What a night!

 

What a night indeed but before the night came the day so let me tell you about that first. It was our last day in the area and we were aware that apart from going to eat we hadn’t been into the town at all so we thought we would stay locally and see what Blaigowrie had to offer. First we went for a walk by the river and once again both Grey wagtails and Dippers showed well. The Wagtails were feeding their young which is always a spectacle.

 

These two Dippers, I assume a young with a parent, also put on a good show!

Press on into town and to have a look around setting off first to find the town hall where the local Art group had an exhibition. As you may imagine it was a mixed affair and I doubt anyone could have liked all the work even if you could see the talent that lay behind it! As we went in we were given a slip of paper and asked to vote for our favourite piece before leaving. I particularly enjoyed the work of one wildlife artist and voted for her picture, ‘The elusive pine marten’

We met Delia for a farewell lunch and, as planned returned for a last walk down by the river. We did try the other  side of the bridge but didn’t take to it so returned to what was by now familiar territory! In just those few hours we had been away a change had taken place in the wagtail world! They seemed to no longer be feeding them but I assume trying to encourage them to fend for themselves. They were still close by but kept coming close then instead of passing them food, would fly up again presumably hoping they would learn how to do it. One kept trying the second, which we hadn’t seen earlier, just sat!IMG_2385

A young lady came and asked about my camera lens as she was thinking of getting one and we got in conversation. It transpired that she was a wildlife artist and on chatting further she was the artist I had just voted for, Paula Jane Anderson, small world!

Okay lets move on to our evening and what a cracker it was! We had heard that there were beavers not too far from us but had no idea where. We were linked with a man who did know, Bob a fantastic ‘Nature Nut’ and he agreed to take us at to look for them but that wasn’t all. If we left a bit early he would try for a couple of other treats too!

First stop was where the Black grouse often lek, unfortunately not last night but never mind, we moved on after a lovely sight of a Hen Harrier. We were to try to see something which was going to be the highlight of the night, Pine marten! On the way we saw this lovely hare.

Also a group of fallow deer including the lovely ‘white’ one.IMG_2498

Moving on though and we were soon settled waiting for the Pine marten, as we sat the sun moved round and of course just when it was directly opposite us that Marten arrived, making pictures impossible! Never mind we had seen it and Bob was sure it would be back, of course he was right!IMG_2489 pine martin

We were so thrilled I can’t tell you! Pine marten is not an animal I expected to be on our 2016 list! It was bigger than I had imagined and has a really big tail, look at the teeth too!

The light was fading fast but Bob said we could still have a quick try for the beavers, we agreed but I wasn’t feeling too hopeful. having said that the evening to that point had been brilliant so with or without beavers we were happy! We drove, parked, walked and arrived at a river where within minutes we saw beaver!!! It was almost dark by that time so pictures were near impossible. I will post one bad shot plus one screen shot form a little video which did come out slightly better.

What a night, Pine marten and beavers, two animals which before arriving in Blairgowrie we hadn’t even considered as possible! Bob is a top man and if you find yourself in the area I strongly recommend getting in touch with Bob, Nature Nut!

10.45 and we were back at our B & B a cuppa and a snack before settling down for our last night before moving on to Nethy Bridgs, I wonder what we will see there!

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A river dip!

I told you about our first walk by the river Ericht and the treat we found there but I didn’t tell you what it was! Well yesterday morning before our day out we went for an early walk in bright weather by the river and again we saw a Dipper, well to be honest we saw two! There were also Grey wagtails but they were so flighty that so far I don’t have many pictures. IMG_1951 Dipper

What lovely, entertaining birds they are, flying up and down the river, sitting bobbing and looking so smart. So I am just going to share some photos and later I will write about our day out. Having fun is very time consuming you know so I will have to wait till we get back later today before writing again so maybe I will combine two days out with our fried Delia.

 

This Dipper was frustratingly close but at the same time very tricky to photograph as I am fussy about not falling into rivers! So with tripod balanced I stayed on a firm footing!

We were fortunate enough to see a Dipper during our time in Devon but there superb views have been a real bonus. I must say the River Ericht did look as though it would be home to Dippers and Wagtails as soon as we set eyes on it. Having sat on this rock for some while she had a good stretch and look around before disappearing up river again, don’t you think her wings look too small for her? Do you think this is a young one? We wondered as it as a rather speckly breast.

We had to leave our river walk as Delia was coming to collect us for our smashing day out. Here are just a few Grey wagtail shots till I can do better, opportunity willing!

 

Favourite places revisited

Today we expected quite a lot of showers but we decided to leave our holiday bungalow behind in the safe keeping of the gull living on the roof and head for Yarner Wood.

We have been there several times before and it is a place I really like not least because it has always provided us with good views of Pied flycatchers, fingers crossed the rain wouldn’t spoil things. We popped first in the hide by the car park, which was unusually full. We saw the usual little birds including this Great tit and Nuthatch then we were off flycatcher hunting!

It took a while but then we were successful, first a fleeting glance but then slightly better views and even one entering a nest box. So lovely to see them, the brilliantly marked males and the much quieter female.

We had one brief shower but that was it apart from that it was dry and as the day went on it got brighter and brighter. We had hoped to see a Wood warbler but had no luck there but we were treated to a lovely Tree pipit sitting up proudly atop of a very high tree. Also more than a few Wood ants!

When we had finished our walk we drove into Bovey Tracey, another favourite place and had a relaxed lunch at the Devon Guild of Craftmen shop followed by a walk along the river side. Now when I think of Bovey Tracey the first thing that comes to my mind is Dippers! We have seen them there so often although last time we were there for over a week and didn’t catch sight of one. We walked along and back and were moments away from heading back to the car when A Dipper flew low over the water right down the river, brilliant that is three year ticks and brings our bird total to 197 dangerously close to 200 which I am aiming to get before heading back to Norfolk!!!

The day continued with a trip to the House of Marbles for a good look around and memories of a previous trip there when Sprocket had his paw print cast in glass! A detour for provisions and then we arrived home in sunshine after a really lovely day.

Tomorrow will be quite a different day as we are going up to Hertfordshire to join with friends and family to say goodbye to one of the nicest men I have known, Richard.