Archive for the ‘Nature’ 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

March 2016 Birdlist   Leave a comment

Here’s the second in the occasional series of birds we have spotted in our garden during the last month.

Just like a talent show’s results, the list is in no particular order:

  1. Chaffinch
  2. Blue Tit
  3. Siskin
  4. Sparrow
  5. Blackbird
  6. Goldfinch
  7. Coal Tit
  8. Red Kite
  9. Collared Dove
  10. Robin
  11. Jackdaw
  12. Crow
  13. Great Tit
  14. Nut Hatch
  15. Barnacle Goose
  16. Greenfinch
  17. Long tailed Tit
  18. Starling
  19. Heron
  20. Thrush
  21. Dunnet
  22. Woodpecker
  23. Wren
  24. Pheasant
  25. Gull

Yes, we had a pheasant in the garden. It popped in one day and helped itself to the feed under the bird table. One of our neighbour’s hens did likewise, but I’m not listing that cheeky little girl, since she is domesticated. It’s a good sized collection of species for one month, all the same.


Posted April 1, 2016 by Alan Clark in Bird, Garden, Nature

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

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

Eskrigg Nature Reserve   Leave a comment

It’s amazing how you can live in an area all your life yet still be able to stumble upon some little unexplored corner. For me that was Eskrigg Nature Reserve, by Lockerbie. While visiting the Environment Fair in Dumfries the other week I came across the stall of the volunteers who look after the Reserve. After a brief chat I wandered off with a leaflet/map, and a determination to locate this place I’d obviously driven by many times and never noticed.

So today, in the drizzle of a dank Sunday afternoon in mid-March, I took myself and the map, up the road to Lockerbie. The map showed parking available at the Dryfesdale Cemetry, and indeed there was; and the entrance to the reserve was across the road from there. The way in was blocked to vehicles by way of a barrier that stretched across the road, which kind of suggested the place was closed. Yet there was a weathered sign up at the roadside saying the place was open.

I took a chance and walked off into the woods. The walk followed the Annandale Way for a short distance before veering off towards the Reserve. It was an easy walk to the pond, and at its edge there was a little hide with a good view of the water. Nearby someone had been busy putting up feeding stations for the local birds. There was a board on the wall where someone had listed the species (birds and animals) they had spotted that day, which included a red squirrel.

And I was not alone! It was a relief to spot someone else in the woods with me as I was beginning to think I was trespassing on private ground.  However, this was clearly not the case, and before I left the forest I’d come across four others. Thank goodness.

All in all, I’m glad I went to Eskrigg. It’s a pretty little Reserve tucked away in the woods. I’ll bet in the late spring / early summer the pond is alive with insect and bird life. For now, the world around it is only just beginning to reawaken after the harsh winter we have had.

Posted March 13, 2011 by Alan Clark in Annandale, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Nature, Reserve, Walk, Walking