Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Our journey took us east of Edinburgh to North Berwick the home of the Scottish Seabird Centre. A very windy and blustery day but some blue skies to be seen. The North Berwick coastline is beautiful and the magnificence of seeing Bass Rock covered in Gannets is jaw dropping! The Rock is covered in Gannets, a 150,000 of them! wow!
A walk along the shore towards the Seabird Centre and on the rocks we spotted Oystercatchers and a Ringed Plover. Further out to sea were groups of Eiders and Gannets. Closer to the Centre we had great views of Eiders displaying complete with their haunting 'whooo' call! The males in fantastic colours. Also from the centre area we were able to watch hundreds of Gannets fairly close, fly overhead and across the sea. Great to see them dive but this time collecting seaweed presumably for their nests back on Bass Rock. A few Terns (common I think) were also heard and seen flying by. As the tide went out we had some great views of a Redshank and Turnstones on the rocks very near the Seabird Centre. The Centre by the way is a great place for coffee and a light lunch whilst you ponder what you have seen plus the staff are friendly and helpful. All in all a fantastic day in a beautiful place!
Bass Rock - the White dots are Gannets!
Ringed Plover hiding in the seaweed and sheltered from the very strong wind
Eiders - fine looking males and one female!
Eider in flight over a moody sea!
Eider in his prime!
Redshank - the legs look redder in the North of the country!
A trip towards the mountains near Callander took us to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and Aberfoyle. Fantastic scenery with a fresh layer of snow on the mountains. Although cold and damp the weather cleared for us and blue skies appeared as we approached Aberfoyle.
The visitor centre staff were very helpful and the cafe with its amazing views brilliant for both coffee and lunch was excellent.
We took the short trail to the Wildlife hide in the hope of seeing Red Squirrels. The walk is through a mixture of woodland and stream and even a dramatic waterfall! Arriving at the hide we spent at least an hour watching Coal, Blue and Great Tits, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Blackbird come to the feeders. Then as we thought about leaving two Red Squirrels turned up to the feeders. Amazing to watch these wonderful animals climb into the feeders.
Leaving the visitor centre we took the 3 Lochs Drive in the hope of seeing an Osprey. No Osprey but a truly most picturesque and dramatic drive where we saw a Gooosander and some Ravens.
Robin on the beautiful moss and lichen
The trees are covered in this lovely delicate moss
Mirrors in the woods! Gave a great effect!
Waiting to go in!
Suddenly a waterfall appeared
Mountain view - stunning
Along the three lochs drive