For a birdwatcher, it is renowned as the Scottish stronghold of the hawfinch, a large, but surprisingly elusive, finch that has an odd preference for living in the grounds of stately homes.
On Tuesday, Crafty Green Boyfriend and I decided to walk from our B&B in Perth to Scone Palace, meet the hawfinches and catch a bus back. The walk there takes you through farm fields where yellowhammers and skylarks sing, then woodland, including along part of the lovely Quarrymill Woodland Park. We discovered a lovely woodland walk that we'd never walked before, full of elegant birches and rhododendrons, the latter which are invasive but still very pretty.
The grounds of Scone Palace are renowned for their trees. The botanist David Douglas was born in Scone and was responsible for introducing a number of tree species to the UK, including the Douglas Fir (I didn't check, but I think the trees in this photo, taken from the David Douglas Pavilion, are Douglas Firs).
sand martins, oystercatchers and a common sandpiper among other birds.
We kept our eyes open as we wandered round, but we didn't see any hawfinches. We did however see a couple of spotted flycatchers, our first for the year and another elusive species. And we saw another yellowhammer, which Crafty Green Boyfriend caught on film (click on the photo to enlarge it).
We then walked back to our B&B, as it hadn't been as long a walk as we had originally thought it would be.
***A reminder that I'm running a blog giveaway to win a pdf of my book Bougainvillea Dancing, poetry, prose and photos inspired by Malawi. Find out more and enter here.
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