In The Garden in Forres
We have had our first fall of snow this month. Despite this, there was still a Bumble Bee collecting pollen from the flowers. A Red Squirrel came in looking for nuts to hoard over the winter. Not only was it taking nuts from the Squirrel box it boldly climbed on to as many of the feeders it could find.
I have had a pair of Feral Pigeons visiting the garden. Although there are plenty of these all over the town we don’t have many at all in the area where I live. They certainly cleaned up any of the bird seed that had fallen on the ground.
A little Goldcrest visited the garden last month and has come in regularly this month too. Then a wren appeared one sunny afternoon and hopped around the garden for a while. It makes a rare appearance in the garden but I can often hear it without seeing it. Then from the very small too the very large! A Magpie made an appearance and has been visiting daily and usually at the beginning of the day.
One Wednesday morning I went a walk around Brodie Pond.. It had certainly been a long time since I had been there. There were lots of Mallards and in amongst them was this Hybrid Mallard. I am sure there has been one at the pond before. There were plenty Moorhens and a few Little Grebes as well as the resident Mute Swans.
Along The Coast
On one of my visits to Cullen this month I saw a large group of Turnstones. In amongst the Turnstones there were a small group of Purple Sandpipers. I watched a Herring Gull with a fish trying to eat it while at the same time keeping the other gulls away. There was a Shag sunning itself on the rocks there too. Off the coast I watched a small group of Porpoises displaying. I thought at first It was Dolphins but when I looked at the pictures I think they were Porpoises.
At Portgordon I watched three Seals playing together in the harbour.
At Hopeman on quite a few occasions this month I have seen Ringed Plovers together with Sanderlings on the sands just beside the car park.
On The Dava
When I have been up the Dava this month I have not seen a great deal. I can still see the occasional Stonechats on the moors. They can often be seen at the coast also. At Lochindorb there was a small group of Mallards and a larger group of Greylag Geese. A Red-legged Partridge can brighten up a dull winter day and a beautiful wintery scene are the sheep grazing in the snow.
During the winter months near Darnaway there are always Buzzards to be seen in the fields as we drive past. I saw this flock of about thirty Linnets on a tree near Golford along with five Fieldfare.