Swan Diary # 11 (Cygnet Gone) June 2013

Continue reading “Swan Diary # 11 (Cygnet Gone) June 2013”

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The SCOTTISH CUCKOO WHISPERER

We hope you like our cuckoo film ,

After meeting up with Raymond on the Sherrifmuir above my home in Dunblane,   and after photographing a cuckoo over the past couple of days, where I managed to get  some nice still shots , I  was still looking for some good film footage.

Ray had come to my rescue,  after a discussion between us I informed Ray to get his film camera ready as I was going to call the cuckoo in with an old trick of mimicking the cuckoos call !  first time as well as you can see on the film.

I successfully called the cuckoo in to our location and Raymond as usual got superb film of it with the added bonus of a chaffinch mobbing it.

Well done Ray,
Job done
We now have a Scottish cuckoo whisperer ha ha.ha.!!!!!!!!!!!

>Salmoman100

__________

Some Of The Photos I Took.

Continue reading “The SCOTTISH CUCKOO WHISPERER”

Swan Diary #6 ‘On The Nest’ (2013)

Swans are now nesting !

So my plan for today was to have a quick look at the Swan Pond then bike it to Riverside to check out the area on the River Forth where some Porpoise’s were spotted last week.

Heron in far field
Heron in far field

But as those who of us who film wildlife know you can’t really plan exactly what your going to see, so when I spotted a grey Heron in the far field, I set up up camera just in time to see it catching something. The timing was perfect and I had a good feeling today was going to be good.

The weather was sunny and warm compared to the past few days where rain and high winds were the norm. I took some photos of the Heron then moved down to the pond where the water was very calm and I could see lots of toads on the bottom of the pond.

Best was yet to come as I spotted one of the swans laying in the reeds , as I got closer I made out the edges of the nest she had built. This is what I had been waiting for, last year I started taking photos when the cygnets were born so I was determined to film them as the built the nest this year.

Continue reading “Swan Diary #6 ‘On The Nest’ (2013)”

Roe Deer at Sheriffmuir (2013)

FWN took a ride up to Sheriffmuir and were delighted to spot four Roe Deer in the long grass, we quickly got out a camcorder and managed to film them as they made off and jumped the fence in the distance.

Stirling University Biologist Discovers Rare Hybrid Plant In Scotland

 

A new species of plant, which has overcome infertility to evolve, has been found on the bank of a stream in Scotland.

“monkey flower”

The discovery of the new “monkey flower” near Leadhills in South Lanarkshire was made by Stirling University‘s Dr Mario Vallejo-Marin.

He said it was a rare example of a species being found to have originated in the wild within the last 150 years. Only a handful of examples exists in recent history.

Dr Vallejo-Marin, a plant evolutionary biologist, said:

“Our discovery will help enable scientists to understand how new species form.

“Finding examples of the process in action is rare, so this is an exciting opportunity to study evolution as it happens.”

British monkey flowers: North and South American parents (A, B); the sterile hybrid (C); and the new species (D). Scale bar = 1cm
British monkey flowers: North and South American parents (A, B); the sterile hybrid (C); and the new species (D). Scale bar = 1cm

The new yellow flower is derived from the union of two American species, originally brought to the UK in the 1800s. Soon after their arrival, the parent plants escaped garden confines and began to grow in the wild along the banks of rivers and streams. Reproduction between these parents then produced hybrids which are now widespread in Britain.

Normally, genetic differences between two species render hybrid offspring infertile and unable to go beyond the first generation but, surprisingly,

Dr Vallejo-Marin said he found wild hybrid plants that have overcome these genetic barriers to possess fully restored fertility.

The fertile hybrid therefore represents a completely new species, native to Scotland.

His research is published in the journal, PhytoKeys.

Meanwhile, a highly invasive plant called piri piri burr, originally from New Zealand, has been found on the sand dunes near the Forvie national nature reserve in Aberdeenshire.

Mike Smedley, Scottish Natural Heritage‘s operations officer, discovered several patches of piri piri burr growing near a path a few hundred metres from the Forvie reserve.

It has already been found around the River Tweed in the Borders and around the coast in East Lothian, but Forvie is the furthest north it has been seen yet.

 

Swan Diary #9 – Herons

 

PHOTOS

Bike next to Pond

The day started well as I was cycling along the dirt path on my journey to the pond, a young Rabbit cut across the path.The weather was a vast improvement of the past few days as blue skies were appearing in early morning.

Sparrow on fence

As I got nearer the pond I spotted a few Sparrows look for food in the nearby field, so I stopped and took some photos.

Swallows and Sand Martins on telephone wires

All along the telephone wires I could see Swallows and House Martins sitting and taking off to skim the tops of the field while

Sand Martins

 The constant ‘chatter’ of these amazing little birds is what always reminds me of summertime.

3 Herons in the field

I was amazed to see, at first two Herons in the far field, until I scanned the horizon and then I counted three, then as I scanned left and right I spotted another two .That was five altogether, I,ve only ever seen one on various rivers.

Gulls on fence near far pool

Even the gulls were resting all along the fencing.

Moorhen feeding chick

As I threw some food to the Moorhen I watched it swim to the far reeds to pass it on to one of its chicks.

Moorhen Chick

The chick then dis-appeared back into the safety of the reeds

Buzzard

As I cycled home , again (like last week) I came across a Buzzard on some telephone wires. I stopped and took out my binoculars and watched fascinated, as it dropped into the field, out of sight for a moment, then taking flight with a vole in its clutches.

Buzzard