Mainly about the wild flowers of Fife

Posts tagged “yellowhammer

John Knox’s Pulpit

Haven’t been here for years but always meant to go back in spring to see the wood anemones and wood sorrel in flower in the woods at the foot of the path.

There were celandines too, and golden sax, and violets. An invisible chiffchaff, and, out of the wood, a great show of gorse.

There’s a yellowhammer in this picture.

I never knew they had orange backs.

You wouldn’t know from the photos, but the east wind was strong. I persevered up the path, looking over to John Knox’s pulpit and its caves.

Above, there are two massive rocks looking ready to roll down at any time.

I pottered along, finding Luzula campestris (Good Friday grass).

Later, there was another grassy thing in flower:

I think this is Hare’s-tail Cottongrass, Eriophorum vaginatum – but not quite sure.

There was also this mystery plant, which looks quite familiar…

The path has been “improved” but it feels a bit municipal now, instead of the rough track that was there. So coming back, I decided to walk past the signs warning of rock falls and go down the unimproved path to John Knox’s pulpit. I was quite relieved to get past without the boulders falling on my head.

But it felt more in touch with the landscape than the obstacle-free experience which FCCT has left us. And when I got home and looked at my photos, it’s clear that the boulders have been cemented into place. (Which explain the heap of cement left down by the burn.)

The view down the hill was good.

As a PS, I admired – and was slightly depressed – by the stripes on these fields in the distance, which match up perfectly. Arable weeds, no chance here!


Boxing day at Boarhills

It was a beautiful (cold) sunny day.

I walked down from Boarhills, didn’t go past the salmon bothy. No exotic birds at the mouth of the burn today, but there was a yellowhammer absolutely glowing in the sunshine.

I liked this rock with a sturdy iron ring attached, but it didn’t seem to be anywhere that you’d want to tie up a boat.

Plant-wise, the field margin had quite a few flowers. I think this is Fumaria officinalis, Common Fumitory.

Difficult to see on these pictures, but I think the bract below the flower is shorter than the flower-stalk.

Then there was a spurge which may be Petty Spurge, but again I can’t really be sure from the picture.

Coming back, I went up the little path at the bridge, where the snowdrops will be. Lots of Japanese knotweed, not chopped down like the stands at the bridge, and lots of Chrysosplenium oppositifolium, opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage.

I was hoping it might be in flower…not quite yet.
It was good to get some sunshine – the birds must feel that too.

Scotstarvit in spring

12 April 2012. April showers all this week, but during a sunny break in the middle of the day I headed off to do the first Plantlife survey this year for the Scotstarvit square. What a view, to start with.
Lomond Hills

The nettles were small and unthreatening. It’s hard to believe that in a month or two I’ll need gloves and/or a machete to get through. The white (pink) purslane was beginning to flower, at least two large colonies. The farmer came to see what I was doing, with my nose to the ground. I added bluebells, gorse, and ivy to the list – can’t believe I missed the gorse and ivy before. I thought there might be primroses, but no. Some coltsfoot going over.

The sycamore leaves were just out, very fresh and beautiful.

Part of the path runs along a sunken lane between high banks.
I love moss covered walls, which always said “home” to me when I was on the way back from Berkshire. It looks as if there will be a bluebell wood at eye level in just a couple of weeks, so I’ll have to go back.Beautiful colour on the Scots Pine cones.

The sky clouded over…
I got back to the car just in time, after stopping to admire seven yellowhammers in a field.

Rocks, sand, sea birds, solitude

Today’s walk was Kingsbarns to the Kenly burn and back, which was quite hard going, with lots of rock-hopping and soft sand.

Loads of birds, as expected – the highlights were a yellowhammer, right down on the rocks, a group of curlews which were in the shallows but flew off to the fields when they saw me, and a distant view of what I think was a juvenile cormorant standing next to a shag on a sea rock. One bird being bigger than the other, with white front and chin. No eider ducks until I was right along at the burn.

Plants – ivy flowers, pink campion still hanging on, and sea (?) mayweed. I took this picture to compare foliage with the one from last month.

Otherwise, lichens on rocks and wave shapes in the sunlit sand were the highlights. And that sudden heart-lightening, grateful awareness of being alone on a sunny beach with not another soul in sight – and not at work.