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 yellowhammer is a member of the bunting family. In winter, they congregate in flocks, often with other seed-eaters such as chaffinches and tree sparrows.
Frogs have declined in recent decades because of habitat loss. Their spawn can contain up to 2000 eggs. By midsummer, the tadpoles will have turned into froglets.
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.
Spade against soil, a strangely reassuring sound as I methodically dig the vegetable patch in preparation for the coming spring. The air is damp and heavy, the ground soft and yielding.