Trail run along the Don 6th March 2016

Sunday’s outing was along my regular Don loop, but this time on foot. I took my new compact camera (Panasonic TZ71) along to see what it could do. I was hoping for a few wildlife shots where the 30x zoom could get in closer.

Groynes

Groynes

Down at the beach, with a strong sun behind, I used one of the primary advantages the panasonic has over my old sony compact – the electronic viewfinder meant I could compose without a washed out screen

Beach crow

Beach crow

Seemed to be a lot of interest this Sunday afternoon around the pillbox

Lots of interest in the pillbox

Lots of interest in the pillbox

The flood deposited logs seem to be organising nicely into conical piles

Log piles are multiplying

Log piles are multiplying

Great reflection today from the Bridge O’Balgownie

Brig O'Balgownie reflected

Brig O’Balgownie reflected

I went down to the waterside to see if I could get a better angle. While I knelt quietly, these friendly ducks pootled past. I waited an age for them to sail into position for the money shot. Running shorts not the ideal thing for kneeling in a snow patch.

Brig O'Balgownie ducks

Brig O’Balgownie ducks

Further along the shore, there’s some rocks for some foreground interest. Down this low though the top of the bridge is bracketed by houses on a nearby road which kinda kills the ‘ye olde world’ vibe.

Brig O'Balgownie rocks

Brig O’Balgownie rocks

A speck on the far side of the river.. a golden eye duck?

Duck no1

Duck no1

Looking up this deer was watching me. I was dressed in muted colours, so managed to take out the camera slowly and zoom in and take a few shots. I think if I was in normal bright bike clothes it wouldn’t have been so obliging.

Deer

Deer

Cottown of Balgownie looking lovely as usual, but unusually this angle not spoiled by loads of parked cars

Cottown of Balgownie

Cottown of Balgownie

I took an extended route along the North bank of the Don, including the bit where it says ‘no wheels’ where I normally don’t go. Twittering in the branches, damn hard to snap these lively fidgety birds

Great tit

Great tit

Nice shadows on route to the new bridge

Tree shadows

Tree shadows

 

More tree shadows

More tree shadows

Quick stop beside the island bit, it’s now bare and flood swept

Ducks 2

Ducks 2

I think this duck is a ‘merganser’ of some sort

Ducks 3

Ducks 3

I guess this must be a cormorant though I thought they were darker

Cormorant

Cormorant

Not sure what that is. “brown headed fluffy duck”

Duck 4

Duck 4

After a detour around the bridge roadworks, back towards the river past the wire statue at Grandholm

Wire statue

Wire statue

Uncovered or swept downstream by the flood? A wreck of a quad bike

Rusty quad wreck

Rusty quad wreck

My favourite wild garlic patch is sprouting. I grab a few shoots for some garnish. Glad I have a ziplock freezer bag in the rucksack, though even sealed my bag still smells

Wild garlic sprouts

Wild garlic sprouts

The patch has been scoured by floods, but seems to have escaped reasonably unscathed. Some bulbs have been uncovered

Wild garlic bulbs

Wild garlic bulbs

A quick freezing snow flurry, hustles me onward along the rooty bank

Snow shine

Snow shine

 

Back to sun

Back to sun

From Persley bridge I can see a heron

Heron

Heron

Time to nip in to Persley walled garden for a cuppa from my thermos. I’m beyond my normal 10k distance, and the calfs and knees are beginning to throb but haven’t ‘cracked’ yet (groan)

What's the craic

What’s the craic

 

Wall tendrils

Wall tendrils

Quite a lot of flood debris below the weir.

Bale

Bale

A twisted blockage of trunks and logs lies half burnt by vandals, just above this lade gate, but the iron of A. Pirie & Sons persists. It’s seen a century of such trifles.

Lade iron

Lade iron

Storm blown blockages now cleared

Path unblocked

Path unblocked

Light now fading it starts snowing again, up in the branches a bird of prey shelters

Bird of prey through the snow

Bird of prey through the snow

Back across the golf course, the owls are out en force, but it’s too dark to get a snap. Up on Broadhill though, I spy the silhouette of one at rest. I’ve increased the brightness to try and make out some detail.

Night owl

Night owl

That’s a wrap, 22k on the clock and sore legs. Next time I need to have my trail running bike ready so I can ride a bit, park up and run a less arduous distance, phew..

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