WILDLIFE AT CREAR
The mighty Red Deer, our largest land mammal, Roe Deer, Sika Deer and Fallow Deer are all Crear locals.
During the winter months, you'll see herds come down from the hill to graze in the fields.
The autumn marks the mating season. Having spent the rest of the year in single sex herds, the annual rut sees the dominant male rounding up his harem of females. Younger males, and indeed many of the females, have other ideas, and the result is one of the most dramatic events in the wildlife calendar.
Stags roaring, heads tossing, and antlers clashing; battle ensues. You can hear them at Crear load and clear!
Please watch out for them on the road at dawn and dusk!
The boisterous ‘famous’ grouse can be found on the moorland behind Crear, in northern England, Wales, and Scotland, as well as in Ireland .... and nowhere else in the world!
The red grouse is the 'Famous Grouse' that appears on whisky bottles. The grouse brand was born in 1896 in Scotland and deliberately named after an iconic Scottish bird. But it was the popularity of it that inspired the makers to add 'Famous' to the title.
An iconic upland species, the mountain hare is famed for its camouflage. In summer, their coat is a grey-brown colour with a tinge of blue, making them hard to spot against the typical backdrop of heather moorland. In winter, they change to almost completely white to camouflage with snow – only their ear tips stay black. Mountain hares are larger than rabbits, but smaller than brown hares and have shorter ears.
They are at their most visible in spring, when the snow has melted but the hares are still white.
Unlike the brown hare, which is thought to have been introduced by the Celts during the Iron Age, the mountain hare is only native to the Scottish Highlands.
Barn owls, tawny owls, long-eared owls and short eared owls are local to Crear.
Watch out for them perched on fences or swooping past when you are driving along the single track Kilberry Road at dusk.
GOLDEN EAGLES, SEA EAGLES AND BIRDS OF PREY
The golden eagle is the top predator in the Scottish countryside; it is a massive bird of prey that mainly hunts rabbits and mountain hares but will also catch foxes, young deer and large birds like grouse. It can be seen soaring high in the sky behind Crear and if you're lucky, will make a fly by the studio windows.
European Otters are shy animals however if you are lucky you will meet one along the shoreline at Crear.
We have had a cheeky dog otter come into the cottage garden to try his luck with catching the chickens!
Otters swim ad fish in the sea, however must wash the salt from their coats in fresh water afterwards.
Both Common & Grey seals live all around the coastline at Cear & you’ll see these curious creatures basking on the rocks and swimming in the sea.
Head to Millar's Bay early evening and sing or whistle to them on the rocks; they will pop up to get a look at you!
DOLPHINS, PORPOISE AND WHALES
Dolphins and porpoise are here all year round. The common dolphin is regularly spotted, while the bottlenose, risso’s and white-beaked dolphin are all here too. Minke whales, which weigh in at eight tonnes, are frequently seen in the summer and autumn.
Summer is the time to see basking sharks when these magnificent creatures migrate from their winter feeding grounds to Scotland.