Monday, March 29, 2010

Kirkmadrine & Sandhead 20th February 2010

A walk down to Kirkmadrine and then on to Sandhead for a spot of birwatching on the shore

The ancient Kirkmadrine Stones ae on display in the doorway of the church

Beautiful studded side door...

..and detail

Trees against a blue sky

Kirkmadrine Church and cross



The lane to the church

A rook on the green at Sandhead, probably up to no good!

Oystercatchers in flight



Grey Plover


I hate balloons!
ScS named and shamed!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Garden Find 16th February 2010

Pete found this horn preserved in the mud on the edge of the burn. We spoke to a local farmer and he said it was probaby from a Longhorn but would have been there for some considerable time. Not quite treasure but interesting all the same!

Spent a sunny but cold February afternoon sorting the living willow hide. After 3 years it was now tall enough to tie in the top and give it a roof. It will look great when the leaves emerge.

Castle Kennedy and Southern Upland Way 13th Feb 2010

A short walk into Castle Kennedy before walking on the Southern Upland Way.Plenty of geese about

Lovely reflections on the White Loch

A lot of ice about on the waters edge

Black Loch looking beautiful, we saw 4 Jays here but didnt manage a photo

Castle Kennedy opens for the Snowdrop Festival so there were plenty about

Off up the Southern Upland way and we watched this Buzzard protecting its prey, then trying to carry it off but it was too big, a rabbit I think.

Old steading and tree

Starlings, Fieldfares and Redwings were making a racket in the trees and we caught a brief glimpse of a Red Squirrel in the conifers

Wool wrapped around gorse

A Kestrel hovering

Up the top new gates since our last visit I think


Hundreds of Yellow Pages dumped-someone was paid to deliver these!

Lochinch Castle

Large numbers of geese on the fields

Friday, March 19, 2010

From Glenluce 6th February 2010

A walk along the River Luce to St Helena.
Not a great day for photography but plenty of birds about

Hundreds of geese flying overhead.

Down on the shore Ringed Plovers were chasing each other about and displaying

The tide was well out so most of the waders and ducks were a long way out so difficult to identify although there were dozens of Shelduck

Back on the Luce a heron was fishing by the rapids

But flew off when disturbed

We were just returning to our car when a lady stopped in her car and wound her window down, realising we were wildlife watchers she told us to go up by the old railway line in the woods. She had gone to walk her dog but seen that there were Red Squirrels so decided not to disturb them!We could see no sign of the squirrels as another (less caring) dog walker had beaten us to it, Having not been into these woods before we walked a little further and caught a glimpse of several Jays
Then high in the larch we could here a lot of noise but could see nothing. Looking closer we realised it was dozens of Siskins.

A brief stop in Stranraer on the way home to get some shopping and plenty of Black Headed Gulls at the harbour and the sun had come out!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Southern Upland Way 23rd January 2010

A cold winters day up on the Southern Upland Way doing a TTV for the BTO Bird Atlas

Stopped on the way near Castle Kennedy to scan the geese for anything unusual. There was a mix of mostly greylag with some whitefronts and barnacles.

Off on our walk, the simple but distinctive Southern Upland Way sign

Views not bad today with still some snow on the mountains

Reed buntings, about 6, in the willow trees where we had seen them on a previous visit

Distant wind farm

We crept up slowly on this loch as we had seen large numbers of teal here previously but today it was frozen and no signs of life

A fuzzy hoody hybrid

We then came across 3 roe deer crossing our path. We stopped and whilst observing a dog walker (the only other person seen that day) caught up with us and asked what we were watching. We pointed out the deer and he watched for a while with us whilst his old dog showed no interest and drank from the burn. He then said goodbye and wished us happy birding whilst turning back as he did not wish to disturb the wildlife we were watching-now that makes a very refreshing change!!

There ae lovely dry stane dykes alongside this path, usually alive with wrens, but not many about today

And finally a buzzard seen hovering on our way back.