to Milllstone Hill, lots of wild flowers out,
Primrose, Bluebell, Violets, Stitchwort, Bugle, Wood Sorrel, Gorse and Broom.
also saw 3 Buzzards, 2 Curlews and heard Cuckoo

Had a great walk round Millstone Hill, lovely sunny day but a bit windy, lovely autumn colours, saw a flock of Bull Finches

November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Saw 2 large flocks of Siskins in the trees on way up Millstone hill (17th Jan)

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Keep an eye out for the Creeping Lady's-tresses when you walk out from the Visitor Centre. They are just beginning to show themselves.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

The trees are changing colour and look wonderful, especially the Larch giving a golden glow to the hillside

October 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterBailies of Bennachie Admin

Lots of Grouse out on the hill today (16th Jan 2014)

January 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterBailies of Bennachie Admin

Saw some Toad Spawn in the new wildlife pond today (7th May 2014) and also a Great Spotted Woodpecker flying around trees at the Bennachie Centre

On a short walk from the Bennachie Centre saw an abundance of different plants in bloom including Chickweed Wintergreen, Foxgloves, Tormintil, Heath Bedstraw, Bell Heather, Yellow Pimpernel and Common Wintergreen to name but a few. Plenty of different varieties of grasses, sedges and rushes were also looking at their best waving in the gentle evening breeze. Soon to bloom are the Creeping Lady's Tresses and Enchanter's-nightshade.

June 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

In more than 25 years walking on Bennachie I can't recall ever having seen a hare on the hill until yesterday. I was scrambling from Mither Tap down the South East face and cutting across the slope when I spotted the hare, very obvious in winter white, on the slope above me about 20 yards away. It didn't disappear at lightspeed as I would normally expect hares to do particularly when disturbed at such close quarters, but appeared quite nonchalant, moving away at a sedate pace with frequent stops until it finally disappeared from sight.
I have rarely seen a hare elsewhere without seeing more than one, but this did seem to be alone.

February 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

A couple of weeks ago my husband was walking from Hosies well to Craigshannoch and saw lots of Hare prints but sadly no Hares, lucky you GD to have such a good view of one.

February 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDT

Well spotted GD, just the sort of information we are hoping for from walkers on Bennachie for our records in our Landscapes Project, also thankfully you mentioned where you saw it which is a great help (a map reference would be even better, although on this occasion a moving Hare might be a bit tricky!!) Anything that you spot relating to Wildlife (or anything else you may think helpful or unusual on the hill for that matter) would be gratefully received with as much information you think useful. We have a Bennachie Landscapes page also if you wish to find out more.

The hare location would have been 57º 17' 24.4" N and 2º 31' 39.3" W to the nearest 5 metres when first spotted and it moved uphill towards the fort from there.
(If you look at Google Earth and select Degrees, Minutes, Seconds under Tools/Options/3D View you can pinpoint the location fairly exactly. Sorry I don't have an OS map handy to give you a 6 figure reference but I believe the Google Earth way is more precise.)

I would be very interested to hear if anyone has ever spotted common lizards and/or slowworms anywhere around Bennachie. I do know they are plentiful in localised pockets in Aberdeenshire, particularly along Deeside and it strikes me that some areas within the Bennachie range might be suitable habitats but I for one have never seen any here.

February 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

Thanks again GD, that will be a record for the Bailies BLP.
As to your enquiry about Common Lizards, we have a photographic record of one on the side of the Forestry track below Tillymuick taken a couple of years ago (Grid Ref NJ648239) as for Slowworms we have no records as yet bit are always hopeful that someone will see one and report it. Keep looking!

Whilst helping out at the Bailies Work Party on Saturday one of the members came across a common lizard at the top of Tillymuick. CF

March 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCF

Thanks both of you for the lizard sightings, I will keep an eye out for them next time I'm out that way. Interesting both reports are from the same area, could just be a localised population.

March 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

I finally managed to spot a lizard today, and nowhere near either of the previously reported sightings. This was on the path up the South West side of Millstone hill at a height of around 300m, location 57º16'06.8"N, 2º32'38.1W (Grid Ref NJ673197-ish). It was not a warm day and the thing was very sluggish.
Let's see if anyone spots one higher up, it would be interesting to know their vertical range.

Also spotted what I think was a pair of hoodie crows. They were high in the treetops a fair distance away so identification not 100% certain, but large black birds with the suggestion of a light or even white rump as they flew, and the call was a single short course "caw". Grid Ref NJ686203.

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

Another hare sighting today in the same area as the previous one, starting to lose it's winter white coat - ironic since it was blowing a blizzard at the time. Again just a single individual, maybe the same one as last week.

April 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

Yet another hare today, just a single one again, different place this time though. Right in the middle of the roughly oval shaped rise bounded by paths between Mither Tap and Craigshannoch, Grid Ref 674228.

The real surprise today was a group of maybe six to eight jays on the hillside below the English Quarry. I haven't seen anything like this anywhere before. They weren't all together as in a flock but were making their way in ones and twos from the trees remaining around the Ginshie Burn to those remaining along the Garbit Burn and making a lot of noise. The hillside between these two burns is of course cleared now, and there was a couple of deer in that area there too.

April 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

Anyone come across Pine Marten on Bennachie recently?

September 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Sleigh

Steve the Bailies are in the process of applying for a grant, part of which will be a wildlife survey on Bennachie, will be interesting to see what wildlife does live on the hill

December 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterBailies of Bennachie Admin

Thanks for info, I have recently come across Pine Marten on Bennachie, two together in one area.
There was also lots of evidence of them in a number of areas a while back when the Rowan berries were plentiful. It appeared the Martens had been feasting on them!

January 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Sleigh

Lucky you to see 2 at the same time, good to know they are there on the hill.

January 30, 2017 | Registered CommenterBailies of Bennachie Admin

We saw a lizard on the path from Rowantree yesterday. Sunning itself on a stone then scuttling into the heather where we got a good look at it
I didn't even know there were such creatures there and would probably have accused my 10 yr oldvof over imagination if I hadn't seen it myself!

July 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterd beedie