Archive for the ‘Dumfries and Galloway’ Category

May 16 Bird list   Leave a comment

May 2016 bird species in and around our garden:

  • Blackbird;
  • Collared Dove;
  • Siskin;
  • Jackdaw;
  • Crow;
  • House Sparrow;
  • Chaffinch;
  • Robin;
  • Red Kite;
  • Coal Tit;
  • Goldfinch;
  • Greenfinch;
  • Swallow;
  • Blue Tit;
  • Great Tit;
  • Oyster Catcher;
  • Song Thrush;
  • Geese;
  • Buzzard;
  • Swift;
  • Bullfinch;
  • Gull;
  • Wood Pigeon

Posted June 17, 2016 by Alan Clark in Bird, Dumfries and Galloway, Garden, Nature, Village

Issue 6 – Crossing Borders   Leave a comment

Fankle Issue 6 – Crossing Borders.

Kenick Burn   Leave a comment

This must be a canoeist’s dream river. Okay, there had been a lot of rain and the river may have been in spate, but there was a lot of water travelling very quickly over a series of rapids. It all looked very impressive – and dangerous.

The walk through the wood beside the burn was fabulous though; it was only a mile long and followed the water most of that way, and it was all but deserted. This time I only got jumped on by one big muddy dog. Happy days!

Posted April 12, 2011 by Alan Clark in Dumfries and Galloway, Forest, Nature, Walk, Walking, Wood

Fankle 6 has arrived!   2 comments

Dumfries and Galloway Writers Group has just released issue 6 of The Fankle magazine. As usual this is an A3 piece of paper cunningly cut and folded into a little booklet by some nifty origami work. In fact it’s kids play to do this (though you wouldn’t think so from our efforts!) Here’s a demonstration from ActivityVillage that shows how it should be done…

The theme for Fankle 6 is Crossing Borders, and as usual contains a variety of poems and prose. “Get it while stock last!” as the salesman says.

Actually, I’ve got a piece of prose entitled Beyond The Wall in Fankle 6, so I guess I should declare my interest in the edition. There are only a limited number of copies however, so if anyone is keen to get hold off one, they had better be quick!

Kirkconnell Flow Nature Reserve   3 comments

I took myself off to Kirkconnell Flow National Nature Reserve this afternoon. For those of you who don’t know where this Scottish Natural Heritage Site is, it lies just of the A710 slightly south of the turning for Mabie Forest and is located across the Nith from Glencaple.

There are a couple of easy, short walks through the forest and a larger path that goes around the Reserve. There are some picnic tables and a couple of benches for resting your wee feet if you think you’ve over-stretched yourself.

What makes this place so special is that it is a tract of an ancient ‘raised’ bog. There are some fabulous wet areas where the water is blood red from the peat, and other parts where it is definitely advisable to keep to the paths for fear of sinking into the marshy ground.

Again, this was early spring so much of the plant and animal life still hasn’t quite woken up yet, but it’s easy to see how the place would be a haven for various bugs and birds in the summer and autumn.

Markets for Writers – A Masterclass   Leave a comment

I don’t know if she will ever read this but I’d just like to say a great big thank you to Rosemary Gemmell ( for the marvellous talk she gave to Dumfries and Galloway Writers on researching markets for selling writing to publishers.

The amount of time and energy she puts into researching where her work could get published is extraordinary, and appears to pay dividends for her. It’s not like she has a particular niche either, but seems to target all kinds of outlets for her work.

And what was fabuluous about her talk was that she was willing to share hints and tips with us and give us direction in our efforts to get our work taken up by the publishing world; and the informative handouts we came away with will, I hope, be invaluable.

Thank you once again.

A Walk In The Woods   1 comment

To Mabie forest near Dumfries on a fine afternoon in early spring. I thought I’d be uber adventurous (for me) and attempt the longest walk available through the wood.

No such luck; the Forestry Commission have taken to tree felling in the forest at the moment and the nice long walk I’d planned was curtailed by a fence blocking off the route. Never mind. I still managed a good couple of miles and took a few interesting pictures along the way. Plus, only a couple of dogs tried to make friends with me this time.

Mabie Stump

It's not a fairy house, just the worn out remains of a tree trunk

Posted March 19, 2011 by Alan Clark in Dumfries and Galloway, Forest, Mabie, Nature, Walk, Walking, Wood