Thursday, 11 December 2008

Early December Sights

We've had some very cold days in December so far. Most mornings have seen the ground white with frost. We have had some snowfall, but not much.

I haven't seen the stoat again, but the mice are frequent visitors, hoovering up the bird food from the ground.

The robin is now letting me stand just a few inches away from him.

Recent Photos

Walk up Green Knowes Wind Farm - the fog was lying in the glen and temperatures didn't get up above minus 4 C all day.



Mist forming over the reservoir


Close-up of the frost - I can see what is meant by a 'sharp frost'! Normal trees looked like they had white pine needles. Very beautiful.


The robin


A fallow deer grazing


Sika deer


View to the snowy Grampian mountains - Carn Liath and Beinn a Ghlo.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A Stoat In My Garden!

We had some snow overnight, so the birds are frantically feeding in the garden.

My resident robin is usually found perched on the fence watching over the food and has become used to me going out and restocking supplies.

The mouse hoovers up the food that is dropped on the ground by the birds, and I often see it darting about.

I was just sat at the table eating my lunch and watching the birds, when I spotted a new visitor to my garden - a stoat! It came right up to the back door, a lovely looking thing... dark brown coat, white underneath and the distinctive black tip to its tail.

I got my batteries back into the camera, had a good shot lined up and then my dog barked at it through the glass!! It scurried back up the garden, and the photos I got were absolute rubbish. Never work with dogs...

Monday, 24 November 2008

I Got My First Snow of the Season

The first snows to grace my garden arrived and I woke up on Saturday morning to find a dusting. Further north the snow was bad, but we didn't have much here.

We had a nice walk near Callendar and the Falls of Leny. The Forestry works had obliterated the track up the hillside so we weren't able to hike up to the top of the hill, which was rather annoying.

Stopped alongside Loch Lubnaig for lunch. There were several mallard on the loch. Driving further along the lochside, I spotted a couple of cormorant standing on a post in the loch.

On the way home, there was a kite hovering near the roadside. I wasn't able to stop and get a photo, but it was lovely to watch for the brief moment I was driving past. There were also plenty of buzzards spotted - which reminds me, had a couple nearly fly into the car over the last week and it's not the first time that has happened. Not something you want to hit, especially as they're so big.

There was a lot more snow Saturday night, and we had a covering of white yesterday morning. I've been making sure the birds have had a supply of food in the garden. I saw a group of long-tailed tits in the apple tree in our front garden yesterday. But they had flown away by the time I had got my camera... that's what usually happens!

I saw a gold crest in one of the conifers in the back garden. They move so fast!

Loch Lubnaig and the lower slopes of Ben Ledi


Views along a farm track in the village on Sunday

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Sea Eagle Poisoning

Having watched BBC's AutumnWatch over the last two weeks, I finally remembered to get online and go to the RSPB's page where they are tracking by satellite tag, two sea eagle youngsters.

RSPB - Mull White-Tailed Eagles

I was also horrified to read a report on BBC's news site today about the killing of a sea eagle and buzzard using poisoned bait. BBC News Article

I have heard similar cases this year of red kites and golden eagles being poisoned in Scotland too.

As bad as it is that it happens to these beautiful birds of prey, in this day and age where people can roam in the hills, imagine what would happen if a child or pet dog were to come across the bait? My labrador would likely eat it and that would be the end of him, just like the sea eagle. It doesn't bear thinking about.

I hope that the law will prevail and something gets done to stop this kind of thing happening again.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Blackmount Reflections

I was looking through some old photos on my computer earlier today and came across these of the Blackmount mountains reflected in Lochan na h'Achlaise. I took them in November 2005, which was a fantastic day for being in that particular area - so clear and still and amazing colours.

Unfortunately, the cd I had stored the original hi-res versions of the photos on got corrupted and I didn't realise until I had deleted them off of my hard drive, resulting in me only having these small re-sized images I had done of them. At least I still have those I suppose!






Monday, 3 November 2008

Snow Has Arrived!

The last couple of weeks has seen snow arrive on the Scottish hills. It even reached low levels in places, but not where I live.

On Saturday we did a hill walk near Aberfeldy and had an excellent view of the Perthshire mountains with the sun shining upon the snow.

Ben Lawers - Perthshire's highest peak at 3984ft (1214m)


Schiehallion - 3554ft (1083m)


But to show that autumn isn't over just yet... a photo from our walk in the Ochil Hills yesterday with lovely autumnal colours by the reservoir.

Garden Birds

A selection of photos of birds spotted in my garden over the last few weeks.

Robin


Dunnock




Blue Tit



Great Tit

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Robin

I spotted this robin while I was out walking in the local hills this morning.


Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Autumn Morning

It was a lovely morning today, so I went into the Ochil hills to take some photos.

I would've had a good picture of a stonechat, but the camera wouldn't focus quickly enough so all I ended up with was four blurred shots.




Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Moss & Lichen

I took these photos on my morning walk with my Labrador. I had to get in very close with the macro setting on the camera.

The lichen and moss was very small, just a centimetre or so in height, but these photos make it seem like they were huge!

The red tipped Cladonia floerkeana




Monday, 13 October 2008

Autumn Colours

A couple of photos taken on Saturday, showing the lovely autumn colours which are appearing now.


Monday, 6 October 2008

Seals - Portgordon, Moray

I spent the weekend in the North East of Scotland and saw seals at Portgordon, Moray.

They were bathing in the sun on the rocks, close to the shore, so I was able to get some nice photos of them.





Friday, 3 October 2008

Red Deer Photos

Photos taken today of the Red Deer

Stag roaring - just a shame he wasn't looking in my direction when he did it!




Fungi Photos

Various fungi spotted when I was in the Lochalsh and Skye areas.