Saturday, 7 August 2010

Easter Craiglockart Hill

We had a lovely walk today. We originally tried to get to Wester Craiglockart Hill, which is renowned for its unspoiled grassland meadows, but although we had once accidentally found ourselves on Wester Craiglockart Hill, today we couldn't find a proper path up from where we were, so we walked up the road to Craiglockart Pond. The pond is beautifully fringed with reeds and water plants that hide large numbers of young waterbirds. A pair of moorhens had raised 8 young and a pair of swans had raised that number too, the cygnets being adolecents now. One of the moorhen parents came out of the water and showed us its beautiful yellow legs with red knees and the odd looking greenish feet. We didn't take a photo as we were too engrossed in the bird's dance and didn't want to scare it by moving too much.
We then walked round Easter Craiglockart Nature Trail which passes through some lovely woodland and up on to some open land, some of which is scattered with gorse bushes, some of which has become gold courses. We saw several rabbits hiding in gorse tunnels. Then we noticed a tiny toad clambering through the rain drenched grass. Then another. And another! There were quiet a lot of tiny toads in that grass and no nearby water body to account for that number. We think they must have come from Craiglockart Pond and clambered up a steep wooded hill and through the gorse to get to where they were.
We walked home along the Union Canal, which is at the moment a wonderful riot of colour with meadowsweet, great hairy willowherb , tufted vetch and various other flowers all in bloom and full of bees. We counted at least three species of bumble bees plus a couple of honey bees. Hoverflies and a few moths too.

15 comments:

Captain Shagrat said...

Love frogs, sometimes the camera is intrusive and its better to just enjoy the moment rather than capture it.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Shagrat - i agree entirely, we weren't going to even photograph the toads but they made it too easy for us to want to miss the chance!

Howard BME said...

I know where to find the secret path to Wester Craiglockhart Hill! You’ll have to get me either to explain or to show you one day. I managed to lead a group up both hills a couple of weeks ago, and saw a remarkably tame bunny on Easter Craiglockhart Hill.

Cathy said...

What a beautiful walk and how lovely to see so much wildlife Juliet. I see quite a few frogs around locally but not to many toads. I love toads, warts and all!

Lucy said...

We saw quite a lot of either tiny frogs or toads out walking the other day; we concluded they must be frogs as they seemed smooth and jumped quite far, but it seems late for frogs now, so perhaps they were toads.

Moorhens and their chicks are very endearing creatures, I think. You certainly find some good places to walk roundabout. I like the name here too!

Naquillity said...

what a great walk you've had. the area sounds beautiful and full of wildlife. your toad picture is awesome. hope all is well.

Rabbits' Guy said...

"Low bridge, everybody down. Low bridge 'cause we're comin' to a town ..."

Navigatin' on the Erie Canal!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

my daughters used to bring tiny toads like this in the house and let them loose. hahaha i havent thought of that in years! thanks!

HKatz said...

I have a special fondness for frogs and toads, and when hiking try to stay on the lookout for them.

I'm glad you enjoyed your rich and varied walk.

Kelly said...

I just happened across your blog last night and took a little time to look over some of the others you are associated with. I am very impressed with the things you are involved in and can see where a lot of your inspiration comes from. I have recently started writing a bit and appreciate seeing some of the stuff you have up.

bunnits said...

That must have been a delightful walk.

Caroline Gill said...

What a great walk, CGP. The Toad is so cute! We took a walk to do the butterfly survey... only to find we had missed the deadline [my fault entirely!] ... but it was a good exercise anyway and we enjoyed it so much we repeated it the following day in sunnier conditions.

Lisa said...

My grandmother's house used to have cute tiny little toads like that. Whenever we would play outside, we'd have to be very very careful not to step on them.

DazyDayWriter said...

Loved this sentence -- great visual!

One of the moorhen parents came out of the water and showed us its beautiful yellow legs with red knees and the odd looking greenish feet.

Have a lovely week, always enjoy stopping by to see what you are up to!

JoMo said...

Sounds like a lovely walk. Moorhens! What a treat!