Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Best Things in Life are Free...

We have had a wonderful spell of weather which seems to have gone on since the end of August. On the 27th October I was out with Stuart for a couple of hours in the sunshine and while driving past the Mishnish lochs Stuart spotted a good record for Mull...a Moorhen. After looking at the BTO atlas I realised there was very few records on the West of Scotland in general and not just the islands. 
Further along the loch we had a solitary adult Whooper Swan and the first female Goldeneye of the winter.  

BTO Atlas of Moorhen in the UK
A bit further to the west we decided to check a traditional reptile spot as the conditions were so warm for the time of year. Straight away we came across a beautiful adult female Adder with a fresh vibrant skin! Another great record and also an indicator of the mild autumn condition's we have had. 

Female Adder on 27th October
We checked a few reptile sheets nearby and had a lovely sight of two Short-tailed Voles travelling back and forward through their corridors. You see daily evidence of these lovely rodents but it was nice nice to see them directly and also acknowledge their important role in engineering a number of ecosystems. 

Adder skin, photo by Stuart Gibson
On the way back to the van I was telling Stuart how envious I was of my friend Gary who found a pristine Adder skin on Geltsdale a few years ago and as we admired the female Adder again I noticed a skin nearby the snake wrapped in a stem of ling heather! Amazing, I was delighted, and that will go straight in my box of wonders to use on trips to educate guests.

Thanks for looking :)

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