Saturday, 25 December 2010

Kilpatrick Hills, West Dunbartonshire

It snowed heavily from the end of November to mid December, when I was still in Dundee.
Snow ploughs heaped the deep snow from the roads onto the narrow pavements where it froze into impassable mountains of ice. Icicles half a metre long, like glass swords, hung from rooftops and windows (the government even issued warnings, in case anyone should be impaled by falling icicles). Temperatures dropped to -16 degrees centigrade and record numbers of Waxwings surged to our country, driven by the harsh weather conditions.

By the time I returned to Duntocher for Christmas, the weather had mildened and the snow mostly melted. I went for a short walk up to the Test with my parents in the afternoon.

Fields near Duntocher
Erskine Bridge

Above Little Round Top wood we put up a Woodcock which had been resting in the rushes.

Fieldfares congregated with Wood Pigeons on the fields around Little Round Top and flitted in vast numbers through the dark tangle of Blackthorn bushes. We caught a glimpse of a Sparrowhawk gliding between the trees, sending the panicked Fieldfares scattering.

I found a dead Common Shrew which had evidently been caught by a predator and then discarded as distasteful.

Common Shrew (Sorex araneus) - dead