Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wigtown Bay & Kilsture Forest 19th September 2009

Not a great day weatherwise so headed for Wigtown Harbour, we thought that if it rained we could retreat to the bird hide!

On the way we stopped off at the Moss of Cree to see what was about...

...we didnt see a single bird, but the information boards are very informative...

...and I am sure it is a great habitat for all kinds of wildlife.

Down at Wigtown Harbour the path was flooded by the high tide so we were unable to reach the hide.

The views were great though accross to the Galloway Hills

A Mute Swan & cygnets

Dark clouds were looming over Wigtown but we decided on a walk along the river towards Bladnoch anyway.

A ladybird on one of the stiles.

Plenty of berries about for the birds

I wonder how long this tree has been lying here, probably washed onto the bank by flood water.

Looks like some strange creature!

Reeds washed up by floods.

Danger of death, cast with care!

The weather took a turn for the worse so we headed back towards Wigtown along the old railway line.

This would have been a great circular walk but the paths are poorly marked and the stiles not maintained.

I have never seen the tide so high here, it was a shame to see an old fridge floating in the harbour nature reserve.

I climbed the bank to look over into the pond area as the hide was still cut off. A lone Whooper swan amonst the ducks.

We then headed down towards Garlieston, deciding that a walk in the Kilsture Forest would be more sheltered.

Lots of fungi about

Quite a mixed woodland with a long and a short walk, as usual we decided on the long!

Would recommend as a nice woodland walk especially in Spring and Autumn.

Loch Trool Circular Walk, Glentrool, 12th September 2009

Although we have visited Loch Trool many times, we had never actually done the Loch Trool circular walk. It was a lovely September day so we got up early and decided to make a day of it.

We parked in the small car park at the Southern end of the lock and crossed the bridge to join the path.
Our first sightings were butterflies, first a peacock...

...and then a Painted Lady

Beautifull bright red berries beside the path.

This part of the walk goes through what was once the Caldoons Campsite, I remember it being very popular back in 70s/80s.

Not very good picture but managed to spot a Black Darter, I have not seen one before.

We then walked through part of a coniferous woods, by a burn and noticed that the cobwebs were shimmering in the morning sunlight, looking like cd's hanging in the trees.

The walk eventually leads down to the loch side, where almost walked into this spider, with its web draped between trees.

The reflections in the loch were beautiful...

I took this photo of the map and realised later that the view on the front, I think was where I took the photo!

We had recently had a lot of rain so the burns and waterfalls were flowing well.

My little gnome, always sat on a rock somewhere, usually trying to get a better shot than me!

This Forestry Commission property was one of five that the FC asked for ideas. You had to submit your business ideas for the oportunity to run your business from one of these beautiful locations. Not much appears to be happening from here yet. It would be the ideal location for a Nature Field Study Centre.

Still boarded up, I just hope it is brought back to life soon.

Not far from the property at the north end of the loch are these beautiful waterfalls

This ancient oak woods is managed by the Cree Valley Woodlands Trust

From Bruces Stone

Plaque to mark the Battle of Trool in 1307...

..and another to show a more peaceful side.

The path follows the road for a short while bfore turning into a coniferous woods

Nearing the end of our walk now and looking back up the loch.

One of the highlights of the walk was the variety of fungi seen... are just a few...

...and a few more

A brilliant walk, recently mentioned in one of the National newspapers as one of the best and I would agree!