Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Oh, The Song!

The song thrush is back!

A couple of years ago one took to residing in a tree in my garden and would start singing at volume around 2am all the way through to mid-day, have an hour or two's break and then would start again for a few more hours until the cycle began again the next day. We endured sleepless nights, and slept in the spare room because it was quieter. I wouldn't mind if it changed the song once in a while. Wildlife eh!

I still see the robin, although he is looking a bit deshevelled at the moment. He stops and perches on our apple tree, taking a break from feeding his youngsters. Not sure where the nest is.

We have a compost bin at the top of our garden and after a couple of years we were finally going to use the compost. Unfortunately, my other half discovered that wasps had taken it over, so I told him it was probably better to leave our home-made compost for now and we'll buy some... don't want to create an angry swarm!

I try to leave a lot of wild flowers in the garden. We currently have a mass of yellow poppies and cornflowers and the bumble bees are loving them. The wild foxgloves will be out in the next few weeks.

Springwatch is back on BBC2. Enjoying the goshawks in Wales, gorgeous coloured eyes, and the badgers. It was great last year when Simon King was up Cairngorm mountain and by Loch an Eliean, both of which I've been to many times and have seen some amazing wildlife up there - ptarmigan and their chicks on a very dreich day up the mountain sticks in my mind. So much amazing wildlife in Britain. I'm lucky to live in Scotland, I've seen so much since I've lived here.

Missing Bill Oddie though. Would love to have someone like him to take me around the Caledonian pine forests and point out the birds, etc. I met him in a record store in London in the early 90's - we were supposed to be on an A Level art visit to the Royal Academy of Art! - a couple of my friends got his autograph but I was too shy, as I was the real fan and had just been given his book 'Birding with Bill Oddie' by my grandparents!

The very first Springwatch when they focussed on the peregrin falcons, inspired me to paint this:


A couple of photos I took yesterday in the Ochil Hills:

Mountain pansies


Bog cotton

Friday, 8 May 2009

Latest Sightings

It's been a while since I updated the blog, due to holiday and work. Here's some of my latest sightings from Scotland!

At the end of March I was on holiday for a week near Kyle of Lochalsh. Visited Skye again as well as the Torridon area. We had a year's worth of weather in a week. Followed snow ploughs along the road on the way there, and temperatures of around 3 degrees C - five days later it was blue sky, sunshine and temps of 18 degs C!

Saw a couple of red deer drinking by a burn in the Torridon mountains. Saw two red kites, both hovered near the car, on the drive up to Lochalsh. A barn owl swooped in front of the car one day on Skye. I also saw approximately 40 seals basking in the sun on small islands near Dunvegan.

The Red Cuillin in sunshine!


Yesterday I heard my first Cuckoo of the year. The swallows arrived about a month ago and have been twittering about in the sky once again. Yesterday I saw a buzzard getting dive-bombed by a couple of crows.

Bluebells spotted on a walk along farm track this morning.

Plenty of lambs running about now. Foals also in the field, I'm sure more will arrive soon.