red-squirrels-united-kingdom-pitlochry

The red squirrel is the wild child of the squirrel family, with its tufts of bright hair sticking up on its ears like little ear mohawks. Very striking compared to an ordinary squirrel!

The fiery creatures are native to the UK, but have become rare to see due to the overpopulation of the American grey squirrel. It’s unheard of to see a red squirrel in London, but approximately 85% of the red squirrel population is thought to live in Scotland. I hoped Mike and I might see one when he took me for a lovely weekend getaway to Pitlochry in the Scottish highlands. We were lucky enough to see several red squirrels in the garden of our B&B, as well as one climbing along a fence as we were driving to Loch an Eileen.

The squirrels were super fast and a bit territorial, constantly fighting with each other!

That weekend we also did a beautiful walk around Loch an Eilein, a lake which features a castle on an island in the middle of its waters.

We also visited the Pitlochry Dam and Fish Ladder (which was built so that the salmon could migrate past the dam wall). It had under water video cameras watching the fish ladder, and a fish counter of how many fish had migrated up the fish ladder so far in 2017. We saw one on the camera migrating up! It’s a really interesting idea and hard to understand how the fish figure out how to go up it.

Over the weekend we also saw the famous Soldier’s Leap at Killiecrankie, where a red coat soldier jumped 18 feet across the River Gary in the Battle of Killiecrankie. And visited Blair Castle, which had some very striking rooms, but unfortunately photography was not allowed! My favourite room was the ballroom which can be seen on the Blair Castle homepage: here.

The next Scottish animal I need to meet is a heilan’ coo, I still haven’t seen one!

The River Gary

Loch an Eilein Castle

Loch an Eilein

Loch an Eilein

Blair Castle

6 comments on “Red squirrels in the Scottish highlands”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *