Each week the Scottish Snippets Newsletter includes a number of photographs which illustrate the flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. On occasions, there are so many such graphics worth including that a separate "colour supplement" is created so as not to totally overload the Newsletter. Here is this week's crop!
For a number of weeks Mallards have been moulting, producing some strange colour schemes! They are unable to fly while in this state so they are no doubt relieved for practical reasons as well as aesthetic when their new plumage grows back in - helped by much preening by the birds. This Mallard is almost "back to normal".
The noticeboard at the RSPB Nature Reserve at Vane Farm, Kinross, excitedly proclaimed "Egbert's Back" early in September 2005. Egbert (more correctly, a Little Egret) had spent the previous winter at Vane Farm. Little Egrets are normally found in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia but with global warming they have now spread to the UK, with around 2,000 appearing here, but mainly in southern England. Hence the excitement at Vane Farm. By next spring, Egbert will be sporting a long plume of feathers at the back of his head.
One of the delights of a country park like Drumpellier in North Lanarkshire is being able to go back time and again to see how the birds which have hatched out are growing up. This Moorhen chick is now able to fend for himself (herself?) and has soon learned to grab any bread thrown its way.
The title given to this picture is "Ouch"! Many people ignore the notices asking the public not to feed the birds at Drumpellier Country Park - and the birds have learned to spot at a distance any plastic bag with bread inside. There can be severe competition for such food, with gulls swooping down to get their share. In this picture, it looks as though the Mallard has successfully won the race and is not letting go the bread in its beak, despite the gull mis-timing its run and landing on the duck's back!
With fewer and fewer flowers in bloom, bees are no doubt grateful for the flowers which are still appearing on heather plants.
Normally the illustrations in this section are of plants, birds, animals or scenery. But the inclusion of this picture of the Red Arrows at the Battle of Britain Air Display at Leuchars in Fife last Saturday does show the grey skies that day...
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