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Friday, 28 February 2014

The Penkiln Burn and Blairmount Pond

Last day of February 2014
I've been full of cold, coughing and sneezing most of the week, but felt better enough to venture out a couple of times today.
It was a lovely day and felt like spring.
My first outing was a short walk up the Penkiln Burn. 
View from the Queen Mary Bridge.
The smoke is from tree workers cutting down Rhododendrons. I think it's part of the Scottish Governments plans to control invasive species. I don't understand why they're bothering with this section though, the river's split in two here and it's virtually an island.!

Though the water levels have dropped somewhat, there's still enough flow to make the waterfalls tumble.

Nature doing it's own recycling.

This looks to be a 'Many-Zoned Polypore' variety.

I think this is a Wood Mushroom

We had an overnight frost. It's a pity we hadn't had more frost these last few weeks, it would have killed off a lot of bugs. Guaranteed to see midges early this year. (Unless we get some prolonged late frost) 

My two favourite burns in the area are the Palnure, and this, the Penkiln.
If I had to choose I think the Penkiln would just edge it simply by it's variety of colours.

I keep hoping I'll get to photograph one of the many otters in the burn. I have seen them, but never quick enough to get a picture. Even when I sit for a while, I imagine they're peeping out to see if I'm still there.

Another of the many waterfalls.

There are still lots of pools on the river's edges from the flooding.
Some snowdrops are now past their best, but these along here are just about in full bloom.

I liked this reflection.

I'd sat and waited for this dipper to re-emerge from the bank on my way out, only it never re-appeared. It was only on my way back I managed to get a quick picture. 

Specks of foam making an interesting picture.

More snowdrops.

My second outing of the day was around Blairmount Pond
Occasional clouds stood out sharply against the bright sunshine.

Could we see more cygnets on Blairmount this year ?

I only saw the one swan though, perhaps it's the male arriving early to check out the site ?

The ducks on Blairmount are very human friendly, quite a number of them have been well fed by the locals from when they were ducklings.

This duck just landed creating a wake in front of him.

There seems to be around ten male mallards and only one female. Above is a highly cropped image, I was off the platform when I looked back to see it jumping up.

 As I approached the bank around the other side, birds were making a beeline for me. Someone is feeding them well !

If that's the same cloud, it hasn't moved much in half an hour.

Is this crow just sunbathing I wonder ?

It's been a lovely day, and even though my sinuses aren't quite right I think my outing today's done me good.
Rambling tomorrow hopefully.


  1. Your photos are spectacular! I can almost hear and smell the water, and the birds are such a delight.

  2. You must be feeling a lot better Jim as the photos are brilliant. Love the ducks on Blairmore and the swans and that's a great power pole!

  3. I know it's Blairmount, truly! I just type 'Blairmore' because I used to reside in a Blairmore Lane!

  4. Thanks Linda, happy Montreal Sunday to you.

    Hi Rose, I'm always optimistic about feeling good, but the realities of bad backs and chesty coughs sometimes dent that. Blairmore - Blairmount ! there's only a reunt difference.
    REUNT :- Not as uncommon as you might think, this from Ancestry.Com - 5,347 Historical Documents and Family Trees with Reunt on 3,355 Birth, Marriage, and Deaths: 231 Military Records: 1,047 Immigration Records

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  6. Dippers are great birds to watch - that little stream through the woods at Gatehouse seems to be well supplied with them. I like the multicoloured tree ring effect on the fungus on the fallen log.

    1. I love fungii Sandy, I must get down to what I call 'Fungi Alley' at Kirroughtree before summer arrives.
      I've sat and watched those dippers at Gatehouse, they seem to be less bothered by people than in other locations.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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