Wildlife Blog Dec 2017
Saturday December 9th 2017
Another impressive sunrise and a morning with absolutely no wind and, at least for the most part a cloud-free sky. The ground though is rock hard and the frost was still lying when I started out, so it will be difficult conditions for birds trying to probe the soil or feed in amongst the grasses. And it was very quiet, so I had to work very hard to locate any birds, with none singing, and the majority being intent on feeding and making very little in the way of calls while doing so. A party of a dozen Long-tailed tits. for example were feeding high in amongst the outer branches and twigs of some Silver birch trees, but I had walked right underneath them before picking up the sound of a contact call and realising they were there.
More obvious, and indeed a first for the Hill was a pair of Ravens! As I left the house this morning, I heard and then saw a pair flying over Dunblane, a not too uncommon sight in itself, but to my delight, I then found them an hour later, now on the top of one of the large Beech trees on the hill giving their distinct ‘croaking’ call, and where they stayed for a half-hour before flying off towards Sherriffmuir. Another obvious large bird was a single Buzzard, though it was being chased by a pair of the resident Carrion Crows.
There was a good number of Blackbirds and a small flock of Redwings but, again these were very quiet and hard to locate at first. Several Jackdaws were exploring some new holes in a partly fallen tree, while two skeins of Pinkfeet geese flew low overhead in the sunshine. All the leaves have now fallen from the trees, but the leaves of the Brambles still provide a splash of green, as does the ivy climbing up some of the older trees.
Image: Wikipedia. Dave Croker: “Long-tailed tit”. Released under the Creative Commons by-sa licence.