Monday 10 October 2011

Monday 10th October

The rain over the last few days has made it great for seeing rainbows. There has been one out most days now which is always pretty to look at. Nobody ever sees the same rainbow; the rainbow you see is unique to you because it all depends on where you are standing how the light is refracted through the rain drops. It just makes them a bit more special and intriguing to look at.

Whilst out on a land rover tour we were very lucky enough to see some stags barking at each other. I say see because we couldn’t hear them because of the noise of the river. There were several lone stags barking and others trying to hold a group of females called a harem. At one point another stag came over to challenge a harem holder and they had a roaring competition. He obviously lost because the next moment he was gone and no battle ensued. This is a great time of year for hearing them and seeing them, as long as you don’t try and get too close as they can be dangerous during the rutting season.

We also saw several peregrines perched on the line or flying around and spotted some red squirrels up at Gilberst bridge and forest lodge. The red squirrels can be found right up into the glens even though there is not much woodland cover further up.

The ‘yew berries’ are out now which will be making a good feast for birds and badgers. It is not actually a berry per say but is a seed covered by a sweet, mucilaginous appendage called an aril. The seed itself is full of toxic alkaloids which make it very poisonous but birds and badgers are able to eat it because the seed passes through their body intact. They can then disperse the seeds in their faeces and allow the yew tree to establish elsewhere.

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