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.

Robin

Robin

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.

Moorhen

Moorhen

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.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Peacock butterfly

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

23-08-14 068

However, I did see this wee Grey Wagtail…..

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

and a Yellowhammer (an old photo)

Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

As I crossed the soldiers bridge,

Ericht

Ericht

I was hoping to see some squirrels that frequent the area around Oakbank

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

but unfortunately no! A wee wren did cross my path though

Wren

Wren

So, I continued up past Lornty and headed towards the two castles of Drumlochy…

Drumlochy Castle

Drumlochy Castle

and Glasclune

Glasclune Castle

Glasclune Castle

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)

Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

and in my best Taggert, “there’s bin a murdur”, granted it was a murder of crows….

Murder of crows

Murder of crows

Onwards I marched and looked back at the amazing views of the area

Strathmore

Strathmore

Sma' Glen

Sma’ Glen

Strathmore

Strathmore

As I climbed up toward the moor I spotted one of our favourite summer visitors taking a rest in a tree

Swallow

Swallow

and flying overhead our most abundant raptor

Buzzard

Buzzard

I reached the wee kissing gate above Middleton farm to be greeted by a friendly face

23-08-14 057

and a Meadow Pippit.

Meadow Pippit

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

Hen Harrier

Hen Harrier

As I reached the top of the moor, I had a flask of coffee and took in the northerly views

Strathardle

Strathardle

Glenshee

Glenshee

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.

Fox moth caterpillar

Fox moth caterpillar

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.

23-08-14 044

Butterflies were very prevelant, mainly Peacock’s but there was the odd Red Admiral

23-08-14 042

Red Admiral

23-08-14 048

Peacock

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.

Coco and Brambles

Coco and Brambles

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)

Whinchat

Whinchat

Another sighting I had was this Roe Doe just as I was coming off the moor.

Roe doe

Roe doe

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.

Buzzard dykes

Buzzard dykes

I also saw this buck as I was coming back through the Muirton of Drumlochy

Roe buck

Roe buck

and a pair of Goldfinches that had just flown off some thistle down

Goldfinches

Goldfinches

Another sighting I had was this wee grasshopper

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

As I came back down the river heading towards home I again was given a wee treat

Dipper

Dipper

So, all in all, a nice 5 hour wander with my loyal companion Coco.

 

 

 

 

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Posted on August 25, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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