There are so many places that I really enjoy visiting but one of my favourites at this time of year has to be Cockrage moor and the walk up to it. This morning I had an unexpected opportunity to have a wee daunder up there. I left the house just after 7 and walked down Riverside, across the bridge and started walking up the river on the Blairgowrie side. First thing I saw was a pair of dippers, the one below just sat happily on the rock whilst he other was very busy pinging about in the river
Next thing was this lovely Chaffinch singing its soul out
So I continued up Oakbank rd hoping for a sighting of the Red Squirrels, sure enough they were there….
a pair of them zipping about the canopy, lovely to see especially only 5 mins from my front door. I heard a jay roaring it’s head of behind me hoping to see him but instead there was a wee Roe grazing in the paddock
but I also spotted the jay, not a great pic but pleased to see him all the same
Not far from where I was, there is an old dry-stane dyke, and in one of the wee nooks is a Coal Tit building a nest, lovely wee bird………
…..and just beyond that there is a Greater Spotted Woodpecker nest and sure enough on a tree at the back was said woody drumming out his serenade on a make shift tom-tom 😉
Continuing up the riverside I caught a glimpse of a Grey Wagtail sitting on a rock. He looked as if he was in stealth mode
On the river at present there are quite a few Goosanders, generally a male and 3 females.
On I walked and only got as far as the Lornty burn where I spotted another pair of Squirrels. In fact, the dog spotted them first and duly chased them up the tree. To say he got a roasting is an understatement!!! Anyway, not a great picture but always a great sighting
The area beyond the Lornty burn is usually a good bit to see hares but not so lucky today, did spot these though
and one sitting bonny in the tree for me
Within the flock there were also a fair amount of thrushes and I think a couple of Fieldfare but to be honest I couldn’t be sure. I actually thought the Redwing and Fieldfare disappeared from these shores around March but I’m obviously mistaken.
So onwards I went with a skip in my step……the moor beckoned. The musical cacophony supplied by the Yellowhammers, Chiffchaffs, Robins, Wrens and Pippits would gladden the coldest heart. The new-born lambs added to the moment, spring has definitely arrived.
As I approached the moor the amount of Meadow Pippits increased and I was delighted to see some Wheatears as well. Struggle as I did to get a picture of the male, I ultimately failed though I did get a few pictures of the female, beautiful bird
These birds are the general meal for the Hen Harrier and Short Eared Owl. I’ve seen both on the moor but never managed any decent photo’s. Now, as we were walking we flushed this raptor, not sure what it was, probably a buzzard but in my heart I hope it was the Hen Harrier but it doesn’t really look like one. Rubbish pic that makes ID difficult
Buzzards were around lower down the moor but this one didn’t rise particular high once we flushed it.
We decided to have a coffee, well I had a coffee and the pup had a few dog biscuits then we decided to head back. I was a wee bit disappointed that we hadn’t seen the resident herd of Fallows, but hopefully another day. On our way back we spotted a few grouse
and a hare in the same place that I’d seen one on Monday
I’ve used that pic as I wasn’t quick enough with the camera lol. So as we continued back we spotted this handsome Shetland just north of Drumlochy
An Aberdeen-Angus stirk
As we rounded Drumlochy castle, we spotted “Glasclune Maggie”!!!! I’ve been trying to get a picture of this devil for a wee bit now and I’m glad to say that I eventually got him.
At Drumlochy itself, they keep Guinea Fowl, noisy beggars to say the least………………
As we came down the wee glen, I was delighted to see a Goldcrest
and a flock (5 or 6) Bullfinches
As we neared the Lornty bridge the roaring from 5+ jays was something else. I only managed these rubbish pics unfortunately
So, after 5 hours walking and approx. 12 miles covered I reached the river again and there were the Goosanders to greet me back.
An altogether lovely morning.