365 Nature – Day 218

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


On our last morning in Scotland we woke up early to get ready and I did my recent ritual of checking out all the windows for birds. There were a lot of them out eating the remaining seeds from the feeder I’d scattered around on the ground, mostly Chaffinches, but I thought I saw a Dunnock. Later as I packed up, I saw a Treecreeper on the trees right outside one window. The morning was sunny and stayed sunny while we packed and cleaned. As I took bags out to the car I checked the wall by the porch light and saw a few different moths, mostly small ones. We then sadly left our wonderful railway cottage and headed for the airport in Inverness.

The one thing that helped me keep going was the…

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365 Nature – Day 217

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


On our last full day in the Highlands we awoke to a dark and cloudy sky, but were spared rain again. We decided to visit the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park because it was our only chance to see a Scottish Wildcat in person since they’re so very rare in the wild. The park is full of all manner of exotic wildlife from Snow leopards to Polar bears, but it also houses native wildlife that lives in the Highlands now and that once lived here. We saw Red Deer, another native mammal that we didn’t see on our adventures over the last two weeks. We did spot a lot of Roe Deer on our walks, but no Red Deer, a much larger animal. We also saw Snowy and…

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365 Nature – Day 216

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


While it hasn’t been sunny and warm in the highlands, at least it’s not rained on us…until today. Our luck finally ran out, but not right away.

Our destination was the Linn of Dee on the Mar Lodge Estate, an estate that takes up almost 7% of the Cairngorms National Park. There are many hills to walk, but with a four year old we stuck to the lower walks. We started out on the Glen Lui trail which runs along the River Lui down to where it connects with the River Dee. Unfortunately by the time we made our way through the forest and emerged onto the moors it started pouring down rain. We put our rain jackets on and continued and found the path along the river was…

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365 Nature – Day 215

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


For the first time this trip, we awoke to a foggy morning. Since our plans today involved a walk around a loch, I was eager to get going to see a highland lake blanketed in fog. But before we left, I looked outside the windows around the cottage and much to my surprise, I spotted a Lapwing in the field across the railroad tracks. Naturally, as soon as I crept outside to take a photo it was scared away, but not before I caught a couple shots of it. The fog appeared to appeal to the birds and I spotted a swallow, Meadow Pipit and Willow Warbler all around the cottage.

We arrived at Loch an Eilein around nine in the morning and were greeted by a misty Scottish loch. On the rocks…

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365 Nature – Day 214

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


The sun was shining in the morning and we had our most moths yet. There were about half dozen different moths including two Garden Tigers.

The Swallow was still inside the shed flying up against the window and in the morning I opened the big doors just a little bit, hoping the swallow could get out. The adult kept visiting it and I could see two at the window at times. Other times they would sit on a rope or wire inside that I could see by peeking in. I assume it was a fledgling that had just left the nest because I hadn’t seen it before, but I had watched the adult flying in and out of the crack in the shed door.

We took a drive to Castle Menzies…

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365 Nature – Day 213

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


In the morning we had a few moths again, this time a bright yellowish one that I think was a Brimstone Moth. The next time we visit somewhere I’m going to have to figure out a way to attract more moths.

We finally made our way up a mountain today, but first we wanted to take a short walk. In Cairngorm National Park is Glenmore Forest Park and one of the destinations is the Frank Bruce Sculpture Trail in Feshiebridge. We were the only people there when we arrived and we set off along the one mile trail. It wasn’t long before we arrived at the first sculpture, a towering trunk of wood titled The Archetype. It was carved out of an old, branching tree trunk and it was stunning….

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