Comma caterpillars feed on elm, nettles and hops. The adults hibernate and emerge in early spring, producing a second generation from July to early October.
Formerly absent due to persecution, pine martens now occur throughout much of Courier Country, with a recent survey detecting their presence in Perthshire, Stirlingshire, Angus and Fife.
The jay is a member of the crow family and is locally common in parts of Courier country. They love to feast upon acorns in the autumn and will bury them for retrieval later.
Red-breasted mergansers belong to a group of ducks known as the ‘sawbills’, so called because of the serrated edges to their bills, designed for gripping slippery fish.
Ravens are intelligent and enshrined in our folklore from the earliest of times and until recently relatively scarce birds in Scotland. The population is now recovering in many parts of the country.
Fox cubs are able to start catching their own food by about six weeks in age. They become progressively independent and usually leave the natal territory within their first year.
The cliffs at Fowlsheugh are packed with more than 130,000 breeding seabirds during the spring and summer months. It is the largest mainland seabird colony on the east coast of Scotland.
The ocean quahog is also sometimes known as the Icelandic cyprine. They live buried in sand, with just a small siphon tube extending up to the surface of the seabed.
The ptarmigan eats the leaves and shoots of arctic-alpine heath plants, as well as insects in the summer. Crowberry is important and ptarmigan feast on their glossy black fruits in late summer.
Soft sunlight filtering through towering beech trees, the tumbling gurgle of rushing water, and wildflowers peppering the river bankside in a drift of yellow and white polka dots; it is spring and I’m down by the River Earn near Crieff.