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Ants - In hot weather, they will bury themselves deeper to cool. Amazing workers and will graft hard to store up food for the winter months.

Ash Tree - Fraxinus excelsior - 'Ash before Oak, we're in for a soak'
The last to come into leaf.

Beadlet Anemone - Actinia equina - I love photographing these!
They are the most common Anemones found on the coast and they were abundant at Ardmair.
Related to Jellyfish, they are soft-bodied creatures and whilst scarlett is how I have always seen them, they can also appear brown, green or orange.
When they are out of the water, they look like wee blobs of jelly, as they withdraw their tentacles.
In clear waters, they look spectacular with their tentacles moving to the rhythm of the tide and if you take a moment or two to study them, you will see their bright blue Acrorhagi (Marginal outgrowths of the body). Apparently they shoot nematocysts from their acrorhagi when another anemone gets too close! P

Blackbird - ​Turdus merula - Blackbirds are great for being alarm calls and their call is a real distinctive "Chink Chink", you will see them agitated and flying from perch to perch, this will be a sure warning, that there is something about, probably a Cat prowling, or a Fox, or Owl etc
All the other birds will either go quiet, or will all be chattering together, but it is the Blackbird who will be the loudest and who will be heard, followed by the Robins "Tick Tick".
Blackbirds will also mimic you! Not straight away, but over some time when they hear a regular sound, like you whistling for example, then just listen for their response. P

Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla - A member of the Warbler family and a distinctive member, because of their caps.
The adult male has a black cap and the females & juveniles have brown ones.
It perhaps may not be the most striking of birds, but its song more than makes up for that! It will be one of the nicest you hear and for that reason alone, it makes it into my 'Top 5' Fave Birds list.

Bluebells - ​Hyacinthoides non-scriptus - Popular and much loved perennial.
Who doesn't love a woodland carpet of Bluebells.
Bell shaped flowers, which yes, are blue, though you will sometimes see pink and white ones too. P

Blue tit - Parus caeruleus - Hang a nest box or two in your garden and there is a very good chance, that this beautiful wee bird will move in!
They can lay up to 12 eggs!! For a small bird, with its delicate feathers of blues and yellows, it is a gutsy one and they are quite intelligent.
Some of you may remember the days of the foil topped milk bottles been left on your doorstep and that during winter, it was a regular occurrence to find holes pecked through tops of said milk bottles, well this wee bird was the main culprit.
They are partial to Caterpillars and are just delightful to watch their hanging upside down antics on feeders. P

Broom - No, not a brush, a bush. Well, a shrub actually, it is very similar to the Common Gorse, but this one won't prick you.
Look out for its black hanging pods after flowering, it is actually from the Pea family.

Brown Hare - Lepus europaeus - There really is something quite wonderful about seeing Hares.
They are similar to the Rabbit, but their fur is more of a tawny brown shade and they have much longer legs and those large black tipped ears.
It is a very fast runner (Am sure most you know the childhood tale of the Tortoise and the Hare). Its speed, has been estimated up to 30mph!
They are great swimmers too.
Fabulous to watch when courting, keep a look out for them boxing! You will mainly find them on lowland.
They will produce two - five young at a time, the young are called Leverets, which (Unlike Rabbits) are well furred and can see from birth.
They don't have warrens like Rabbits, they have above ground shelters, known as a 'Form'.
The Easter Bunny is actually a Hare!
Theres an old saying, that is; If a Fisherman sees a Hare on the way to the boat, he will turn tail and head back home. Theres a similar saying for Miners too and if a Hare is seen running down a street, it means there is a fire! (Or probably theres a Fox behind it, or its late for a very important date ha ha).

Brown Rat - Rattus norvegicus - The rodent most people seem to hate, associated with disease.
They are brown/grey in colour with a scaly tail and will pretty much eat anything.
Fairly good swimmers and they originate from Asia, coming in to Britain in the 18th century as stow aways on ships.
They breed all year round, so it wasn't too long before they became well established here. P

Bullfinch - Pyrrhula pyrrhula - A quiet and secretive songbird, but with their striking plumage, you can hardly blame them! Predators would easily spot them.
With the male wearing a blackcap and tail and with a pink underpart, he is very easily recognisable. The female, has the same black markings, but is more duller and buff in colour. Juveniles, lack the black and pink.
I love the relationships of a Bullfinch. A pair will often stay together all year round and the male seems to take his role very seriously!
Watch them at bird feeders and you will often see the male doing the gentlemanly thing, by sitting back and letting his partner feed, whilst he keeps a wary eye open. Then the female will do likewise.
Also, it is the male who will choose the nesting site, though the female will do the design. They are a true team! P

Buzzard - Buteo buteo - Our most common of Raptors.
You can be driving along a road and give a squeal of excitement at seeing one on a telegraph pole, there he is, so close to you, it is a great moment.
Several telegraph poles on and you're still seeing them!
You will soon learn, that they are abundant in Scotland.
There is one flying over the now as I am sat typing this. He keeps landing in a nearby tree and as soon as I reach for the McNikon, he's off again, then calling out on his return to said tree, almost torturing me! (Note to self; once this site is up live, must get hide rigged up)!!

Canada Goose - Branta canadenis - Unmistakable Goose. Brown body, black head and neck, with white cheeks.
When I was a child. I would go for nature walks with my Mother. We would take my Jack Russell Terrier too, a few yards behind, our black cat would follow, then few more yards behind, our 2 resident Canada Geese would come along too! And when they had Goslings, it was quite an outing! P

Capercaillie - Tetrao urogallus - 'Horse of the Woods'
A large and somewhat clumsy bird.
It had become extinct in Scotland back in 1785, but then was successfully reintroduced in Perthshire in 1837.
Found in fir forests and the signs of it, will be its droppings.
On my wish to list photograph.

Chaffinch - ​Fringilla coelebs - One of the most familiar songbirds. Males are reddish pink, females buff brown.
The Chaffinch, will feed its young every few minutes, as they are very apt at catching insects in flight.
They are territorial and will defend their patch and food source.
A single male in song, is usually letting others know that it is his patch, other males will take heed and hopefully a female will be attracted to his singing efforts.P

Common Damselfly - ​Enallagma cyathigerurm - A relation to the Dragonfly.
More slender than its relation and they will fold their wings in whilst still, unlike the Dragonflies, which are always outstretched.
Striking blue colour. P

Common Gorse - Bright yellow flowered shrub. Also known as Furze or Whin.
Can prick you and if you are like me and can not stand Coconut, then this is not the shrub for you, as it reeks of the stuff! Looks fabulous in flower though.
When the Gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of fashion.
Another saying is; Whilst it is out in flower, Britain will never be conquered.

Common Periwinkle - Littorina litter - A dark brown edible Mollusc, which feeds on seaweeds and often found in large clusters.
Keep a look out for them in rock crevices.
Whilst the Periwinkle reproduces all year round in the south of England, it only reproduces during Spring in Scotland - wise Mollusc then!

Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos - Small and fast!
Like many foraging shore birds, they have eyes at the side of their heads, so that each eye sees a different scene and allows them to spot danger from almost any direction, but, it limits the ability for them to judge distance. Watch the Sandpiper, see it bob its head up and down and sideways, this is so it can overcome the distance thing and it can view an object from several angles against its background.

Common Starfish - Asterias rubens - Brown to Orange in colour with white warts and five arms.
They can grow up to 30cm!
Best seen in shallow waters at springtime.

Cowslip - Primula veris - Do Cows slip on these??
They are perhaps not common as they once were.
They are such a pretty flower, which heralds "Spring has Sprung".
Crinkly leaves (As related to the Primrose), with long stems carrying fragrant yellow flowers on umbrels.

Cuckoo - ​Cuculus canorus - Scottish Name: Gawk. Very easily heard, less easily seen! but, with patience, you will see one.
You will often see it flying solo.
They say, that if you a hear a Cuckoo before the Swallows arrived the sorrow lays ahead.
Also, if you have money in your pocket when you hear your first Cuckoo of the season, then you'll have wealth for the rest of the year!

Curlew - Numinous arquata - Scottish name: Whaup. This Wader, makes it into my 'Top 5' of Fave Birds List!
It is the curved beak which gives this bird away, it may look strange, but as with waders, it serves a great purpose and that is to forage for food.
The sound the Curlew, can be mainly heard over dale, moor and wetland areas.
Often flies solo. P

Dandelion - Taraxacum official - Dandelions are the weather forecasters.
If a Dandelion blooms in early spring, there will be a short season.
When they bloom late, it will be a dry summer.
They will close their flowers before a storm.
And if there is no wind and the down still flies off the seed heads, rain is on its way!

Dry your Barley in October, or you'll always be sober.

Common/Edible Cockle - ​Cerastoderma edule - Oval shaped Mollusc, which lives in the sand on most coasts.
I love Shellfish and do like a Cockle or two, but not as many as the Oystercatcher, they can eat up to 300 Cockles in day!

Edible Crab - Cancer pagurus - The most easily recognised Crab, with its pink/orange shell and black tipped pincers.
Smaller ones can be found near the shore, but if you're after one for yer tea, then you'll find the larger ones in deeper waters and they can grow up to 30cm.
Now that, is some sandwich!

Eider - Somateria mollissima - Big Duck and a coastal Duck.
Black and white males and brown females and they have a wedge shaped bill.
They love to eat Mussels.
The females, will pluck their own feathers to line their nests with - Eider Down! 

Even-toed Ungulates - Basically, any animal with limbs that end in two pairs of toes! For example; Deer, Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pigs.
And... only one of those toes bears the animals weight.

Figwort Weevil - Cionus scrophulariae - Small dumpy thing and a member of the Beetle family.
It lives in the stems of plants and as its name suggests, is often found on Figwort flowers.

Flat Periwinkle - Littorina obtusata - Yellow, White, Green, Orange, Dark brown, the colours of this wee Mollusc vary depending on its habitat.
With exposed shores, you will find darker ones and at sheltered ones, the lighter coloured ones.
They like Wrack seaweed and keep a look out for them as the tide goes out.
Size is up to 1.5cm

Forget-me-not - Well, you may just see a small blue flower and call it that, but there are in fact several kinds.
Not to be confused with Speedwell.

Frog Spawn - The old saying is, if its in the middle of the pond, then the summer will be hot and dry, if it is at the sides, wet weather is on its way.

Gannet - Morus bassanus - Grand Seabirds, with stunning eyes.
The Gannets colony is loud, but a spectacular sight to see.
A bird, which is worth sometime watching and what you really want to be watching them for, is 'The Dive'. P

If the Wild Geese go out to sea, good weather there will surely be.

Golden Eagle - Aquila chrysaetos - in the far distance, when in flight, it could be confused with a soaring Buzzard. If you are in doubt, then chances are is it a Buzzard!
As once seen (Usually in flight) you will easily identify your next one.
The Golden Eagles catch Hare, Grouse etc

Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis - By time midsummer arrives, most birds will have finished nesting, all but the Goldfinch that is.
The reason being, when the chicks are only a few days old, they will be fed on Thistle seeds (Abundant at this time of year). The seeds make up 1/3 of their diet.
Take some time out to watch these striking birds feeding on Thistles, Teasels, Dandelions etc to see their acrobatics.
Goldfinch, are seldom seen alone. P

​Goosander - Mergus merganser - A diving Duck!
More easily seen in the winter months. P

Great Northern Diver - ​Gavia immer - In my 'Top 5' Fave Birds List.
The Diver, is also known as the Loon. Black and white markings and a larger bird than it appears to be.
To see them, is just wonderful, but to hear them, well I think it is amazing. There is nothing like a still Scottish morn, with not a wisp of sound to be heard, until, you then hear the distinctive call of the Loon echo across the Loch, almost haunting and you will never forget that moment. P

Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopus major - Our most common Woodpecker, black and white and red in colour. Many may think that the GSW's rapid drumming noise, is the bird making a whole, when is in fact purely making a territorial beat song. P

Green Shore Crab - ​Carcinus maenas - Now you may think, that the Edible Crab is our commonest Crab, but it is actually this fellow.
Usually found hiding amongst Seaweeds and Stones, the Green Shore Crab is green and brown mottled, it has 5 teeth either side of its eyes and 3 blunt ones between the eyes.

Greenfinch - ​Carduelis chloris - Like most Finches, it is easily recognised.
Not a territorial bird. It mainly feeds its young on seed, which is regurgitated.
Green by name, green by nature! P

Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea - An awkward looking bird and ones who's expression, can often look like they've got the weight of the world on its shoulders.
But, awkward they aren't! They are highly skilled Fishermen. They can stand motionless for hours. When flying, you will notice that they hunch in their neck. P

Grey Partridge - Perdix perdix - Or, often know as English Partridge.

Grey Seal - ​Halichoerus grypus - They can live up to 45 years of age.

Grey Squirrel - Sciurus carolinensis - Not our native Squirrel. The greys, were introduced to our country in 1876 and have been taking over and driving out the Red Squirrel ever since.
A Tree Rat to some, a bully and they carry a disease, which is deadly to our reds.
Yet, credit where credit is due. You can not fail to be impressed with the intelligence and acrobatic skills of this fellow and the lengths he will go to, to get his food.
He uses his tail to do his balancing tricks with.
They say, a Squirrel is meant to be alter the entrance position to its Dray (Home/Nest), according to the wind direction. I haver no proof of this, but can believe it.
Many years ago, a Squirrel Hunt, used to be the tradition on Boxing Day.
You can eat them, so if you find yourself in a Bear Grylls type situ, then catching one to roast over the bonfire, will provide you with some protein and they are actually rather tasty!

Greylag Goose - ​Anser anser - The Greylag, is our largest Goose and is an ancestor to the Farmyard Goose.
All Geese are wonderful to watch, but none more so, than the times they are in flight.
Autumn is a great time to see them flying overhead in their 'V' shaped formations, known as 'Skeins'.
Though you will see see and hear them flying in flocks too, as they go from one feeding/roosting ground to another (Check the Farmers fields).

Hazel - Corylus avellana - The wood of a Hazel, makes for really good Thumbtacks (Walking Sticks).
It is a small tree and one which produces blooming good nuts.

Hedgehog - Erinaceus europaeus - Unmistakable spined mammal.
Nocturnal and they hibernate in winter.
They have about 5000 spines on them! Which, become their defence to predators when they will roll into a ball.
It is recommended to feed them meaty food, such as cat food and with a bowl of fresh water too, not bread and milk, as this can upset their stomachs.

Herb-robert - Geranium robertianum - Member of the Crane's-bill family, has pink flowers, is common in shady places.
It has hairy leaves and stem which turn a gorgeous red colour in Autumn. One reason given for the name Robert, was that it was in time changed from the Latin word Ruber, meaning red.
But this dainty pink thing has another name too and that is 'Stinking Bob', due to its strong smelling leaves.

Holly - Ilex aquifolium - A long time symbol of Christmas, which is native to the British Isles.
An evergreen with waxy green leaves, sharp spines and red berries.
It is said to be unlucky to chop a Holly down and for this reason, many woodmen of past and present will leave them be.

Hooded Crow - Corvus corone - Grey and black and common in North Scotland.
It was also known as the 'Royston Crow', from travelling south in winter to haunt the downs in that area of Hertfordshire to feed on carcasses of grazing Sheep.
There is a Newspaper published called the Royston Crow.

Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus - A small Falcon, which can be seen whilst it is hovering looking for small mammals like Mice and also some ground birds. P

Lapwing - ​Vanellus vanellus - A handsome bird, with striking emerald green amongst its black feathers.

Long-tailed tit - Aegithalos caudatus - You will most likely hear the sound of the LTT, before they arrive!
'They', as you most certainly be graced by several of this absolutely charming bird.

Lugworm - Arenicola marina - Chances are, most of you will have seen signs of these, as these are the wee animals which leave the worm like sand casts on the beach.
The sand casts, will be marking one end of a U shaped burrow and it is at the bottom of these burrows where the Lugworm lives.
You will often see Fishermen digging them for bait.

Meadow Sweet - Filipendula ulmaria - Common Perennial, can grow fairly tall and has fragrant cream flowers. Loves damp meadows etc.

Merlin - Falco columbarius - Our smallest Falcon.
You may well see it perched on fence posts etc over moorland, but you will often see it in a blink of an eye, as it flies swift and low after such birds as Skylarks and Pipits.

Mole - Talpa europaea - 'I am a Mole & I live in a hole'
A tunnel dwelling mammal (Was a favourite of the Farm Kittens), black velvet like fur and feet like mini spades, which have very sharp claws. They feed on worms. You wake one morning to look out over your newly manicured lawn and see a wee mound of fresh soil, well that will be Moley.
The saying is; 'The bigger the mole hills, the hotter the summer'.

Mountain Hare - ​Lepus timidus - Found on Mountains and Moorland.
The Mountain Hare are native to us, whereas the Brown were introduced from Europe.
They are a tad smaller than the Browns and have shorter ears.
They turn white in winter, apart from their black ear tips.
Their main diet is Heather. P

​Ne'er cast a cloot, tis May is oot

New Moon - When you first see it, turn over all the money in your pocket, or take it out to show the moon.
And never point at a new moon.

Oak Tree - Oak before Ash, we're in for a splash.
A grand tree, which can all begin with a bird, the Jay!
Jays love Acorns, they collect and bury them, the buried ones, which often get forgotten about, will then germinate the following spring, were a pair of leaves will appear. With sunlight, they will supply the seedling with its first food, more leaves will hopefully grow and then rapid growth of said seedlings begins.
They can grow up to 1/2 a metre a year! The Oak, will reach its maximum size when its around 100 years old.
Then, it will produce Acorns, whilst continuing to fill out for another 200+ years. More Jays will come and on this wonderful cycle goes.
The Oak tree, is possibly home to more nature/wildlife, than any other tree.
Its timber has been popular for construction etc, because of its strength and who doesn't admire a grand ole ship, or an oak beamed room.

Osprey - ​Pandit haliaetus - A Classic Fisherman!
It can often look like a Gull from a distance, but then you will see it hover, then plunge talons first into the water for its meal.
It is a magnificent visitor.
The adult pair, will arrive at their nesting site singularly, waiting on the other to arrive (Often weeks) for the start of the breeding season.

Otter - Lutra lutra - Brown furred mammal, with a white throat and belly.
The Otter mainly feeds on fish. So when out near water, keep an eye open for fish bones on a rock, or broken pieces of urchin, chances are, that will have been an Otter feeding.
They are excellent swimmers and whilst watching them, the last hing you will see, is the pointed end of their tail as they are diving. Then watch for them coming out of the water and bounding along the land.
Did you know, that Otters have pockets, this is were they keep a wee pebble.
Otters were made more popular by the author Gavin Maxwell in his great book 'The Ring of Bright Water' (A MUST read if you haven't done so). And if you like such reads, 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson is another for your list.

Oystercatcher - Haematopus ostralegus - The most easily recognised of all our waders.
Black and white birds, with an orange beak and loud call.
Like most waders, they are a very active bird, though can often be seen in a one-legged pose. P

Peregrine - Falco peregrinus - FAST, FAST, FAST!
Stunning raptor, of a grey/blue colour. Seen in flight with its wings pinned back.
I was very privileged, to have known an amazing man, who during the war, it was his job to fly these magnificent birds, who were used to take down the messenger Pigeons used by the enemy. Here was an amazing partnership between man and birds. Each bird named, each had its own story, after they had died, a Taxidermist cased them for our friend, beautiful work. They intercepted some very important and crucial information, for which he was recognised for. I think of him often.

Pheasant - Phasianus colchicum - The most common of our Gamebirds.
Colourful and unmistakable. They were introduced to the UK back in the 11th century.
These birds have absolutely no road sense! P

Pine Marten - Martes martes - A carnivore and yes, he will eat your Chickens.
He will also catch a Red Squirrel.
But, they have a penchant for Apple Strudel, Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwiches!
They have distinct markings of a creamy patch on their throats, against rich dark brown fur.
A secretive mammal and mainly nocturnal, but you can see them in the daytime, especially for feeding young. Some folk call them the Tree Weasel.

Polecat - Mustela putorius - Pretty much a feral Ferret.
Dark brown with a black face and somewhat smelly, it used to be known as the 'Foul-mart'.

Primrose - ​Primula vulgaris - Ah, the pretty pale yellow flowered perennial with crinkly leaves.
Usually seen around Easter time and can often be seen in fields, woodlands, roadsides etc

Rabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus - Brown fur, long ears and a white fluffy tail.
Lives in warrens and is a vegetarian. A common mammal, but numbers can often fall due to outbreaks of the horrid disease, Myxomatosis. 
if you happen to see one suffering, you will be doing it a favour by putting it out of its misery, as they won't recover and just end up suffering more each day until they die from it. 
Rabbits don't just stick to the ground, they can swim and on the rare occasion, will climb trees! Talking of Trees, they do love a nibble on these and can soon do an awful lot of tree damage. P

Ragged Robin - Lychnis flo-cuculi - Not a scruffy bird, but a very pretty and delicate wild flower.
The ragged part, comes from the pink petals of this perennial, each of which is divided into four slender lobes.
Nae sure of the Robin part mind, perhaps the petals look like birds feet? If you know, then please let us know.

Rainbow - Plentiful in Scotland, but never point at one, or you'll have bad luck.
If you see one, make a wish (Hey, you never know).
You can often get double Rainbows, And if you see a triple one, you'll have luck and riches later in life (I have yet to see a triple one!). P

Red Breasted Merganser - Mergus serrator - Not dissimilar to the Goosander, with its orange toothed bill.
Has a spike feathered crest.
Again, more easily seen in winter.
And they dive for fish.

Red Deer - ​Cervus elaphus - Monarch of the Glen.
These mammals just lend themselves to the Scottish landscape (Though found elsewhere on the British Isles too).
Our largest Deer. Reddish colour in summer, turning to dark brown in winter. Only the Stags have antlers and the number of points on the antlers increase with age.
A Stag without antlers, is called a Hummel.
Each year, they grow a new pair of antlers, with each year comes a new branch, making more points than he had the previous year, until he reaches 10yrs old.
A stag with three points on each cup, is known as a Royal Stag. The cup of the crown, begins when they are 5yrs old.
Autumn is a fantastic time to watch them, as it is rutting time. It is indeed an awesome moment to hear the stags roaring. P

Red Kite - Milvus milvus - Easily identified in flight by its forked tail.
A very striking raptor.

Red Legged Partridge - ​Alectoris rufa - Or, often called a French Partridge.
More often seen than the Grey Partridge and more distinctive markings.

Red Squirrel - Sciurus vulgaris - Tufty! Our native Squirrel and everyones favourite.
Bushy tail, tufted ears, full of character, whats not to love!
Predominately red coat, with a white underpart, which gets thicker and darker during winter. During summer, his tail can almost become bleached and his ear tufts will disappear, then reappear in Autumn.
They mainly feed on nuts, seeds and funghi.
He used to be common, but sadly not now, due to the invasion of the Grey Squirrel.
Also, approx 80% of the young kits born in spring will not survive their first winter.
Please see links page to head to Red Squirrel website. P

Red Throated Diver - ​Gavia stellata - Swims with its head tilted upwards, so you will easily see its red throat when watching one.

Robin - Erithacus rubecula - Voted Britains National bird and easily identified by its red face and breast.
This characteristic songbird, is often a companion for Gardeners, following them around as they work, in the hope of getting a worm or two.
it is a territorial bird and to be honest, a bit of a bully to other songbirds!
As well as buying specialist nest boxes, old pots, kettles, boots etc can make great nesting sites for them too, but position them away from feline predators and with a Kettle etc, please bear in of rainwater, spout down, as we wouldn't want a washed out nest.
Then keep an eye out for the fledglings, as you will see that these are brown and speckled.
They'll be a frequent visitor to your bird table and do visit many homes during winter, by the way of a Christmas Card. P

Roe Deer - Capreolus chaperones - The Roe is quite a territorial Deer and unlike its larger counterparts, it is mainly a solitary Deer.
The Buck will have short antlers.
And look out for their white rump!

Scurvy-grass (Common) - ​Cochlearia officinalis - Yes, this plant was once used to prevent Scurvy, as it is a plant which is rich in vitamin c.
Also, the leaves were used for making Beer.
It comes from the Cabbage family and it is so much prettier than its name.
Find it near the coast, with its white flowers and glossy leaves.

​Seagull Seagull sit on the sand, its never good weather when you're on the land.

September - Will dry up ditches, or break down bridges.

Siskin - ​Carduelis spinus - Most likely to be seen towards the end of winter when the natural food supplies are low and they are preparing to migrate.
But typing this on 29th June, our garden here at Tulloch is full of them.

Snowdrop - Galanthus nivalis - The one to look out for at the start of the year.
A spring perennial, which, lets face it, starts in winter.
Narrow leaves and stems, which lead to a single delicate white nodding flower, which is tinged with green near the tips of its petals. All formed from wee bulbs, which are part of the Lily family.
A woodland with a carpet of Snowdrops is such a picture to see.

​Soay Sheep - The feral Sheep which live on St Kilda.

​Sparrowhawk - ​Accipiter nisus - Along with the Cat, this is every songbirds nightmare!
This is the raptor which you will see swooping low through your garden.
It will catch a songbird in flight and shows no mercy!

Stinging Nettle/Common Nettle - Urtica dioica - I know many will think of this Nettle as as a weed which they do not want in their gardens, but please leave a clump or two if you can. They are good for wildlife, Butterflies love them.
They can make great soup and tea and in Scotland, you used to get Nettle Table Cloths & Bed Linen!
Like many plants, you get males and females. On the male nettle, the flowers stick out and on the females, they hang down.
"Tender-handed stroke a nettle and it stings you for your pains. Grasp it like a man of mettle and as soft as silk it remains".

Sunshine and shower, rain again tomorrow.

Teal - Anas crecca - Our smallest Duck. Has a brown head and a striking green patch. P

Thrift - Armeria maritima - Along the coast, you will find this cushion forming perennial, with its pink flowers.
A carpet of Thrift on cliffs, against a blue sky background, is a pretty thing indeed.

Water Avens - Geum rival - Dark red and pink flower, a member of the Rose family, which you will find in wet/damp places.

Water Vole - Arvicola terrestrial - Our 'Wind in the Willows' type mammal, which is sadly now under threat.
Plump wee thing, with reddish brown fur, though many of them in the Highlands are black.
Water and Riverbanks are its home. Sit still and watch this fellow eat, as he holds the vegetation between his front feet, merrily nibbling away.
Early morning and early evening are the best times to see them.
Actually classed as a rodent, but so much nicer than Ratty! P

​Whirligig Beetle - ​Gyrinus natator - Small black shiny Beetle and lives up to its name, by whirling over water.

White Dead-Nettle - A non stinging Nettle, with a slight fragrance.
When I was a child, I would pull off one of these white flowers and suck the stem end, you got such a sweet nectar taste, no wonder the Bees love them. And they are best left for our precious Bees.

White Tailed Eagle - Haliaeetus albicilla - Fabulous Bird!
Very aptly named because of its white tail, though, this can often be hidden by its wings.
Large, but agile and a very skilled Fisherman! It will hunt on waterbirds too.

Winter Solstice - Is St Thomas's Day and at noon, notice which direction the wind is blowing, as it will stay the same for text lunar quarter.

Wood Anemone - Anemone numerous - One of the earliest spring flowers. Pretty white flower, though, not the nicest of scents.
Because of its smell, some people call them 'Smell Foxes'.
Pheasants like to eat the flowers.
It never opens its petals but when the wind blows, hence its other name, Windflower.

Yellow Archangel - Lamiastrum galeobdolon - Basically, it looks like a yellow flowered Nettle.
It is from the Mint family, has toothed triangular leaves (Sometimes variegated), is very pretty and does not sting.