Sunday, 31 January 2010

Big Garden Birdwatch

For 30 years now the RSPB has been conducting a garden birdwatch at this time of year. The public are invited to take part by watching and recording the birds they see in one hour in their garden or a park and sending in their results by post or on-line. My results for this year were
Blackbird: 1
Blue tit: 2
Dunnock: 1
Chaffinch: 4
Robin: 1
Starling: 3
Wood pigeon: 1

For several weeks now we have had goldfinches visiting the garden. Sometimes as many as six or seven at a time, but suddenly they seem to have disappeared.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Full Moon Over Lower Largo

Full moon shines over the beach at Lower Largo at dusk yesterday.

Full Moon

Thursday, 28 January 2010

First Snowdrops

The first snowdrops on a piece of rough ground just at the beginning of the Serpentine Walk in Lower Largo. It's in exactly the same place and at roughly the same place as last time. However they are not quite fully out this year, so perhaps they are slightly behind. Not surprising considering the excaptionally cold weather at the turn of the year.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Plook on the Plinth for Methil??

After Glenrothes last year Methil is in the running for this years 'Plook on the Plinth' award as the grimmest place to live. This seems largely because of the moth-balled power station. Well, it doesn't have the symmetry of Battersea power station but I often look across the bay to it from Lower Largo and it does define the Western end of Largo Bay, particularly at sunset. (See photo below) I believe that there are plans to take the power station down and I will miss the tall chimney.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Lower Largo Pier - Storm Damage

After the freezing weather and some high tides there has been considerable damage to the end of Lower Largo pier. There was some damage in early 2008 which was repaired but with this winter's adverse conditions the pier now looks to be in a much more perilous state.

Another chunk has disappeared from the side of the pier.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Buckie Bottle in the Trees

An empty bottle of Buckfast tossed into the trees in the Serpentine Walk in Lower Largo.

Just in the week when BBC Scotland broadcast an investigative documentary into the social ill-effects of the consumption of Buckfast Tonic Wine, I spotted an empty bottle in the trees. Part of the problem with Buckfast (also known as Buckie, Wreck the Hoose Juice, Commotion Lotion and Liquid Speed) seems to be the very high caffeine content along with the alcohol. It is associated with anti-social behaviour particularly in Scotland. The bottle has been used as a weapon.

It is made by monks at Buckfast Abbey in Devon and I remember a visit there as quite a young child with my parents. (Photo detail - Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Frost on Sedum

Yesterday morning there was a sharp fost and it transfomed the seed heads of the Sedum spectabile.

A close-up of the frost crystals. (Click picture to enlarge)

Monday, 18 January 2010

Eider Ducks

High tide and a pair of eider ducks have found a piece of dry ground at the base of a post in Lower Largo harbour

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Wood Mouse

A little wood mouse helping itself to food put out for the birds.

Friday, 15 January 2010


The cormorants usually perch on the rocks opposite the pier but on Sunday they were perching on the harbour posts. They are larger than the similar looking shags and can be distinguished by the patch of white at the throat. The adult has an orange spot below its eye. (Click on above picture to enlarge and see this clearly.)

I was fascinated by the recent HSBC cormorant fishing advert. This is a traditional fishing method in which fishermen use trained cormorants to fish in rivers. Historically, cormorant fishing has taken place in Japan and China, as well as other places throughout the world.
To control the bird, the fisherman tie a snare near the base of the bird's throat (though this isn't shown in the advert!!). This prevents the birds from swallowing larger fish, which are held in their throat, but the birds can swallow smaller fish. When a cormorant has cought a fish in its throat, the bird is brought back to the boat to spit the fish out. Although, it was once a successful fishing industry, it's mainly practiced today to impress tourists. (Information from Wikipedia)

A juvenile cormorant with white underparts.

A cormorant in typical pose with its wings outspread to dry.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A walk in the snow

The disused railway line - good perspective!

The snow has now largely disappeared leaving a slushy mess, but these are a few images of Sunday's walk in the snow.

Largo Law

Blackheaded gulls on the pier.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Gritless in Fife!!

Fife Council hit the National news last week, being the first Council to run out of salt and grit. I was highly amused by this cartoon, published in The Courier newspaper on Sturday showing Fife Council workers standing round a salt cellar, saying "Is that it then?"

Sunday, 10 January 2010



There was a lapwing in the harbour area of Lower Largo. It's the first time that I've seen one there, although I have seen them further inland in Fife (near Loch Leven and also Birnie Loch). Apparently they are found at the coast in bad weather.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Frozen Britain

I love this picture taken by NASA's Terra satelite of ice-bound Britain.

Snow on the Beach

Snow on and off since the early morning. It's not that often that I've seen snow lying on the beach like this.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Snow on Snow

The Massney Braes in Lundin Links with a covering of snow
A snow shower overnight gave a fresh covering of snow. The temperature dropped to -5 degrees Centigrade. Not as cold as in Sutherland where the temperature dropped to -22.3 degrees C. at Altnahara.

Looking across Largo Bay to Ruddon's Point

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Wintry Sunset

Looking across the Forth from Lower Largo Pier to the Pentland Hills bathed in the afterglow.
Sunset over the Forth taken from Lower Largo Pier

Sunday, 3 January 2010

More New Visitors

Male Bullfinch
The cold icy weather has brought many more birds to the garden, searching for food including this beautiful male bullfinch (above) and the pied wagtail (below).

Pied Wagtail

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Snow at New Year

Looking across Lundin Golf Course and the village of Lundin Links to a snow-capped Largo Law.

A bitterly cold and icy start to the New Year with frequent snow showers and temperatures not rising much above zero during the day and sub-zero at night. While the main roads are being kept clear the side roads and pavements are treacherous. In our street we've long since used all the grit in the bin, and there is no sign of it being filled up again in the short term.
Putting food out for the birds two or three times a day as well as keeping the feeders and bird-bath stocked up. Lots of starlings, also blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, gold finches, dunnocks, blackbirds, and wood pigeons. We also have a robin, that we've nick-named thuggy as he tries to repel all comers, even birds several times his size.

Looking across Largo Bay to a snow storm over East Lothian.