Monday, 11 October 2010

Montrose Basin

We spent a lovely few days in Montrose and had several walks round the Montrose Basin. Our first walk was on a beautiful evening, with wonderful warm, low sunlight, redwings flying around the bushes round the paths and a good number of geese and ducks on the water.


Our other walks all took place in dreich, drizzly weather (for non-Scots unfamiliar with the term dreich, just look at the photos and you'll get the idea!). The mist was incredibly atmospheric and we saw thousands of pink footed geese, grazing on the mudflats, taking off in great honking flocks and then landing again to continue grazing. There are apparently 65 000 pink footed geese at the Basin now and more still arriving! We saw more shelduck than we've ever seen anywhere (I always love the shelduck's patchwork quilt appearance) and lots of eider too. We got very close to the eider, not only close enough to have a good look at the males' characteristic green 'ears' and pinkinsh breasts but to hear the whole flock making a weird 'woo-ooo' sound under its breath. There were also lots of lapwings, always a joy to see with their wonderfully floppy wings and their dancing flight, lots of oystercatcher and curlew too (both of which have lovely haunting calls). Plenty of smaller waders too, redshanks which are easy to recognise because of their red legs but others too, which in poor light and at quite a distance were much more difficult to recognise.

There is a walk round the basin and a Visitor Centre (run by Scottish Wildlife Trust) complete with outdoor hides and an indoor area that overlooks the Basin through huge picture windows lined with high quality telescopes and binoculars.

A wonderful place to go birding!

17 comments:

Kelly said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful and productive trip. I like the word dreich to describe the environment. It is very fitting for a condition I enjoy. I really enjoy reading your post and how involved you are in nature.

The Weaver of Grass said...

How I wish the fieldfares and redwings had got here Juliet - so much food waiting for them and still they have not arri ved.

Caroline Gill said...

You sound quite euphoric! What a productive and enjoyable expedition to an area I do not (as yet...) know.

What atmospheric photos!

It was all pretty quiet down on our wetland (WWT Llanelli) at the w/e ... though still a few sleepy Dragonflies about and a flock of largely Long- tailed Tits.

sandy, from gardenpath said...

That is one of those words that sounds like what it is.
The photos are lovely, and I'll bet you enjoyed the birds there. I am seeing traveling birds here, today a bunch of bluebirds.

PurestGreen said...

Beautiful spot. I love the glorious creepiness the mist brings to the world.

Selma said...

I enjoy your walks so much. The photos are almost otherworldly. So glad you got to see all those birds!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Never heard the word before, but surely know the meaning!!

Gi-. said...

i'm a bird, now!

:)

ciao,
g.

Despairing said...

A few years ago, on the train coming north into Montrose.

We're going over the bridge in your photo, and the steward and cleaner were standing behind me.

I caught glimpse of something below, and blurted out at the top of my voice "F*** me, look at the size of that swan!"

It was a pedalo.

I wasn't allowed to forget that one for quite a while!

Gillena Cox said...

thanks for sharing; i like it so much when you include the hyperlinks within yor dialogue

much love
gillena

Megan Coyle said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful visit. Lovely photos by the way - and I just love it when my surroundings are really misty. There's something enchanting/dreamlike about the world when it's filled with mist.

Gabrielle Bryden said...

Sounds marvellous - can't believe they provide telescopes and binoculars. It's spring here in Australia so lots of babies being born, and lots of very protective parents divebombing passers by. I saw some baby emus on Monday but couldn't get any photos, unfortunately.

Rambling Woods said...

I like that word..it would fit today here in NY..gray. wet... cold...I would love to go back to Scotland having only seen it as a child. My Grandfather and his sisters had such wonderful stories.....Michelle

Greenearth said...

Mist does create such a special atmosphere.

EG Wow said...

I like the word dreich. We have lots of dreich weather, especially in November, which is coming up! In spite of the dreich you certainly saw many birds! (Can you tell I like the word dreich?)

Leora said...

Looks like a special place. How nice to be able to enjoy all those birds.

Wren said...

"dreich" is perfect to describe the weather and environment - even the sound of it is descriptive. And so many birds to see and enjoy. Scotland must be in my future!