Wildlife

Spring evenings at Fyvie

A couple of evenings last week I took advantage of the fantastic weather we have been having so far this Spring (that was before 3-4 inches of Snow fell this afternoon!) and took a detour to Fyvie on the way home from work. There is an ever present population of wildfowl at Fyvie that are not too concerned by the presence of people, largely helped by steady stream of walkers armed with bread for the Ducks. The mature woodland next to the Loch is home to a wide variety of smaller birds, and Red Squirrels.

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Ribbit

For weeks now hundreds of toads have been converging on our pond. As dusk falls they start getting particularly vocal, a sound which we have become used to each spring. This year we have heard far more  frogs adding to the evenings chorus than I remember from previous years. The arrival of the toads and frogs has also been accompanied by a couple of other visitors, two Grey Herons, which are intent on treating the pond as their own ‘eat as much as you can buffet’, a reminder that nature is full of opportunists.

 

Spring at Forvie and Troup Head

Agnes’s niece, Aurianne, visited us for the last week of March and fell in love with the Grey Seals at Forvie Sands. In all we spent three afternoons with these inquisitive animals. On our second visit, a couple of young seals whose curiosity got the better of them, decided that we didn’t appear to pose a threat and moved up the beach towards us. In the end Aurianne was within half a meter of them both, and provided she made no sudden movements, they were content to doze whilst she looked on.

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The Garden Awakens

Although we often get Mallards on our pond, last weekend their were a couple of pairs of Teal exploring the reed bed.  With the lengthening days and warmer weather we are also seeing and hearing a lot more bird activity in the garden. There are a more Wrens than previous years, as well as Coal and Great Tits, Yellow Hammers and Tree Sparrows. We still see the occasional flock of Greylag Geese in the surrounding fields. Over the last few evenings we can now hear common toads calling as they start to make their way to the pond and the early mornings are now punctuated with the songs of the Skylarks and Meadow Pippits.

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Kirkhill Forest & Fyvie Lake

Beggshill Wood

Orkney

Birds from May and June

A week in Flight

A selection of birds in flight from this week’s lunch times spent alongside the River Don.

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Toads

As with previous years, the pond is a huge draw to the local Toad population. Whilst returning to the house with the dogs late one evening, they kept sniffing at gravel outside our house. When the security lights came on the reason became clear, there were about fifteen Toads that had come out from their daytime hideaways. Considering how many Toads we see in the pond during the breeding season, a number that is in the order of hundreds, its surprising how well they hide themselves away during the rest of the year.

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