Sunday, October 24, 2010

Balloch Community Woodland 16th October 2010

Our first visit to this woodland, somewhere that we had been meaning to go for some time.
A perfect day for reflections and autumn colours!

Lots of fungi about including these bracket fungi.

Curious fungi blobs!

Possible deer damage on trees where they have sharpened their antlers

Beautiful tumbling water through the gorge

Could this be otter poo?

Eaten toadstool

Fungi on a tree accross the river.

A glimpse of a red squirrel high in the tree tops, it appears to have a beautiful bushy tail.

More toadstools

Looking towards the Cree Estuary and Kirkmabreck Church, our lunchtime view!

Towards Cairnsmore

Curious toadstool

and a bright red one!

Spores on the underside of a fern

Oak sapling

Toadstools on a log

The route is nicely signposted

Autumn path

Low angle

Lovely sign

The traditional "green oak" hut, beautifully made.

It sits beautifully by the water.

Sweet chestnuts

Bright red crab apples

The Balloch Wood Community Woodland is a beautiful place that is also rich in history. The volunteers from Creetown (we had a nice chat to one of them) have done a grand job. My only criticisms would be that they could make more provision for wildlife, such as bat and bird boxes and they they have planted too man non native species around the pond area. Read more about the project on their website

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lady Bay & trying out my new camera harness 9th October 2010

A short trip down to lady bay to see what was about and to try out my new camera harness.

A Silver Y Moth, lots about, it seems a good place for them.

Lots of holes on the beach, evidence of Sandhoppers.

These bigger holes were made by waders probing the sand, probably for the sandhoppers!

Beak marks and footprints

Loch Ryan looking towards Finnarts Bay

Fox Moth Caterpillar

Boat on the shore and the ferry heading towards Belfast

Cloud and corn

My new camera chest harness spreads the weight of my SLR preventing me from getting neck and backache

Strong elastic straps make it really comfortable.

A bit strange at first because of the slight resistance but you soon get used to it.
Something I have since found it particularly good for was taking candid shots as it holds the camera steady against your front and with a remote in your pockets you can take shots without anyone knowing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Edinburgh Trip Early October 2010 Part 2

I dont have to spend long in the city (half a day will do!) before I long for open spaces and wildlife so we have now moved to the Travelodge at Musselburgh and will be exploring th coast.

The beach at Gullane is great for studying geology with some interesting rocks

Huge timber probably from some wreck

Volcanic rock layers

Sandwich Tern

atWe stopped off at Waterstone House at Aberlady, the headquarters of the SOC and were treated to a free cup of coffee in the gallery (well we are members!)

Sunrays over the power station at Prestonpans.

Distant view of Edinburgh Castle

Decided to check out the nature reserve at Musselburgh to see what was coming in to roost.

Swan in the evening light.

The other side of the power station now

Great clouds

Swan flying over

View from the hide, plenty of Lapwings about.

Not a great sunset but a bit of colour

Next morning up early and decided to head for North Berwick. We had not managed to park at the Aberlady reserve the day before so took advantage of the empty carpark on our way.

I had seen pictures of this lovely bridge and wanted to photograph it!

The tide was out so plenty of waders about including this Curlew

Lots of Teal

We could hear and see thousands of geese in the distance

Some flying over Pinkies I think



A bit closer to the geese Pinkies and Barnies


More people arriving now so back on our way.

Seabird Centre at North Berwick

Lovely clear waters on this award winning beach

N Berwick Harbour

Beautiful colourful tiles around the harbour

Juvenile gull waiting for scraps

Lunch up by the golf course with great views of Bass Rock

The white dots are Gannets

Just north is Tantallon Castle

Berwick Law

Dirleston Church

We even found wildlife in the church, this window is famous as it depicts 90 different creatures, here are just some...


Fidra Lighthouse

Sand patterns

Tank traps at Longniddry

No sunset again

Fisherow Harbour

Magpie and Jackdaw Musselburgh

Canada Goose


Blackheaded Gull

On our way home and we stopped off at Biggar

Covenanters Museum

Waterfall Dalveen Pass

Another stop at Morton Castle

Home stretch now and Clatteringshaws Loch, looks like they have had plenty of rain!