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.
Sitting still with hardly a flicker of a muscle, until you blend seamlessly into the landscape and become part of nature is such a productive way for seeking out wildlife; and so it proved in this little strip of woodland by the edge of the Ochils.
As well as Strathspey, crested tits occur in pine woodlands on the coastal plain of the Moray Firth, Easter Ross and south-east Sutherland. There are an estimated 1,000 – 2,000 breeding pairs in Scotland.
Kestrels can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including moorland, farmland, coastal cliffs and in our towns and cities. The field vole is its preferred prey.
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.
I had just spotted a flock of waxwings in a tree in the front garden of a house in Milnathort, which was like hitting a wildlife jackpot – but it did present a bit of a dilemma.
Climate change is causing other impacts upon our seas, including changes in fish distribution, with species like cod moving further northwards, and warmer water fish such as red mullet moving in from the south.
A weasel must eat a least once every 24 hours to survive and routinely consumes a third of its weight daily. In winter, weasels can happily live under snow.
Orcas, or killer whales as they are often known, hunt in groups. Those in Scottish waters that live offshore tend to hunt herring and mackerel, whilst inshore populations will take seals and seabirds.
Tentsmuir, a place of broad horizons and rolling seas, and out on a tidal lagoon a scattering of resting oystercatchers, their long red bills firmly tucked under their wings as they slept.