Friday the 16th of November
My two youngest daughters (Sarah and Marie, affectionately known to their friends as Sez and Maz) are up from Cheltenham for a couple of days, and I'm taking them to visit the grounds of Culzean Castle.
It's a cold but dry day. I take them via Colmonell where we get this view of one of my favourite hills, Knockdolian.
We park at the visitors centre where a double decker load of art students from the Glasgow School of Art have just dismounted.
We head down the steps to the shore via the old gasworks. A lone swan scavenges for food among the rocks.
The incoming tide means we can only get as far as the first of the caves.
These snails are congregated on one of the pillars shown in the first collage.
After a look at what was the gasworks, we climb the steps to the castle.
I get my photo taken. Which one is father time ?
The castle itself is closed for the winter season, but the girls are quite happy looking round the grounds.
Many of the art students have settled to sketch their subjects.
The 'Battery' was completed in 1815 coinciding with the end of the Napoleonic wars. Sarah jumped the gun around 1315.
Much of Arran was under cloud, but Holy Island was nicely in view.
We headed over to the Swan Pond for our sandwiches. An alcove next to the refreshments kiosk kept us out of the bitterly cold wind.
We were treated to some nice flying displays from the birds.
This pied wagtail kept running back and forward along the wall. There's probably enough crumbs to keep him happy, swan pond visitors fetch plenty of bread.
I'd intended a run back home via the village of Barr, but the road was closed so instead I took the Knowe road at Barrhill to catch this view of Loch Maberry
Back home we rested up before heading to Stranraer for a charity ceilidh at the Masonic Hall in Stranraer. There were quite a number of my walking friends from the Wigtownshire Ramblers in attendance, so a very enjoyable night was had by all.
Saturday the 17th of November
We're heading for Garlieston today.
First stop was in Wigtown at the Martyr's Monument
After parking in Garlieston we take the shore path south. It's a quite cool, but absolutely beautiful day.
A Scallop Dredger, the Siarach III SY85 is tied up on the jetty.
We haven't gone far before we're treated to some of our winged friends. According to Sarah who knows quite a bit about birds today we saw among others Buzzards, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Common Scoter, Curlew and a female Merlin. Some are photographed below.
A friendly robin
It's Molly again from last months walk
A good mix of decaying fungus
The first of quite a few Grey Herons seen today.
A bite to eat on Rigg Bay.
Regular readers of this blog will know I'm not against wind-farms if they are rightly thought out, but a proposal for 90 turbines a short way out in Wigtown Bay will seriously affect what we see here.
I'm supporting the Keep Wigtown Bay Natural campaign.
Here's another Grey Heron. Walking south we'd heard the odd distinctive Curlew call. Now we were hearing it more regularly.
I got lucky with the camera.
We take a walk through Galloway House Gardens.
Here's a nice profile! Name that bird?
This lichen has a long legged spider attached to it, but for some reason I could not get a good macro shot of it.
The photograph below isn't mine.
I am totally green with envy over this picture. Some people have said I have an eye for a picture, but I'm a total amateur besides Marie. I've seen some amazing shots on her Facebook page, and once again she's got the shot of the day. This is an absolutely beautiful picture,
Here's an interesting treetop and a couple of domesticated birds.
We thought that this was a female Merlin and well it might be, but could it be a young Hen Harrier ?
Here's a shy creature.......................
..............recognizable as a 'Sez' from behind.
Again I was lucky with the camera to catch a Heron in flight.
I'm not sure how many Curlews we did see, but it was quite a few.
The tide has come well in while we walked. As we head back towards Garlieston we see lots of Oystercatchers.
I take some video
Oyster Catchers and other birds just south of Garlieston in South West Scotland.
Filmed on Saturday the 17th of November 2012.
Background music courtesy of Moby and http://www.mobygratis.com/film-music.html
is 'Division' from the album 'Wait For Me'
Now on the Garlieston Breakwater we spot this arrow and rivet !
Does this particular stone date back to the Mulberry Harbour days ? It certainly looks like a W.D arrow.
I'd love to know it's origins.
After leaving Garlieston we're heading west on the B7052 when Marie asks me to stop so that she can take a picture.
No photo trickery here. Isn't she good !
I'm glad she's going to start a blog. I'll subscribe.
It's Port William we're heading for...................
...............and the sunset.
The sea's a bit choppy and it's blowing a gale. This fishing boat persevered till sundown.
We'll stay till the sun goes down.
The Mull of Galloway is right in line with the setting sun.
I take some more video.
I take some more video.
Filmed at Port William on Saturday the 17th of November 2012. I apologize for the poor quality, it was blowing a gale outside, and doesn't really reflect just how beautiful it was. I'm really uploading it for the nice accompanying music by Moby at http://www.mobygratis.com/film-music.html . It's an unreleased piece called 'Open'
Thanks for visiting girls, we had a great time.