The Quick Thaw …

Pulled back the curtains this morning, to see a fresh covering of Snow.
The day was off to a good start.
Though was short lived when I realised I had run out of Coffee!!!
Had to make do with Alistair’s Kenco.

Whilst having morning coffee, I noticed about a dozen Siskins in the garden, so they must be about to return, though these soon flitted off.
I don’t think Barclay’s constant barking helped! He was stood at the gate in full voice for a few minutes, but as I write, I still have absolutely no idea what or why.
After I had got Barclay calmed down, I let the Poultry out, fresh snow seems to send the Ducks in to a skittish frame of mind and that was it, they were soon away flying down the glen.
Then Barclays Groomer came to collect him for Spa Day, waved them off only to discover I hadn’t closed the door and there was the tame Sheep in the sunroom chewing me writing desk! Had to lure him out with a Parsnip!

Come lunchtime, the temperature had reached a balmy 4c and the Snow began to thaw quickly and I saw our first Snowdrops & Aconites.
Also, McQuack had returned. I walked down the road in search of the other Duck, but no sign of McDuck anywhere.
Got the yard brushed and then finished prepping for tonights guests.
It was then I saw a flash of something fly by the kitchen window, McDuck had finally returned. So where he had been for the last 4hrs, lord knows.
Told him anymore of that and he’ll be getting his wings clipped!
Ruddy Ducks!!!

Looked across the river to see that a Herd of 8 Fallow (Including 2 young) had appeared, haven’t seen these ones before, so will keep an eye on them. They seemed happy enough for a few hours.

By 3pm, you wouldn’t believe we had had Snow, that was one quick thaw, though pleased to see more is forecast.

Tonights guests have arrived and are here for three days Skiing.
Barclay back from his Spa Day looking and smelling all posh, but of course doubt that will last.
Another Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients recipe for dinner tonight, okay, but looks nothing like in the book!
Still weary and hoping can get a better nights sleep tonight, thought I had improved some last night, but Alistair has just informed me that I called out for Dad again 😦

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Blanket of Snow

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Sheep chews Desk

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First Snowdrops

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And Aconites

 

 

Transition…

As a few of you will know, my Father passed away on Monday 29th January 2018.
And I have just returned to Scotland after a couple of weeks in Yorkshire.
On the morning of my return home, someone was wishing me well with my travels and on about me having to pick up the pieces on my return home.
Thats the thing, How do you pick up the pieces?
I do not know how to, as one of the main pieces, is now missing and the life I knew before has ceased, but … I do know how to start again.
Lets face it, I have had one or two new starts in life and that is something I can do and adapt to.
Someone had left a kind comment on Facebook and used the word Transition and I personally think that is apt, that is what this is.
Have already began to change a few small things, like routine etc

For some months now, I have been mulling over the idea of doing an online journal, life in the Glens, Guests, Work, etc etc
But wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to go about it and when discussing with a couple of close friends, had even thought about an anonymous journal.
But yesterday it finally came to me and as it often has been throughout my life, that inspiration came from my Father yet again.
For decades, my Father has kept diaries. Part of his early morning routine, was writing up the previous days events and whilst I have only seen a few entries, they were mainly about the Countryside and Nature, but often included events, personal thoughts etc
Yesterday, I decided to pick up the gauntlet and carry on his tradition.
And I already had begun The Nature Diaries (Of sorts).
No idea yet what or how I will post, as to be honest, at the moment I just seem to be pottering around aimlessly and feel nothing but emptiness and numbness.
Some days you may get an essay, others may just say North Wind doth blow.
Today has been almost Spring like, after a -5c and icy start, the sun had burst and we’ve had a day of bright blue skies, exactly the kind of day it was on the morning of Friday 26th January, as it was one of the last full conversations I had with my Father, which resulted in him asking the Doctors & Nurses to move his bed so he could see for himself out of the window, also for them to open said window, so he could feel the breeze.
This they duly did and his bed stayed in that position until his passing.

This is for you Father
– Karen – xIMG_3124IMG_3125

 

Great Spotted Woodpecker …

Over the last few weeks, I have been watching the comings & goings of Woodpeckers to the feeders.
Definitely 2 different lots nesting, perhaps even 3!

Anyhoo, this mornings coffee rewarded me with such a treat.
Hearing a sound, I follow it and see we have a juvenile in the garden.
He hopped onto the birdbath, called out for feeding (He best make on, as the parents only feed them for approx a week after fledging) and then he decided to take a wee bath, before popping up a tree.
A true delight to watch!

Down in Yorkshire, in my parents garden, they too have had W,oodpeckers visiting the garden, but they raided the nearby nesting boxes and mum & dad witnessed the new hatched young been pulled out by Woody.
They are known for doing this and will raid boxes for eggs too, all to feed.
You can get metal rings for your nest box entrance holes and its a good idea to do so, will help stop Woody taking other chicks!

Will be keeping a look out to see if more juveniles appear
– Karen – x

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Watching & Waiting

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Breakfast Time

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Having a Drink

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Red Top

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Having a wee bath & joined by a Siskin

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Away up a Tree

 

A Lump in my Throat…

With this new February Snow, am keeping an eye open for new Birds etc and am pleased to report that the Yellow Hammer has made an appearance for the first time at Tulloch this morning and that we have two Tree Creepers in the garden.

I have also been watching our Wee Buck on a daily basis.
Other Fallow have now appeared in the field to find food, so was interested to see how our Wee Buck would react to his fellow Deer.
This morning has seen a fresh Stag appear, very grand he is.
After hanging around grazing all morning, the fresh Stag has led the way to find shelter for this afternoon, watching them all jump the fence one by one, there was one hind, a younger Stag and our Wee Buck left, as I type, it looks like the hind and younger Stag are trying to encourage our Wee Buck to jump the fence also and I can’t but help feel a wee lump in me throat, is today the day he leaves us to join the herd???
– Karen – x

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Our Wee Buck

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Another Stag we saw, notice his Antlers!

Loch Tulloch …

Christmas and Hogmanay have just flown on by, it seems to have been nothing but constant work and there hasn’t been enough hours in the day and I ended 2016 feeling a tad frustrated at been behind the schedule in my head, but, today has seen GREAT progress.

AT LAST, work has begun on the wildlife Pond (Well now actually a Loch).
We have a builder here at present and his work required the use of a mini digger, I said brilliant, as I had just the job for it!

Now this pond Loch, has been in my mind for sometime, Alistair and I had discussed it, planned a size etc.
Our builder (Who we shall name as Bob), got the digger into position and would begin the scraping, he had soon gotten round to working round the wee island, I halted proceedings and said I thought that we should go bigger.
Off Bob went to get stakes etc and the new size was marked out, he began to continue and I would go to make us a Coffee.

Coffees in hand, I returned, he had pretty much got it done.
Bob jumped off the digger for his beverage, saw my face and said; ‘You want to go bigger don’t you’?
I said, yes, just a wee bit.
It was 15minutes later, when the pond then became a Loch!

There is lots more work to do yet, but am filled with joy at todays progress and my mind is full of excitement and am already imaging the Flocks of Ducks and Skeins of Geese which will visit us in the future (Unless Barclay claims it as his very own Swimming Pool)
– Karen – x

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The Digger Arrives

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Hmmm, think it needs to be bigger

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Bit bigger still

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Bob

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Yes, I was allowed on said Digger 😃😃😃

The Badger tit …

After the Siskins and Chaffinch dominated the garden here in Spring and Summer, September, October & November heralded a new leader and that was the Coal tit – Parus ater.
I have never seen as many together in one place and there could be up to 2 dozen in the garden at once!

The Coal tit, is one of Europes smallest Birds and is the smallest of the British tits.
It is easily recognisable due to its black head and white nape patch.
And I was told the other day, that in Lincolnshire, it is known as the Badger tit, which really does suit this wee character.

The hierarchy, is changing yet again in the garden here at Tulloch and I am really looking forward to see what birds winter will bring us.
– Karen- x

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On Top of the World

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Loves Suet Feeders

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Coal tit on Fir

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Watching the snow

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Dining Together

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Compare its size to the Chaffinch & Great tit

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A Wee Beak-full

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With the Greenfinch

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With Female Chaffinch

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Coming into feed

You can take the lass out of Gamekeeping …

… But you can’t take Gamekeeping out of the lass!

We have been getting some new visitors to Tulloch, so of course I have had to accommodate them.
The Nature Cams have picked up some of them, here is just a random selection of our Pheasants and Red-legged Partridge.
Our AirBnB Guests have been watching them and up to now, at any one time, there has been 16 Partridge & 7 Pheasants.
Lots more footage to sort through

– Karen – x

Pheasants & Poodles… 

Of late, quite a few Pheasants have appeared here at Tulloch. 

Now in my experience, I can tell you, that they aren’t the brightest of Birds, but you can often get a few Characters amongst them. 

And one of those characters seems to have turned up here at Tulloch. 

It stands at the other side of the hedge and when Barclay is out in the garden, it will start calling out, this in turn, has made Barclay start to bark. 

Both are getting worse each day, so it ends up with me fastening Barclay inside to quieten them both down. 

No sooner does the click of the door shut, the Pheasant flies into the garden to feed and also seems to do a victory strutt over the lawn, whilst the disgruntled Poodle looks on from the inside. 

If I think on,  will have to try and film it all. 

1-0 to the Pheasant I reckon, maybe they aren’t that dim after all lol 

-Karen-x