Wednesday 18 May 2011

Wednesday 18th May

Whilst out walking on the Glen Banvie trail yesterday one of the rangers came across a couple of pellets lying near the fence. On investigation they were found to contain fur, feathers and bones. We originally believe they were produced by a short eared owl looking at the size and the shape as they were thumb sized, grey and smooth, long and thin and have a rounded end at one side and were tapered at the other. This was really interesting since short eared owls could potentially be living in these moors but they have never as yet been seen.


On further inspection when the pellets were dissected they were also found to contain bird feather tips, some of which were quite large (2 cm) which would have been from a very large bird. There were also brown feathers, a small spinal cord, what looked like field vole teeth and a pelvis. Short eared owls mainly prey on voles and so the pellet would have contained a large number of small mammal bones but this was not the case for these pellets. On finding so many feather tips we are now uncertain as to the species the pellets came from. If you feel like you could identify the species then feel free to leave a comment and see if we can solve this pellet mystery.



On another note we are very privileged to say that Blair Atholl has been identified as one of the best villages in Europe. Forty villages have been chosen to be filmed for a French television programme and we are the only one from Scotland to have this privilege. They will be filming the Highland games, the Parade day where the private army will be out marching around the grounds and around the estate. We games and parade will be held on the 28th and 29th May so come along and you never know you might make an appearance on French tv.

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