Thursday, 29 April 2010

Ducks and Ducklings - Inner Farne

Going for a Walk with Mum. A Mallard leads her Ducklings.

A female Eider Duck takes a rest on the boardwalk seemingly unconcerned about the visitors wandering past. The female Eider looks very like the female Mallard but is bigger and has a characteristic wedge shaped head.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Puffins and Seals - Farne Islands

Puffins on the Water. (Click to enlarge photos)
Puffins and Seals are probably the favourite wildlife sightings on any trip to the Farne Islands.

Puffins on Inner Farne.
There is also a black headed gull in the centre of the picture. The island is littered with puffin burrows.

Grey seals basking in the sunshine.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Trip to the Farne Islands

A weekend short break in Northumberland. Lovely weather. Decided to see if we could make the trip to the Farne Islands. I first made this trip on a zoology field expedition when I was doing my A-levels. In the picture above the boats are waiting at Seahouses Harbour ready to go and pick up their passengers.

The Longstone Lighthouse from where Grace Darling and her father launched a rowing boat to rescue survivors from the wreck of the Forfarshire. Although the weather was fine the sea conditions were in the skipper's words "a bit lumpy."

Brownsman Island.

The stained glass window of St Cuthbert's Chapel on Inner Farne.

The St Cuthbert III waiting at the jetty on Inner Farne to take its passengers back to Seahouses.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat can be seen across the Forth Estuary in this photo. The Pentland Hills can be seen in the background. It's not often as clear as this.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Keil's Den - Bracket Fungi

I think this is hoof fungus -Fomes fomentarius. There were more examples on the other side of the tree trunk. (See photo below.)

I think this one is birch polypore also called razor strop or birch bracket -Piptoporus betulinus

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Keil's Den - Spring Flowers

Wood anemones clothe the banks of the burn near the entrance to Keil's Den.

Here and there small clumps of primroses.

A favourite spot in Keil's Den near the road bridge over the burn.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Peacock Butterfly

A peacock butterfly sunning itself on a rock in the Serpentine Walk. Also saw some Small Tortoiseshells but too active to get a photo.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Spring Flowers - Massney Braes

Coltsfoot flowers - the flowers appear before the leaves.

Ground ivy - a pernicious weed in the garden but very attractive when clothing a bank in blue.

Forsythia and flowering currant in bloom at the steps at the top of the Massney Braes.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Spring Flowers in the Serpentine Walk

Lesser celendines are flowering along the banks of the burn that runs along the side of the Serpentine walk.

It is easy to overlook green flowers but the bright green of this spurge stood out on the banks of the burn. I think it is probably sun spurge. Wood spurge is similar but is rare in Scotland.
There are also lots of daffodils along the walk. Along the disused railway track in Lower Largo primroses and cowslips are coming out.
At the weekend saw wheatears in the fields bordering the railway track. A very attractive bird. Unfortunately too far away and too lively to get a photo.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sticky Buds Unfurl

The sticky buds begin to open. Can just see the tips of the leaves at the top.

One leaf begins to unfurl.

The compound palmate leaves of the horse chestnut with 5-7 lobes can now be seen.