Monday, 17 April 2017

Scotland the Brave - Part IV

Creeping ever closer to extinction, if you are to have any chance
of seeing the massive bulk that is
CAPERCAILLIE
it will necessitate a very 'early turn', we arrived at the
Visitor's Centre
 LOCH GARTEN
at 04:15 awaiting the opening of the hide at 04:30.
It has to be said up front that the 2 hours vigil was in vane and even more 
disappointing was the fact that, thus far, only a single male bird has been seen this season.
We added the 'borrowed' image just to highlight the magnificence of this creature.
However, our visit wasn't without its benefits as through the early morning gloom the
 NESTING PLATFORM
along with both
 OSPREY
could be seen while a male 
 BRAMBLING
also visited the bird table relieving some of the tedium.
You may need a Magnifying Glass.
By no means crestfallen, that's simply Bird Watching, we moved on a couple
of miles down the road  to the
 ABERNETHY FOREST
in the hope of another of Scotland's Specialities, but this was totally at
the other end of the scale as far as size was concerned.
Our wait was short lived and it might be true to say that tiny movement on our
starboard side was simultaneous, but did either of us see where the
CRESTED TIT
came from. As far as locating/spotting was concerned this was about 
my only contribution to the whole trip, but what a contribution as the bird
was seen leaving the
 NEST HOLE
 if that is the correct description of a 'crack' in one of the
SCOTS PINE TREES
considered to be no more than an inch across
Taking up station at a distance that would not spook the nesting pair,
the challenge now was to obtain stills and videos, but rarely did the 
birds linger outside of the nest. 
video
This is on average how quick the action was - don't blink!
video
The birds were in fact excavating the nest hole
video
as can be seen by the small amounts of debris being removed.
My own shots were not so good but
video
there were a couple of occasions
video
when they did 
video
linger just that little bit longer.
We were certainly not complaining!
video
Our next port of call would take us
From a dense forest of tall dark pinewood,
Mount Ida rises like an island.
Within a hidden cave, nymphs had kept a child;
Hermaphroditus, son of gods, so afraid of their love.
As the dawn creeps up the sky
The hunter caught sight of a doe.
In desire for conquest,
He found himself within a glade he'd not beheld before.
[Hermaphroditus:]
"Where are you, my father?
Give wisdom to your son"
Fountain of Salmacis - Genesis (Nursery Cryme)
On the way to Inch Marshes there was time for Dave to search
out some Moth Larvae, but don't ask me what - he talks in Latin on such matters!
 On
HOOF FUNGI
and
 GALLS
on Pine Needles.
At the Marsh the hoped for
WHOOPER SWANs
were still in attendance and as the clips show
video
video
video
feeding veraciously.
There was also a brief but far better view of an overflying
OSPREY
An even more reluctant
video
RED SQUIRREL
as
video
PINK-FOOTED GEESE
video
continued to migrate in their thousands.
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