October 2023

Evening at Holkham

Brenda writes: “I settled back into my pattern of moving from place to place either by car or on foot. As I go about my duties I have been musing on the range of flowers I have seen through the year. I have many favourites: Scarlet pimpernel, which grows in my garden, always makes me …

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Scottish Mandarins

There was a small break in the Scottish weather today and I went a walk at Fyvie Castle with my sister and her husband, plus dog. The path around the lake, which Brenda and I have done a couple of times, is lovely and today there was a good smattering of water birds including mallards, …

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Mulling over my list

Sadly this was another rainy day in Scotland for me and a similar (but busier) one for Brenda down south! I was mulling over the bird numbers as we are rapidly approaching the end of the year (no – I won’t mention Christmas, though I note that shops are already doing displays!). When I started …

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Winter thrushes

Quite apart from the difficulty of getting a decent walk in awful weather, once I had taken Brenda to the local rail station I knew that I had a weekend where I wanted to get some DIY work done on the Scottish house before guests arrive on Monday. I am possibly the world’s worst person …

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The 300th post

The day of our 300th post was wet and blustery (again!) and we didn’t get out at all. When I had the idea for this blog, back in November or December last year, I had thought that we would just write something on the days when we got to see any wildlife… but then – …

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Scandinavian visitors

The weather was still blustery and rainy today, but we ventured out north to the coast. Our first stop was Buckie where there had been reports of a flock of waxwings. These lovely little birds breed in Scandinavia and if they’ve had a good year there is sometimes not enough food (berries) to sustain the …

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Coloured carpets

Brenda writes: “Despite the rain our first night’s moth count at Waulkmill was remarkably good. There were 23 chestnuts, 7 red-line quakers, 2 satellites and one each of angleshades, turnip and red-green carpet. This last I find difficult because it’s so variable. There were also 3 of a new moth for the year, yellow-line quaker. …

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Crossbills

The weather forecast for our week in Scotland is not looking particularly good: Lots of rain! But today was reasonably dry with some sunny intervals and so we took an afternoon walk to on one of the many paths around Bennachie. There were goldcrests and long-tailed tits in the trees, and also plenty of coal …

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A pale November in October?

Brenda writes: “After emptying the moth trap – which contained large wainscot, red-line quaker, chestnut and a solitary large yellow underwing – I dismantled it to take north with us to Waulkmill, and found a black rustic in a corner and a delicate under the light bar. There were three Novembers on the wall. They …

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A marvellous disappearance

Brenda writes: “It was much colder last night and there were just three moths; turnip, large wainscot and a really beautiful merveille du jour with a very dark cross-bar. I tried to get it to sit on a leaf so I could take a nice photo of it but it dropped into the grass and …

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