Thursday, 31 December 2009

Once in a Blue Moon

Full moon tonight. It's called a blue moon because it's the second full moon in a month. Not that uncommon. It occurs every two or three years but how often on New Year's Eve? Now that's another question.

This picture was taken this morning and shows a moonset over Lundin Ladies Golf Course.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

A Surprise Visitor

A female pheasant arrived in the garden to share in the food put out for the small birds.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Snow and More Snow

Snowy scene looking from Lundin Links across Largo Bay

Snow on Largo Pier

Looking from Largo Pier across the Bay

The snow, had been clearing but woke up in the morning to around 10cm of snow

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Baby Starling

Every year starlings nest in our eaves. If we go into the loft we can hear them cheeping -feed me, feed me , feed me! This baby starling has been in our garden for a few days now using the flower pots and plants as cover, venturing out when its parents come to feed it. So vulnerable at this stage. It's so small and still has the yellow gape mouth.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Bracket Fungi

Walking through Keil's Den spotted a very good example of a bracket fungus. The individual caps were around 8-10inches. I find fungi difficult to identify and certainly wouldn't eat any that I found unless it had been identified as edible by an expert, however, I think this is Dryad's Saddle, so called because it looks like a seat for a dryad or wood-nymph.
Keil's Den is at its best at the moment, covered in bluebells and with the recent rain the vegetation is now lush and green.

Dryad's Saddle - Polyporus squamosus

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Pasque Flower

Pulsatilla vulgaris rubra

Pulsatilla is known as the Pasque flower because it blooms around Eastertime. This one was obtained from a garden centre but it is one of our most beautiful native species and does grow in the wild but is now vey rare indeed because of the loss of its habitat. It has been used medicinally as a herb, although it is toxic and should only be used by qualified herbalists. It is also widely used in homeopathy.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Black-headed Gulls, Birnie Loch

Black-headed Gull, Birnie Loch
Birnie Loch is a nature reserve in North East Fife. It was created from an old quarry workings.
Black-headed gulls, now in Summer plumage with chocolate brown head.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Goldfinches and Niger Seed

I had heard that niger seeds attracted goldfinches and I bought some seed and a specially designed feeder. At first although goldfinches occasionally visited the garden, they seemed to be ignoring te niger seed. However, in the last couple of days have seen them on the feeder several times.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Sweet Violets

Sweet Violets
There is a short path which runs along the top of the banking by the side of the road leading up to the golf course and at the moment it is carpeted in white sweet violets. There are also patches og snowdrops which are coming to an end, daffodils and chinodoxa.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Breadcrumb Sponge

Breadcrumb Sponge - Halichondria panicea
At low tide the breadcrumb sponge can be found on the beach at Lundin Links and Lower Largo forming a thin layer on some of the rocks under overhangs. It looks nothing like a bathroom sponge. It is covered in crater-like structures called oscula. It looks as if it would be very slimy but feels quite firm and dry to the touch.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Witch's Broom

Witch's Brooms on a Birch Tree on the Common in Lundin Links.
A Witch's broom is a disease in a woody plant. A dense mass of shoots grows from a single point with the resulting structure resembling a broom or bird's nest. In Britain they are generally found only on birch trees. They are the result of a fungus Taphrina betulea. It does not seriously harm the tree, and because of this it is classed as a gall.

Birch Trees on the Common, Lundin Links.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Birds on the Wire

Walking along the disused railway track in Lower Largo, noticed these birds on the telephone wires above. Difficult to identify as they were so far away, but I think they are linnets because of the forked tail, reddish breast with white midline.

Reminded me of a song that I'd heard sung by Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy -
All God's creatures got a place in the choir,
Some sing low and some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire,
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Stormy Skies over East Lothian

Bright sunny evening in Fife but stormy skies across the Forth over North Berwick Law and the Bass Rock

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


In recent weeks goldfinches have been coming to the garden to feed on the peanuts.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Low Tide

Oarweed - Laminaria digitata
At low tide the 'forests' of oarweed appear on the rocky shore at Lundin Links..

Oarweed attached to a rock by a branched root-like structure - the 'holdfast'.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Venus and the Moon

A crescent moon and Venus in the same photo taken last night.. Venus is quite prominent in the sky just now.

Friday, 27 February 2009


Male Stonechat
Quite often see stonechats at the Massney Braes in Lundin Links, along the disused railway track in Lower Largo, where they tend to flit from gorse bush to gorse bush ceaselessly flicking their tail, and also at Dumbarnie Links. This is the first time that one has stood still for long enough for me to get any sort of reasonable photo. Looks a bit like a robin but the male easily distinguished by the prominent white neck mark.

Male stonechat purched on a rock above the beach at Lundin Links.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Song Thrush in the Garden

Song Thrush
It's a long time since I've seen a thrush in the garden although I have seen them at the Massney Braes in Lundin Links and on the beach at Lower Largo. However, just in the last week or so I thought that there must be one around because I'd found quite a few broken snail shells.

Song thrush enjoying the birdbath.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Bullfinches, Yellowhammer

There was a pair of bullfinches in the trees on the Serpentine Walk between Lower and Upper Largo. Difficult to get a clear photo, as they tended to go into the middle of the tree.

Male bullfinch

As I walked aong the disused railway track there was a flash of yellow and a yellowhammer landed on the top of a bush by the side of the track.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Lundin Links Volcanic Neck

The volcanic neck at Lundin Links.

Around 300 million years ago there was considerable volcanic activity in this region. Just beneath the Massney Braes a volcanic outcrop, the Lundin Links Neck can be seen on the beach. There is also a volcanic neck at Viewforth (which is the name of a ruined house just outside the village of Lower Largo) and also at Ruddons Point which is the most Easterly point of Largo Bay. An excellent description of the geology of Largo Bay can be found in the book " St Andrews to Largo - A Longshore Trail of rocks and plants" by Owen Silver.

Map showing the positions of the volcanic necks at Lundin Links (LL), Viewforth (VF) and Ruddons Point (RP) in Largo Bay and Kincraig Point (KC) at the Eastern end of Shell Bay.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

First Daffodil

The first daffodils in our garden to br fully out. They had been half-out for two to three weeks before this, but I think the cold weather had delayed them.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Scarlet Elfcup

Scarlet Elfcup fungus - Sarcoscypha austriaca
Visited Cambo today to see the snowdrops, always a magnificent sight Mid-February. I didn't take photos of the snowdrops as I've taken them many times before. However, I was much taken with this fungus, which helpfully had an explanatory label next to it. It is a fungus of startling colours. The cup-shaped fruiting bodies are whitish on the outside due to a coating of numerous, minute, curly white hairs. The smooth inner spore-producing surface is a bright uniform scarlet. It grows on fallen wood, twigs and branches in broadleaf woods, particularly in humid habitats.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Another Sunset

A much milder day and a beautiful sunset over Largo Bay this evening.

Monday, 16 February 2009

More Snow Pictures

After the Snowfall

Footprints in the Snow - Lower Largo Pier

Largo Bay - Looking West

Largo Bay - Looking East

Lundin Ladies Golf Course and Largo Law