Scotstown Moor 30-04-2016

The previous week had seen a variety of extreme weather for the end of April; blizzards with thunder, marble sized hailstones, and even waterspouts off the beach. A brief sunny reprieve beckoned, and I indecisively ambled down to the beach, I’d make my mind up there whether to head North or South.

From up on the Broadhill, I could see a sight that heralded Summer – a swarm of white specks down below

Cricket at the links

Cricket at the links

 

Well batted

Well batted

The sound of leather on willow

The sound of leather on willow

I stopped and watched for a bit. It was quite breezy so thought I’d head North and inland rather than along the coast.

Looking North along the beach

Looking North along the beach

Sunny but breezy at the beach

Sunny but breezy at the beach

Up to The Don then across to the nature reserve. I’d barely entered the path when I stopped again. The pace was going to be slow today, the wildlife was out in force enjoying the sun.

Seals at the Don bridge 1

Seals at the Don bridge 1

Seals at the Don bridge 2

Seals at the Don bridge 2

Seals at the Don bridge 3

Seals at the Don bridge 3

The seals mostly basked, with an occasional scuffle breaking out where the alpha seal decided somebody was a bit too close to his patch and then the others would pass the strife down the pecking order.

Looking upstream there’s a nice angle on the Brig O’Balgownie, if only there was a slightly bigger gap in the trees.

Brig O'Balgownie

Brig O’Balgownie

Next time I’m along this way on foot and it’s low tide, I’ll have to walk along and get the best angle for a snap. I saw a decent patch of Wild Garlic and went down to collect some. Great day for a paddle – though if they were heading sea ward then it was away to get choppy.

Kayaking on The Don

Kayaking on The Don

As I quietly picked leaves, I noticed some movement on the hill above.

Munching grass

Munching grass

Deer at the brig 1

Deer at the brig 1

Deer at the brig 2

Deer at the brig 2

 

Deer at the brig 3

Deer at the brig 3

The deer watched me for a bit but I remained still and it went back to munching. A slow motion reach into the pocket got the camera out for a few snaps. So close to a brilliant deer/rabbit snap of them both munching in unison.

Don at Brae of Cairnfield

Don at Brae of Cairnfield

I had a quick nosey at the new bridge works. There’s thankfully a few footpaths and underpasses now constructed so it’ll be easy to continue along The Don in future without traversing a major road artery. An inquisitive duck paddled past as I was near the wee metal footbridge, green iridescence shining brightly in the sun.

Bright green sunny duck

Bright green sunny duck

The iridescence changing to almost purple as the angle changed

Purple duck

Purple duck

Making my way upstream, I’d waited around watching wildlife so much that I abandoned plans to head out into the countryside proper and would head up to Scotstown moor. First I’d check out a wee bit of woodland to the East of the moor that I’d not been to before, Glashie How.

Glashie How 1

Glashie How 1

A stream runs through a small glen, with gnarled old trees, and a marshy plain in the middle

Glashie How 2

Glashie How 2

The East side backs on to houses. Here, there are tunnels only just passable through rhododendron bushes

Glashie How 3

Glashie How 3

Slippery and muddy today, pushed the bike through in parts. Being close to houses this side is unfortunately got quite a bit of urban rubbish lying around.

Glashie How 4

Glashie How 4

Crossing back to the far side and heading towards the moor

Starlings

Starlings

More iridescence from these starlings who were pecking away furiously in the undergrowth. I crossed over the road and did a circuit of the moor. The gorse and bracken were alive with birdsong.

Robin of Scotstown moor

Robin of Scotstown moor

There’s a few gnarled old dead bushes poking out of the undergrowth. A nice wide panorama towards Bennachie.

Scotstown moor spooky old bush

Scotstown moor spooky old bush

 

Scotstown moor spooky old bush 2

Scotstown moor spooky old bush 2

After grabbing a quick bite to eat, and it getting chilly, I headed back via the wood at Dubford road, and the Lochside pond.  Took a short cut through the hidden lane through the woods at the back of Broadfold road, loads of wild rasps already flowering, I’ll need to remember this later in the year.

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