"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

28 July 2007

Each week the Rampant Scotland Newsletter includes a number of photographs which illustrate the weather and the seasons, plus the flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. This separate "colour supplement" displays some more pictures, in a larger format. Here is this week's crop of Scottish views!

All the poor weather in Scotland in recent months has meant that butterflies have not had much opportunity to venture out - which will have a knock-on effect on the next generation. So it was a pleasure to see a number of butterflies at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds nature reserve on the shores of Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross. With those distinctive markings, it is easy to remember that this butterfly is a "Ringlet".

This may be a Common Sandpiper (there are Green and Wood Sandpipers too) but they are not seen all that frequently. They are summer visitors as far as Scotland is concerned, nesting here in upland areas and raising their family before returning to central and southern Africa. As you can see, they are wading birds and are usually seen at the edge of lochs and rivers or on the coast. The numbers of these small birds has been declining in recent years.

Here's a real sign of summer - the large, colourful trumpets of Lavatera - the tree mallow. These showy flowers come in all sorts of varieties of different colours and are valued for their profusion of large flowers - they can be several inches across.

The launch of the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series induced many booksellers to put on special displays to attract children to come and buy the book. The Borders bookshop at the Glasgow Fort in the east end of Glasgow was no exception. They had a good collection of owls, falcons and other birds. They were all carefully tethered to their perches - except when a passer-by was brave enough to come and have their photo taken with one of the birds perched on their hand. The attractive bird in the picture here is a Scops Owl, which is not normally found in the wild in Scotland as it breeds in southern Europe and eastwards into western and central Asia.

The Meadow Brown is not such a colourful butterfly as the Red Admiral, Painted Lady or Peacock varieties, but it is attractive in its own subdued way.

Another bird of prey on display outside the Borders bookshop was this fine hybrid falcon, half Peregrine Falcon and half Saker Falcon. Hybrids are bred in the hope that the qualities of both birds will be brought out in the young. The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird on earth, reaching speeds of 200mph in a dive. The Saker Falcon is a very large species of falcon. By combining the two, the hope is that both the size and speed valued in each of the pure blooded parents will combine.

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

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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