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

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Standing Stones - Lundin Links

Standing stones - Lundin Links

Yesterday the Ladies Golf Course in Lundin Linls was covered in snow and nobody was playing golf. I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the standing stones and Largo Law. Normally courtesy demands that one would ask permission from the Ladies Club but there was no-one around to ask and I wouldn't be disturbing any golfers, nor would I get hit by a golf ball, so I followed the tracks of the sledges of the local children that I'd spotted having fun on the golf courses slopes the day before to the standing stones on the second fairway. The three stones are very impressive at 14, 17 and 18 feet high. Depending on which angle they are viewed from the three stones can look quite different. They are a scheduled Bronze Age monument said to date from 2000 - 1500BC. There are various theories about the stones e.g a Druid temple or burial stones of Danish Chiefs but so far no one has come up with a definitive explanation as to who erected them or their purpose.
The printout from the golf club states - "Approximately 700 metres west of the Clubhouse, the stones stand in an area rich in archaeological remains. Early 18th century reports note the discoveries of several possible cist burials. Finds include a jet button.The three irregularly shaped pillars of red sandstone form the most impressive group of standing stones in Fife. They may have been part of a circle, if so it would have been 16 metres in diameter. In the late 18th century the base of a fourth stone was present, with its broken upper part nearby. Unfortunately the position of this fourth stone has been lost. Small cairns surround the base of the stones. "

A view of Largo Law from between the stones.

An older photograph of the stones taken by Niall MacDonald for his book " Fife - One hundrens and one places to see or visit." This is a book which I treasure but which doesn't seem to be available any more. In this photo there are railings round the stones but these have now been taken down.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover on the beach at Lundin Links.

A very attractive small wader. Another bird that I had to photograph to identify but now I think that I will recognise it easily. Aids to identification are the bright orange legs, the white marking on the face and the black tip to the bill.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

No Golf Today

We haven't had as much snow as some other parts of the country this winter but today I think it was our turn. It snowed quite heavily from around 7am until lunchtime. The golf course was closed but children were enjoying sledging on its slopes.

Sledging fun on the slopes of the golf course..

The view up to the Club House at Lundin Links.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Yellow Splash Lichen

Yellow Splash Lichen -Xanthoria Parietina
Yellow splash lichen growing on the rocks above the high tide level in Lundin Links. The thallus consists of broad flat leafy lobes.
In the past this lichen was used as a dye and because of its yellow colour, in the middle ages it was used to treat jaundice. Coming right up-to-date, it has been chosen as a model organism for genomic sequencing.
Close-up photo of the Yellow Splash Lichen showing the spore bearing discs.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

More Waders - Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit

Grey Plover
This was a bird that I hadn't seen before, so had to identify from the photo. Pretty certain that it's a grey plover. I think that the stubby short bill identifies it.
Grey Plover and Turnstone

Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit at the edge of the tide and Oyster catcher on the rock above

Monday, 9 February 2009

Full Moon

Full moon seen from Lundin Links tonight.

Largo Bay Waders

Curlew, large wader with that amazing bill.

Redshank at the edge of the water.


A group of dunlin with an oystercatcher and a redshank far right. (Click on photos to see larger images)
Oystercatchers, redshanks, curlew, and dunlin are four of the waders that one is most likely to see on any winter walk along the shore in Largo Bay and these photos were all taken on my walk yesterday. The Fugi 1000 fd camera that I got for Christmas has a 12x optical zoom so it's easier to obtain resonable photos of the birds from further away. The black and white oystercatchers are numerous and probably the easiest to spot. The curlew is large and the curved down-turned bill is unmistakeable. The redshank is the sentinel of the beach and flies away with a warning cry when disturbed. The dunlin gather together in large groups and at high tide often huddle on a piece of exposed rock.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Icy Weather

Icy patch within the rocks.

Very cold and icy morning. It's not often that there's ice lying on the beach here but today a lot of the rock pools were frozen.

Frozen winter lochan Dumbarnie Links.
In the Dumbarnie Links Wildlife Reserve, hollows with short, rabbit-grazed turf and moss, become flooded in winter to form 'winter lochans' as the underground water-table rises. Today these were frozen.

Snow on the Lomond Hills, seen from the disused railway line in Lower Largo.
The Lomond hills look quite close in this picture but they are several miles inland to the North-West. The two hills East and West Lomond also look very close together but the ridge between the two is actually 4 miles in length. East Lomond at 434 metres (1471 feet) overlooks the village of Falkland at its foot. West Lomond is the highest point in Fife at 522 metres (1713 feet). It is the more exposed and looks to have more snow on it.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Snow on Largo Law

Largo Law with the village of Lundin Links and Lundin golf course in the foreground.

We did get snow this morning but it rapidly disappeared, as the temperature rose slightly. However, it lingered on the slopes of Largo Law, which is a gentle hill just 290 metres (965 feet)high. Today, covered with snow, it looked far more impressive.

Houses in Lundin Links in the shadow of Largo Law.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Evening Sky Over Lundin Links

Pink tinged clouds over the rooftops.
A dry bitterly cold day, but I'm beginning to feel deprived because we have no snow. The sky is clearing and it looks like another very frosty night, and the moon is shining brightly.
Waxing Moon Gibbous 88% of full

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Sunset over Largo Bay

There was a light dusting of snow this morning, but by the afternoon it had disappeared and the skys began to clear. Bitterly cold but a beautiful sunset.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The King Scallop

Great or King Scallop - Pecten Maximus - lying in its shell. (Click on photo to see larger image)
Found a largely intact scallop on the beach at Lower Largo. The two parts of the shell were still hinged together and it was roughly 15 centimetres (5 inches) across at the widest part. The ears of the hinge of this sallop are equal in size. I've often found fragments of scallop shells before but this was the first time I'd found a whole one. The white part and the coral or roe could still be seen inside. I do like the French name for this scallop - Coquille St Jacques. Also love eating them stir-fried in garlic and herb butter with chopped bacon, shallots, mushrooms and a dash of white wine. Definitely not this one though, as not sure how long it had been lying on the beach.

Pecten maximus - Lower valve

Pecten Maximus - upper valve (much flatter part of the shell.)

The coral or roe of the scallop can be seen in this photo.