"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

18 February 2006

Each week the Scottish Snippets Newsletter includes a number of photographs which illustrate the weather, flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. 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!


This female goosander appears to be looking over her shoulder as she races away from the camera. Certainly, goosanders are generally shy birds and are not often within range of my camera to get a clear picture, far less one that shows the water droplets on her back.


Goldeneye are usually shy birds too and this pair headed away from near the edge of Hogganfield Loch as soon as I approached. While both the male and female goldeneye both sport a "golden eye," their feathers produce two very different designs. As is often the case, the male is more brightly coloured, with more white and that circular patch on his cheek. After over-wintering in the Lowlands, these goldeneye will probably return to the Highlands to make their nest in a hole in a tree. During incubation of the eggs, the male will abandon the mother who will then rear the chicks on her own. She doesn't feed them, but takes the day-old chicks to a nearby stretch of water, where they will swim and dive immediately and feed themselves.


A few weeks ago there were pictures of a small number of snowdrops at Colzium Estate. Now there are large drifts of them at Finlaystone Estate in Renfrewshire, where they recently had their "Snowdrop Weekend" when visitors wander through the woods admiring the carpets of snowdrops on each side of the pathways.

Long-tailed Tit

Adult long-tailed tits are around 5.5 inches long - of which the tail is 3.5 inches. They are rare visitors to suburban gardens, but clearly the peanut cake hanging from the branch of a hawthorn tree in my garden has attracted them. They usually flock together in large groups in the countryside, but so far only three of these attractive birds have been bold enough to venture so close to human habitation. They are amongst the most acrobatic of all the tits and finches.


Feral pigeons are so numerous and commonplace in our towns and cities that we tend to take them for granted - and regard them as pests. But when viewed close up, they do have attractive colours. This one, in Hogganfield Park in Glasgow, may just have fluffed up its feathers to combat the cold - but has probably also over-indulged on the "fast food" provided by many of the human visitors!

Tufted Duck

I have a soft spot for the tufted ducks - known to their friends as "tuffties". They are fairly shy birds and have a hard job trying to compete with the much faster and aggressive coots and seagulls when there is any bread etc being thrown into the water. But when they do manage to grab a piece of bread, they can escape with it by diving under the water!

If you want to look back at earlier editions of this Colour Supplement, there is an Index Page

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