As a bairn staying in Dunkeld, my brother and I would often be treated to a fishing trip to Benachally. There were two routes to the loch, one via Riechip and leading directly to the loch by road; the other was by Riemore and dumping the car at the gamey’s house and hoofing it over the hill. Although a lot more arduous, I always preferred the latter as it gave time to enjoy nature. So today, we decided to relive a wee bit of my youth and go up to Riemore and Loch Ordie. It was a lovely morning with a wee nip in the air, sunny and a fresh breeze, enough to brighten up my thick head from my birthday celebrations from the night before 🙂 After leaving the car in a wee layby we walked up toward the loch. Now Coco ain’t that daft but he couldn’t work out the cattle grids and had to be carried across more than a few. After about 10 minutes walking, I looked to my left westwards and espied on the south side of Duchary hill a pair of birds. Initially I thought it was a Hen Harrier being mobbed by a crow but it was in fact a Red Kite…..
…apologies for the quality but the sun was pretty much right in my face and they were a good distance away, totally nothing to do with the red wine the night before, honest 😉
Anyway, we walked on with the joyous sound of at least 3 Cuckoo’s in the vicinity, unfortunately no pics. As we rounded a corner we were met with a Fallow hind and a pair of calves…
As we walked on, the cuckoo calls became more widespread and insistent, almost taunting me lol. Again no sightings but they were close. Closer still was this lovely wee Wheatear….
and Meadow Pippit
…lovely birds both of them. On reaching the Loch (Ordie) I was very hopeful of seeing an Osprey but no such luck. However, we got even better, this Kestrel (rubbish pic I know)
As the pup and I had a dena-stick and a cup of tea respectively, we were treated to quite a few Brown Trout feeding plus this Common Sandpiper bopping about the shore
There were a few Meadow Pippits knocking about plus this rather brazen Black-faced lamb….
As always, I have the dog on a lead going through livestock even though he is well trained. But to both our astonishment, the bloody lamb (6 weeks old at most) had the temerity to charge at the dog!!!! I didn’t know whether to laugh or run tbh, needless to say the dog was for the latter 😉 As we walked on down the hill we saw the Fallow yet again
And so, as we walked the road back to the car with the songs of the Pippits and Larks and the mocking of the Cuckoo in our ears, we promised a revisit although the next time we’ll take the round about way via Benachally and Loch-na-Chat
…In the name of the wee man, even though we are into May, it was blooming nippy tonight up the Glen. It was a definite lazy Northerly wind, in fact it was that lazy it didn’t go round you, it went right through you!!!! So, how did the latest Pine Marten quest go? Apart from the wee hint in the opening sentences (it was really cold) it did eventually throw up a few photographic opportunities. My wee bud Rhona and I decided to go up the Glen as I’d promised a revisit after a previous disastrous outing of sitting for 3 hours seeing nothing but a very ticked off Roe buck, he gave us dog’s abuse! With his dog like “bark” after spotting us, we saw pretty much nothing. However this evening was a wee bit different. After sitting for about an hour watching various birdlife…..
we got a wee show, a flash of a red/brown rump and tail from the left disappearing behind some logs, a brief but tantalising sight of a nose and a cream chest, a back of our target feeding ………..
……..then a flash of that tail flashing back into the bushes.
Gutted isn’t the word to be honest as I truly believed that was it for the night. We did get a visit from a pair of Fallow hinds that were only a few yards from our vantage point but were really on edge and as soon as I lifted my camera they were off. After another hour or so of being completely frozen and hands turning to ice, we got a revisit from the Marten that lasted a good 20 mins.
I was really chuffed we both saw this absolutely gorgeous animal, a true honour and privilege 🙂
A wee video of this evening
On Friday (1st May), I was fortunate enough to visit a hide I know of to hopefully see a Pine Marten. Previous attempts had been a bit of a disaster but this evening was to be a bit more rewarding. I did the usual, buying bait (peanut butter-the chunky variety) from the local shop in the vain hope it’d work. After arriving at the hide, I laced the area with the bait and settled down for a long wait. Within two minutes, the logs were covered in Great tits then a wee Greater Spotted Woodpecker
This was literally chased off as soon as it landed by this bad boy……
He mooched about for a few minutes before getting spooked by a quad. No sooner had it passed, then back he came……
It sat about for a good 10 mins before disappearing just as quick as it came. Lovely and an experience that I hope to replicate very soon 🙂
Until then, here’s a wee video
The 18th of April may live long in my memory as possibly my best beavering moment to date. I seriously can’t convey the emotions that surged through my body this evening, and as the title of the post suggests, it was bitter sweet.
Due to the wind changing direction in the afternoon I decided to go to the Rattray side of the river. On the way down I spotted this bad boy trying to work out how to get into the fish farm.
I travelled down to the parking place feeling quite despondent having to go to the north side of the river, as the south side usually is the better viewing point but wind direction dictates where I sit so as not to spook the animals. However, on arriving at the north side I realised that my wee pal Rhona hadn’t arrived and was possibly on the other side of the river!!! I decided to go see, knowing in my heart that I was possibly going to have a total wash out re sightings if I went to the south bank as the wind would just be blowing my scent right across the river right into the lodge area. However, after seeing my wee (and she is very wee) bud carrying her camera gear and bags back up the hill, I decided to just go with the flow and hope that the wind was gonna shift and we’d just chance our luck. So we went back to the river, Rhona apologising and saying let’s go to the other side etc, but to be truthful, neither of us could be bothered losing precious time by the river. So we settled at my normal spot right opposite the maternal lodge but I wasn’t happy, The sun was shining directly on us, the wind was coming over our right shoulders and was taking our scent slightly up river from the lodge. It wasn’t a risk I was happy to take so we moved a wee bit up river to a spot that didn’t offer as much viewing opportunities but hopefully didn’t alert the beavers to our presence. That is the main objective as far as I’m concerned, don’t freak nature out and nature will reward you. And how we were rewarded? Wow……………………………….
Mum appeared at 1949 looking totally resplendent…………………………..
she was really looking in great nick……………..
She circled about for a minute or so, drifting with the current before deciding that all was ok and submerging and returning to the lodge.
To see these creatures at a relative close proximity is a privilege but to see them within a foot of you is a God given gift!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that is exactly what we were blessed with, initially me then the both of us. As we were watching a few ripples in and around the lodge area we were treated with a viewing of a pair of adults socialising, pic ain’t great but it was special.
As an afterthought, I’m now drawn to the conclusion that this may be maw and paw as opposed to yearlings. Both looked more adult than the other animals on show.
After these guys disappeared, everything went quiet for a while and Rhona and I ended up talking about how many special moments we had seen by the river, most of them shared. Unknown to either of us, the best was yet to come. When the 2 animals opposite us disappeared, 10 mins later there were ripples just below us and I had a wee sneaky peek. Now, me being the fantastic photographer that I am not, saw a youngster below us. It was laying low, only the head showing and I thought I’d get a great pic. However I’d left my lens extended and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t focus on the wee beastie. It was gorgeous, cute as pie and I missed the perfect shot!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT for the first time this evening unfortunately.
As night was setting we decided to call it over for the evening and headed back up the river. As we approached the burrow where dad has his summer residence we spotted ripples and sure enough there was a beaver. Stupidly I said “there’s the daddy” only to realise it was a wee beaver, one of last years kits. We tracked it up the river getting a few pics, but the light wasn’t great………..
but we did get a decent enough pic.
As we followed the kit up, it stopped at a feeding station and was very evident on the banking. Getting photo’s was a different thing though as the light was against us and we couldn’t really focus on the animal. In reality there wasn’t a decent shot. Our presence obviously upset the wee guy and he went back into the water. Initially we thought we’d missed our chance but it went up the river, we stayed our ground, and the little beggar came right back. What was to follow was pure magic. After leaving the river, it sat on the banking for a minute or so then unbelievably started walking towards us. N either of us could get a pic but more to the point, neither of us could take it in that this wild animal was now browsing on wild garlic no more than a foot from us!!!!!!!!!!!! I could literally have put my hand out and touched its nose, our hearts were pounding but that fact that the animal was so close, and it WAS very close, we couldn’t get pics and it totally gutted me. Having any wild animal in such an intimate interaction is a heart-warming moment that will for ever be cherished. After feeding away it seemed to sense us, gave a very guttural grunt and started back towards the river. That’s it I thought, but no, he kept grazing for at least 5 mins
before slipping back into the river
I honestly can’t convey my emotions regarding this evening, but having the yearling within touching range is/was and will always be something very, very special. Just a wee bit miffed I didn’t have the wee camera tonight, though I would have had to put it on macro settings due to the proximity lol. Great night and that’s the end of not only my tale but also of the beavers tail 😉
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.
As a few of you will know, there is one thing that really gets my heart racing, and that is sharing my love of the beavers with others. Whether it is taking people to the river, giving talks to school kids or just generally speaking to complete strangers, my passion for it is there to see. The look on people’s faces when they see the beaver for the first time is truly incredible and the obvious joy and wonderment in that first sighting really makes my heart soar. In truth, there is nothing to beat the sharing of that encounter with others, though private and personal evenings are equally joyous.
On Thursday the 12th March, I took a wee wander with my pup down to the river, 1st time I’ve been down for some time to be honest. Previous escapades have resulted in blanks and a feeling of worry as the lodge/burrow has been made very obvious due to flooding and the scouring of the bank. This resulted in quite a few of the trees and bushes protecting the lodge being either flattened or ripped out altogether. This, plus the fact I hadn’t seen either the resident family or obvious feeding stations started me thinking the worse. The local farmer is not a major fan either and I honestly was beginning to think I’d lost my family of beavers to one thing or the other. So, it was with a wee bit of trepidation and no-hope, we wandered down to the river. The day had been a particular warm one, if not a bit on the damp side and the Ericht was running high due to the obvious rainfall and snow- melt. Typical to my luck at present, I’d forgotten to take a camera, and how I cursed myself after reaching the lade! There, only feet from me, were 2 adult beavers taking shelter from the river in the slow running water of the old mill lade. To say it was a double edged sword is pointing out the obvious, as I saw the beasties but had no way of sharing the experience. I was gutted as much as I was excited but (“every cloud” as Tina says) it gave me the wee jolt I was needing, they were still there, they were still alive. Quality.com 🙂 Granted, they didn’t hang about long but I still got a few moments watching them. The bigger of the 2 (mum I think) was pretty laid back until the smaller adult decided enough was enough and gave me a very impressive tail-splash, mum followed suit, but it seemed to be a half-hearted affair. Over the years watching this family, mum seems to be quite a chilled out animal apart from when the kits appear, then she is a bit more “on point” as my eldest would say.
Friday evening, I popped back down with no success, then went to a local loch to see if I could get a sneaky peek. This loch has been a bit of an enigma to me to be honest, tried trapping it a couple of years ago with no joy, but there is so much obvious activity it is unreal!!!! However, regardless of only 2 sightings over 2 years, and a few warning tail-splashes, I have found a lovely wee observation point not far from the lodge, so hopefully I’ll have some pics/vids this year of that particular location. Re location, it’s awesome and honestly what you’d expect as typical beaver habitat, almost Canadian in outlook. Almost!!!!! lol. Saying that, Scotland, and in particular Tayside, is a really beautiful place when you open your eyes and heart to it. There are so many hidden gems at your/our doorstep.
Saturday, my usual early morning saunter with the dog and camera didn’t quite pan out as I’d hoped. It wasn’t ’til well after 11 that we got out. The skies were grey, light was poor and tbh my heart wasn’t in it. Stormont loch and Hare’s Myre were the designated walk, hoping to catch a bullfinch or two, Red Squirrel’s, maybe Goldcrest or something interesting on either loch. Not to be however, though Coco did flush a couple of reds, no decent pics though. Goldeneye and Tufties were in abundance on both lochs, Mutes (12+) on Stormont but again no pics. We were also given a choral greeting by a pair of Tawny’s, this to me was a brilliant experience, as it was truly unexpected. As evening approached, the skies cleared and my 4 legged buddy and I popped down to the loch. At arriving we were greeted with a Roe doe feeding where I park up, lovely to see, impossible to get a pic. We ventured down to the loch and sat for a bit among the reeds. I will have to share some pics of the area as it is brilliant. The beaver has gouged out areas near to the lodge for mud to make his home, in doing this they are almost making their lodge inaccessible via terrestrial access. I don’t know if this is meant or just by default, but either way it is a sight well worth seeing. So, nothing to see at the loch I went to the river. On reaching the path I was greeted with a bloody big splash. Beaver!!!! My heart jumped a beat or two, they’re here 🙂 Doubt vanquished, I trod on to my usual viewing stations and I was rewarded with a couple of brief sightings. After a wee bit, headed back and again I was rewarded with a beautiful sighting of a decent sized yearling, “SPLASH”. Hey, regardless of minimal sightings, the briefest encounter really is special. Try it, you’ll love it
To say I’ve had a mixed week is to truly point out the obvious. From spending an excellent Saturday evening with family, to then realising my efforts on FB were a bit dodgy to say the least. I decided to leave my FB page for a wee bit due to health issues, generally this nasty depression shit that has cursed me this past wee while. Anyway, as alluded to, it’s been a mixed bag of a week, which as I said started with a lovely Saturday evening with my family. Sunday started great with a few pics of this buzzard,
………….love them regardless of their recent abundance, but still a raptor that I have to photograph if given the chance, and why not? Quality bird, true survivor.
Canada geese are always a fave of mine as well, due to the fact I CAN recognise them!!!!
So Sunday merged, as it does, into Monday, rubbish day tbh, sleet, snow, rain which just really manifested into a deeper feeling of gloom. Sorry guys, not my usual up-beat self but life sometimes really sucks! HOWEVER, of to a new job on the Wednesday cleaning a bit of Perth lade, Lord don’t take my words in vain but ffs, depression just hit a new depth!!! I appeared and was met with a sight that really broke my heart
Seeing this abomination should really be a matter for the police or council to take up, but regardless of the politics, it really cut me to the bone. What could live in a crappy hole like this? Well, you’d really be surprised. A pair of electro-fishers contracted in had seen a Water Rail!!!!!!!!!!!! NO SHIT, but I got a fleeting glimpse myself and could not believe it.
Not only that, a dog otter feeding pretty much daily at the outlet of the Goodlyburn (again, fleeting glimpse), kingfishers (yeah, I know, boring but another fleeting glimpse) bloody frustrating to me tbh. However, on an upside I did get pics of these guys
I rescued quite a number of eels, though they are quite a hardy breed. I think I threw over 20 back into the lade on Wednesday alone. Add a few toads, frogs and a puckle sticklebacks, I felt I did OK over and above my real job.
Had a really rubbish day on the Thursday, questioning everything but thanks to my pal bolstering me and a chance sighting of 2 beavers by the Ericht, which typically I remembered to forget my camera!!!!!!!!!!!! amounted to another missed opportunity. Hey, life goes on one way or another. Away to bed but listening to Joey B as I’m writing this, quality musician, feel good dude even though he plays the blues. Take care guys xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
May I just suggest the above title as it’s great fun. Over the past few years as most of you that know me will contend, I’ve done this on more than a few occasions. There have been a few memorable experiences and I’ll share a few on this and future posts.
3 years ago, mid January -6 and me on the banks of the Isla. Imagine the scene, I park the car at Crathie brig, and walk down the fresh snow that had fallen on the bank leading to the Isla. I’ve got my head torch strapped to the head and a hand held torch in my hand, both switched off. I sneak down towards the river making little or no noise towards a known feeding station. As I get to the the river, I crouch down on my hunkers, get myself comfy and switch on my torches. I’m acutely aware of something only a few feet from me and turn the hand held torch and my head to check it out and there, literally 2 ft from me is a young beaver sitting on the bank with a stick in it’s hands looking totally shell-shocked at this numpty sitting beside him by the banks of the river. Now, what amazed me more than the fact I managed to get so close, was the point that this particular animal just put down his repast, gave me a totally ticked off look and walked in a total huff back into the river as if it was something that happened everyday and slipped quietly back into the river. Totally surreal to be honest. Anyway, I decided to walk along the Isla towards the lodge, which is a huge construction by the way, measuring 9.5m x 4.5m externally with a height around 4ft at it’s highest point. So, off I did trot and spotted a couple of animals in the river but they quickly disappeared as the wind was totally in the wrong direction. I walked to the lodge without seeing anything more but on my return I came across a kit sitting on the floodbanks chomping away quite happily on a branch. He was pretty non-plussed as I approached but decided once I got within 10ft it was time to bail out. As I walked back with the freezing air ripping shreds out of my lovely complexion (lol), it became clear there were other wonders to be witnessed as the beavers weren’t seeing or hearing me, but more importantly, weren’t smelling me (NO comments please). As I got to the east side of the brig, I was getting regular sightings of a beaver tracking me up the river. Now, I’d done a wee reccy of the area the day previous in daylight and had spotted on the opposite bank, a sycamore that had been half chewed and some willow that was an obvious hot-spot for feeding. As I approached this point with the watchdog beaver in tow, I could hear the chewing and nibbling of our furry pals. And sure enough, there on the banking not 30ft from me were 2 animals lit up by the moonlight. My joy at seeing them was short lived however as my little tag decided to warn the others of me being very close to them. I’ll tell you this, when you are not expecting it, a tail-splash by a beaver is a pretty heart-stopping, adrenaline inducing affair. Now, multiply that by 3 as the other 2 beavers followed their family member by hitting the water at various exit points left and right of me, it was loud and it was dark. Scary and totally exhilarating at the same time, a quality experience.
However, that wasn’t the end of it. Thinking the beavers had probably disappeared, I thought I’d head up to the next wee lodge and see what was what. I sat down opposite the lodge and got myself settled in a nice wee spot downwind from the lodge. As alluded to earlier, it was -6 going by the car thermometer, but sitting by the river bank it was a good deal cooler and it wasn’t long before I started to think to myself “wtf are you like Bob? A total dumpling”. So yeah, I did have a wee giggle at my own expense, but so what? Take yourself too seriously and there’s no hope for you. So, here’s me sitting like a right muppet by a river bank, mid-January and sub-zero temperatures with a full moon and having a brilliant night, fantastic lol. Now, where I was sitting, the river is only 15-20ft wide but heavily wooded by willows. The close knitted willows offered a lot of cover and I felt really safe and secure in the knowledge that the beavers wouldn’t see me, certainly wouldn’t hear me and the wind was generally in the wrong direction for them to smell me, sorted me-thinks! As I’m sitting, I start hearing the tell-tale nibble of a beaver, VERY close to me. “Chomp, chomp, gnaw, gnaw” then a break, then “chomp, gnaw, chomp, chomp, gnaw” again. Totally and utterly transfixed I sat there, just hoping for a sighting but in reality just loving the experience until……………….” Creak” “Groan” “Creak””Splash” “Crack” “CRASH” !!!!!!!!!!! The beavers had felled the tree, and as it started to fall, the beaver jumped into the river with a splash but the bloody tree, instead of falling into the river, careered eastward parallel with the river and landed about 5ft from me!!! To say my heart was beating a tad faster would be a bit of an understatement and I decided to call it a night. But, the beavers had other thoughts as far as my evening of entertainment was concerned. I, now upwind of the colony, was greeted on my way back to the car, with tail-splashes, hisses, and just really rude behaviour to be honest lol. At the end of the evening, I looked back on my exploits and I truly must admit it was an evening I’ll never forget and one that I really enjoyed.
Today I thought I’d go for a more leisurely wander towards the kettle lochs of Stormont and Hare’s Myre. Kettle lochs are really just glorified dubs (puddles) formed by retreating glaciers. So, firstly I popped down the back steps off Balmoral rd to the river to be pleasantly surprised with a trio of Goosanders, a Grey Heron and a Grey wagtail
I’m sure this particular Heron is the main culprit for emptying my pond of fish, beggar took my prize carp which was weighing in at 2lb!!!! Hey ho though. After spending a wee bit of time at the river, I ventured along to Davie Park, nothing much doing tbh other than the mallards and this family of Coots
So, southwards I headed along Welton rd, popped down to the river there
and saw a robin and wagtail having a right go at each other
After having a right good look about and watching the pup testing his skills for the doggy olympics
I headed towards Brucefield rd. On the way, I saw this young Bullfinch
I was actually hoping to see some Roe and squirrels along this section, but though I did see a couple of Roe, my trigger finger wasn’t quick enough on the camera. No squirrels either! So along Golf Course rd I went and saw these wee spuggies
After traveling through the wood at Stormont loch I went to the east end and was chuffed to see this wee Dunnock…….
a wee wren…..
a skein of Canada geese overhead…..
and a Blue tit
I really like this edge of the loch as it usually offers up a lot of warblers. I did see a couple of Willow Warblers, but no matter how I tried I couldn’t get a picture. I did get this young Blackcap though….
Around the loch I went until I got to the south side, to be greeted by the honking of the Canada Geese. Overall there must have been 250-300 birds
Along with as many coots as I’ve seen and 100 plus Mute swans
and a Great Crested Grebe
Traveling west and northwards around the loch there was nothing much else showing face, though the jays were giving it big licks but typically unsighted. From the loch I traveled westwards parallel with the golf course hoping to see a Green Woodpecker
However, not to be on this occasion.
However, there was this tree that had a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in it earlier in the year, it was actually quite funny walking past it, as you could hear the youngsters drumming away inside of it from quite a distance.
One other thing in the wood, was a vast and plentiful array of mushrooms and the like, some of them quite spectacular.
So I headed towards the White Loch, as I was walking I got a great view of Benachally and the hills to the west
Other than a few tufties
there was nothing to see on the loch itself but I did see a wee treecreeper
After circling round Darroch and Ardblair woods, I headed up the Weasley rd and saw this Buzzard overhead
I’ve had better pics of a buzzard
Anyway, homeward bound and I must admit I got a wee bit downhearted when I noticed the changing colours of the leaves and this conker lying on the ground
But seeing this wee Robin and a family of spugs made me smile
So, even though I thought I hadn’t seen much on my 5 hr wander today, looking back I had quite a pleasant day