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Friday, 22 August 2014

Cygnet update, Pond Skaters and the River Bladnoch August 2014

Over on Blairmount Pond all six cygnets seem in fine fettle

Their size is rapidly increasing. I make it that they're now two and a half months old.
They should be with us till December then.

The Creebridge heron still looks good too.

So today Thursday 21st of August I took a walk up the river Bladnoch from the distillery.
Though it's up for sale it was quite busy with holidaymakers getting stocked up with the 'usquebaugh'
A spooky pair of trees caught my attention.

There's a youtube video coming up later.
Here's my accompanying information 
( There's a path goes north from the Bladnoch Distillery through a nice plantation. It runs alongside the River Bladnoch. It also has running to the opposite side of the path a sluice/lade, now mostly very slow running water. As I walked along I saw a lot of movement on the water surface, so I took this short video. As well as the pond skaters, I'm not sure, but perhaps the smaller creatures are water boatmen. This was the only video I took of them, but as I walked further up the river I came across multitudes both in the lade and in the river. Today must have been their day.
The accompanying music I downloaded from and is an excerpt from an instrumental called 'Summer's Coming' by Dexter Britain.)

I really wanted to get close enough to take a macro shot, but after almost coming to grief I decided just to zoom in for pictures.

It was a strange sight as they seemed to be moving forward yet staying in the same place.

This was my best single shot.

These are possibly water boatmen, but I can't be sure.
While the pond skaters went at a pace I could follow, these were much more frenetic.

Here's the video clip 

The sluice/lade almost seems stagnant at times, but there are run offs into the river.

Across the river at Linghar a man and two women were fishing. A young lad was exploring.
One of the ladies cast too far and caught her hook on my bank, but she'd worked it loose just before I got to it.
I don't know how much success they had, but not far up river is the Torhouse Trout Farm !

Below the bridge at the distillery the water level seemed quite low. This stretch is one of deep water even during dry periods.

It's quite stunningly beautiful.

Where I'm standing taking this picture is by the weir that originally fed the sluice/lade
I disturbed a mighty heron sitting in a tree here.
On the OS map at this point are the letters NTL, I'll make a guess that it means Normal Tidal Limit.

This pretty cabin seems to be in the Kirwaugh plantation.

This picture finishes this post, but it seems there's something wrong with it !!
That was a very enjoyable walk.


  1. As always, gorgeous photography. I love all birds, and herons are fascinating to me. In my experience they are like statues, moving ever so slowly, staying as much out of view as they can. Truly majestic birds.

    1. Herons are great Linda, there's an old video of mine where I actually managed to get on catching a fish.
      It's here at

  2. How pleasing that the cygnets (and parents of course) are doing well. I found it hard to find the little bloke!
    The video clip was enchanting with apt musical accompaniment. What fascinating little creatures. Lucky for your blog readers that you didn't come to grief and fall in Jim!
    The images taken by the weir and the cabin are truly stunning. I expected fairies or the like to make themselves known.
    At a guess I'd say your final photo has had a little effects-play me-thinks? The upper part is water ripples in the river reflection - yes?

    1. There are pixies along that path Rose, but they did ask me nicely not to publish any pictures.
      I knew everyone would work out it was a reflection, it just reminded me of a BBC opening sequence where they have ripples in the sky.

  3. A nice walk Jim. Funnily enough I tried to film pond skaters recently coming off a hill in Galloway that you will know well but the light wasn't right on the water surface. Yours is much clearer. Good pin sharp detail so mines is going in the delete bucket :) Looks like the cygnets are too big to get swallowed up by anything now.

    1. I was lucky with the light just at that point Bob. I saw thousands more, but could not focus in on them the same.
      With a clutch of seven cygnets, just losing one must be a good result. I think they will survive now.


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