A monumental day in the mountains of #Mull!
I was absoloutly thrilled to discover a pair of Ptarmigan on the higher parts of the island yesterday. Pictured is a female in her incredibly beautiful summer plumage.
In our increasingly warming climate, the range of this sub-Arctic specialist has been retreating north since monitoring began. The island of Mull has a milder oceanic climate and is currently on the edge of their distribution in Scotland.
Climate change is the most serious long term threat to the species. In the last 100 years they have disappeared from the Southern Uplands and the Western Isles. Snow cover is essential for the existence of these mountain grouse during the colder periods, when the birds moult into their clean white winter plumage.