Mainly about the wild flowers of Fife

Posts tagged “red-breasted merganser

February springtime

The last of the slightly freaky but wonderful spring days. It was warm and sunny out on Kinkell Braes. There were celandines shining gold, and my first coltsfoot of the year.

The tide was out and I went scrambling along the shore line, thinking that one of these days I won’t be doing this any more, but today isn’t that day…The stripy rocks are amazing.

I was clambering over the rocks when a bee fell at my feet, dozy and stunned.

Wings still creased.

It crawled on to my boot, but in the end I moved it back on to the grass, which seemed a better place for it than the rocks.

I hope it found some food – there was nothing around.

At the Fulmar cliff (where there aren’t fulmars any more) I watched a pair of birds way out at sea, coming closer to the rocks. A couple of long distance shots and later some friendly advice from an expert – Red Breasted Merganser.


I decided to push on to see if the primroses were out at Shelduck bay. Which they were.

Buddo Ness was looking very elemental.

The Dwarf Mallow flowers from a few weeks ago have disappeared – they must have realised it was still winter. I like the little window in the rock.

Coming back, I saw several primroses that I’d walked past on the way…could have saved my poor sore feet, but it was such a lovely day to be out that I wasn’t sorry.

Lichen mixed with moss on a marker stone.

It felt like an April walk, not February.

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Meeting March head-on

The beginning of March always seems such a bleak time. So near and yet so far. The first excitement of snowdrops and new blades of grass has passed, but other plants are slow to appear.

Thankfully at Tentsmuir there’s always something to see. Today, there were two groups of seals on the sandbank, and three red breasted mergansers swimming about in front of them. There were lichen “flowers” on the sand dunes, and the first little Common Whitlow Grass flower. There was no sign of the moneywort (which was interesting in itself) and the nostoc – well, I said before that I’m not going to go on about the nostoc, but it was everywhere, squished.

The dune slacks were drier than I ever remember. I walked across the main lagoon to see the sea, with wave marks under my feet.

I watched a golden plover wading about in the small pool that remained. There were some noisy black-headed gulls, still without their black heads, and one standing apart which had its full breeding plumage back.