A walk on the Wild Side
I woke up this morning having no great desire to do anything other than walking the pup. However as things transpired, the day turned into a bit of a trek. Before setting off, I went and put the Guinea pigs in their run and spotted this lovely wee Robin in my cherry tree. He was giving it bell-tink and really giving it some welly, lovely to see and just as pleasurable to hear.
Once I got myself motivated, I initially set off to Davie Park in Blair and spotted the wee Moorhen on her nest. Such a bonny wee bird and in my mind far more lovable than the quarrelsome coots.
Other than the usual ducks and Black Headed gulls, there wasn’t much else showing itself. So, where to go to see something a bit more exciting? Cockrage Moor was the answer, so off I trotted up the river. On my way I spotted this Heron and a lovely Peacock Butterfly.
I usually see a dipper or 2 on my way up the river but had to make do with one of the new plaques the council has erected
However, I did see this wee Grey Wagtail…..
and a Yellowhammer (an old photo)
As I crossed the soldiers bridge,
I was hoping to see some squirrels that frequent the area around Oakbank
but unfortunately no! A wee wren did cross my path though
So, I continued up past Lornty and headed towards the two castles of Drumlochy…
The original owners of these castles, the Heron’s and the Drummonds had had a continual barny over several decades. The Drummonds of Glasclune took it upon themselves to purchase a cannon and promptly ended the dispute one afternoon in the 1700’s. All that was left was a rickle o’ stanes!!! Just past Drumlochy I spotted a flock of a dozen or so Mistle thrush (possibly Song thrush but those that know me well will vouch I get them wrong ALL the time)
and in my best Taggert, “there’s bin a murdur”, granted it was a murder of crows….
Onwards I marched and looked back at the amazing views of the area
As I climbed up toward the moor I spotted one of our favourite summer visitors taking a rest in a tree
and flying overhead our most abundant raptor
I reached the wee kissing gate above Middleton farm to be greeted by a friendly face
and a Meadow Pippit.
There were countless Pippits to be seen, and are very favoured by the Hen Harrier. I was lucky enough to see her quartering above the moor a couple of times but she wasn’t close enough for me to get a decent picture. I have added a pic from the internet though of this beautiful bird
As I reached the top of the moor, I had a flask of coffee and took in the northerly views
As I was supping on my coffee and Coco was enjoying his denta-stick, I looked down and spotted what I think was a Fox Moth Caterpillar, quite beautiful.
The heather is really starting to bloom now and it really is fantastic to witness such beauty and colour on what some might just class as a desolate moor.
Butterflies were very prevelant, mainly Peacock’s but there was the odd Red Admiral
I sat for a bit, hoping to see the harrier again or even the Short Eared Owls that are often spotted on the moor but no joy. However the views were great, and the company even better. I even gave him a wee treat of some brambles that we had gathered on the way up.
As we decided to start back, we met a couple of German girls just starting out on the Cateran trail. We had a wee blether and Coco got a dog biscuit from one of the girls (which was weird as they didn’t have a dog!!!!!). So, back we headed and were rewarded with a Whinchat (an other old pic, the one i saw was offski before I had camera ready)
Another sighting I had was this Roe Doe just as I was coming off the moor.
On the moor there is a section called the Buzzard Dykes. These are semi natural/semi man built. They are natural depressions in the landscape that have been deepened to provide a corral area for cattle in days gone by.
I also saw this buck as I was coming back through the Muirton of Drumlochy
and a pair of Goldfinches that had just flown off some thistle down
Another sighting I had was this wee grasshopper
As I came back down the river heading towards home I again was given a wee treat
So, all in all, a nice 5 hour wander with my loyal companion Coco.