Talking about amazing wildlife ....We were very surprisedduring Sunday lunch to hear a disturbance in the trees near the house and to suddenly see a young Pine Marten dash out of the shrubbery and launch himself onto the bird bath for a good drink. He then managed to work out how to climb down the carefully placed branch - put there to help young squirrels - and on to the bird table. We have not seen one during the daylight as they are normally nocturnal creatures although they are known to be active during the day in the summer months.The weather has been fair and bright this week so obviously this youngster was making hay while the sun shone.During his visit there were 3 pheasants in the garden and a red squirrel on a nearby tree who were not too fazed by this new visitor. Pine martens have been known to chase squirrels if they are very hungry although their diet is very varied....as we witnessed. It was just amazing to watch from the window. Our guests at Aspenwood Cottage last week did put out alot of suet balls in the wire feeder which were all 'stolen' over night so we think this is the thief. Check out more Pine Marten info.
Sunday dawned with a beautiful crisp clear blue sky as forecast so we packed a picnic and drove to Glen Affric via Inverness, alongside the Beauly Firth and turned off down Strathglass to the village of Cannich. From here we followed a single track road passing through amazing scenery and looking down on deep river gorges for about 8 miles to the car park at the end of Glen Affric. Had a lovely relaxing walk by the river and into one of the oldest Caledonian Forests in Scotland where we were very fortunate to see a male and female Scottish Crossbill, the only truly native species of the UK and a bird confined only to the Highlands of Scotland....our first exciting sighting of this quite elusive bird.
The scenery all around us was just stunning with snow on the mountain tops and the River Affric was gushing along after all the recent rain. After our walk we drove back along the road for a few miles to a new picnic site we had spotted earlier and enjoyed our lunch beside a very peaceful loch. This day trip is about 55 miles from Aspenwood Cottage on Loch Ness and took us about one and a half hours to get to Glen Affric on a very pleasant run. So sit back and enjoy some of the scenes we saw.....
A very good visit to Edinburgh Zoo during our break in the city. After seeing the famous pandas we strolled round and saw as many of the wild animals as we could...amazing. There were lots of new young additions and maybe some still a twinkle in the eye.
Just returned from a few days break in Edinburgh.Visited the castle on a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed many pleasant relaxing strolls round the city with some lovely meals out in the evenings.
We had previously booked online to see the new arrivals at Edinburgh Zoo...the two pandas from China. It was amazing to watch them close up as they methodically munched their way through their bamboo breakfast.There is a panda movie soon so watch this space.