Autumn has truly set in at CairnGorm Mountain with a definite orange hue among the deer grass and the browning of leaves on small shrubs such as Dwarf Birch.
The breeding waders have now left, but there are regular sightings of red grouse, ptarmigan and mountain hares. Soon, flocks of thrushes will be passing through from their breeding grounds in Iceland/Scandinavia.
Many of the berries from upland plants have now gone, leaving only the hardy examples in sheltered stream areas, particularly crowberries. Some interesting plants can still be seen on the mountain, including the carnivorous plants butterwort and sundew (both recognised as the venus fly traps of the wild hills).
Path surveys are carried out on many paths over the Cairngorm Estate. The aim is to take a quantified view of the erosion and to assess whether footpath improvements have been successful. As can be seen here, by providing a good walking surface, braids in the path have been closed allowing large areas of habitat and landscape to recover.
Following a report, from a member of the public of more rockfall on the “Goat Track” in Coire an t-Sneachnda, the Rangers went to investigate. The path still remains in a dangerous area prone to rockfall and caution is advised on this path.