A flash of silver in the swirling pool. A cry goes out: “There’s one, there’s one!” Up scoops the net and within its mesh lies a glistening salmon parr.
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.
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 was gliding over Scotland’s forgotten forest; a tangled mass of gently waving kelp and a place as rich and diverse in wildlife as any environment imaginable.
Kennoway Den, Fife
A light pale fluttering of under-wings in the oak canopy above me – a small butterfly, but of a type unknown to me, flying purposefully through the branches, turning for a moment to reveal darker top-wings before disappearing into the foliage.
Warm breeze against evening sky, gently caressing the rolling Perthshire hills. But the soft rush of wind is soon broken by an almost hypnotic call – ‘coo-koo, coo-koo, coo-koo’ – a sound that seems to penetrate every fold and gully of the hillside.
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.
It was a mesmerising sight – a vast panorama of mountain ridges and high tops as far as the eye could see.
I’m sitting in the garden at dusk, the damp air hanging heavy from recent rain. A bat twirls by the leafy fringes of a sycamore, repeatedly sweeping towards the foliage before fluttering out again as it hunts for flying insects.