Saturday, 27 February 2010

Snow on Largo Law Again

View of a snowy Largo Law taken from Dumbarnie Links

It snowed last night but didn't lie for long at lower levels, however, Largo Law had a snowy cap.

Friday, 26 February 2010


Male Goldeneye (Click to enlarge photo)
There was a solitary male goldeneye in Lower Largo Harbour today. The female looks quite different. It is a mottled grey with a dark brown head and neck.
Horrible weather, where the North of Scotland got snow, we have had torrential rain and sleet for the last for the last 24 hours.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Natural Sculpture in Wood

I took this photo in Keil's Den primarily for the fungi, but it was only when I looked at it on the computer that I noticed the amazing grain patterns on the rotting wood.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Keil's Den in Winter

The view downstream from the lower bridge in the den.

Hadn't been to Keil's Den for a while as we thought it would be too wet and muddy, but today it seemed drier underfoot so decided to give it a go. It was still a bit slippy in places but well worth the effort. There was still some snow lying and it was so peaceful. We didn't see another soul. It reminded me of Robert Frost's poem, one of my favourites
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
The view across the bridge.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Fungi on Rotting Wood - Velvet Shank??

Orange fungi on a pile of logs in the Serpentine Walk.

A close-up image of the fungi

Wasn't sure of the identity of these fungi. I thought they might be Sulphur Tuft but I went back and took a photo of the underside and am now pretty certain that they are Velvet Shank. The orange gills and chocolate stems make the identification likely. Also this is a species which continues fruiting through the winter. Not that I would trust my identification enough to cook and eat them, although they are supposed to be edible. Unless they've been identified by an expert, I prefer to buy my mushrooms from a supermarket. Too many stories of people getting the ID wrong with disastrous consequences!!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Winter Lochans - Dumbarnie Links

Looking from Dumbarnie Links Wildlife Reserve over the wartime defences to a winter lochan.

An extensive partly frozen winter lochan at Dumbarnie Links yesterday, with Largo law in the background. In winter these lochans are formed in the hollows of short rabbit-grazed turf and moss.

A redshank and its reflection at the edge of the winter lochan.
(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Lamb's-Tails Catkins

Bitterly cold today and a thin layer of snow lying this morning but these catkins in the Serpentine walk show promise of Spring. I think they are hazel catkins. Clumps of snowdrops and aconites also now flowering.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Lichen on Fallen Log

Creamy-white lichen on a fallen log in the Serpentine Walk. At least I think it's lichen. I find them difficult to identify. About the only one I'm fairly certain of is the yellow splash lichen on the rocks at the beach.

Close-up of the lichen.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Lonesome Pine

Scots Pine - Pinus sylvestri
In the middle of the Massney Braes in Lundin Links there is a small rather misshapen Scots Pine. This is the only native British pine. It is found throughout Europe though only in the mountains in the South.

Further up the braes there is another more mature specimen with plenty of pine cones.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Sir Andrew Wood's Tower

Sir Andrew Wood's Tower is a scheduled monument in the grounds of the ruins of Largo House. The tower is the last surviving fragment of the medieval Largo House, built in 1491. It is all that remains of a fortalice (fortified house) complete with moat, built by Sir Andrew Wood on the site of an earlier castle and was demolished around 1750 when the current Largo House was built. Originally it would have been one of four corner towers to the house. There is no public access but a good view of it can be seen from a footpath at the edge of a field between Keils Den and Upper Largo.
Sir Andrew Wood was a naval hero, sometimes hailed as the Scottish Nelson. He was Admiral to James 111 and 1V. He had two ships The Flower and The Yellow Carvel.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


A beautiful day today, although very cold. A few fair-weather clouds over Largo Bay. I have recently bought the interesting little book - The Cloud Collectors Handbook, and I think the small puffy ones are Cumulus althiough the lower one might be a Stratocumulus.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Another Infrequent Visitor

Spotted a sisken today feeding on the peanuts. The last time I saw a sisken was over a year ago and then it was a female. This was a male. It has a black crown and is much brighter with striking yellow parts. The female is much greyer and paler.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Sunday Morning on the Beach

A Small Group of Knots
Sunday was a cloudy, misty but still day. I walked down to the beach at Lundin Links and walked towards the pier at Lower Largo. There were plenty of oystercatchers, black-headed gulls and some redshanks. I also saw this small group of waders. I am not very good at identifying waders, but I think these were knots. They were similar in size to the redshank but stockier with shorter grey legs, short straight black bill, grey back and pale breast.
I also spotted these two herons on the rocks opposite Lower Largo pier. One was in a hunched up pose and the other upright and elegant.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Bullfinches Return

Female Bullfinch
Bullfinches returned to the garden today but today there was a pair of them and it was the female that I managed to get a photo of. Not as brightly coloured as the male, the female has a pinkish grey chest but still has the distinctive black cap.

Female bullfinch with seed or berry in its bill.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Largo House

Approaching Upper Largo from Lundin Links the ruin of Largo House can be seen on rising ground to the left of the road. The house was built by Robert Adam in 1753 for estate landowner James Durham. During the Second World War Polish Forces were quartered there, but in 1951 it was declared derelict and the roof was taken off. It has now fallen into complete disrepair and only the outer shell is left

An old 1907 photo of Largo House

Monday, 1 February 2010

Unusual Tree Trunks - Serpentine Walk

Moss and lichen on these tree trunks in the Serpentine Walk which connects Upper and Lower Largo

This dead tree trunk looks a bit like some sort of animal standing upright on its hind legs.