Thursday, 5 April 2007

Kilpatrick Hills,West Dunbartonshire

Today I took another stroll through the woods South of the Kilpatricks, to make the most of this brilliantly sunny weather. Since there is only a short walk to the nearest bus stop I can take my time and footer about with my camera without the worry of getting back home.

The landscape in this area is composed of pasture-fields, planted mixed-woodland, blocks of forestry comission pines, rough grassland and heather moorland, with a few small patches of marsh, (poor quality)bog and tiny remnants of natural birch/rowan/ash forest. There are a number of reservoirs/lochs scattered throughout. Native trees were planted some years ago to the West of the Cochno Loch in an attempt to restore the natural woodland which once covered much of this area. The growth of these planted trees seems to be quite slow and the tallest specimens are still less than 2 metres in height.

Beech (Fagus sylvatica) :a photo-study:

Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica)

Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica)

Beech tree(Fagus sylvatica)

Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica)

Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica)

I visited the 'hidden valley', which lies between the Hill of Dun and 'the Slacks', just above Bowling. This is a wee pocket of ancient woodland and a good place to see jays, green woodpeckers and (for awhile) peregrine falcons. A lone buzzard soared over to check me out and was subsequently mobbed by a pair of ravens. The first Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are beginning to flower in the shelter of the valley and within a week or so, the entire forest floor will be a carpet of vibrant violet-blue. Sloe (Prunus spinosa) bushes are also just beginning to blossom.

The 'Hidden Valley'

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