Saturday, 22 January 2011

Dalmuir Golf Course, West Dunbartonshire

Dalmuir Golf Course is actually a great place to see wildlife, including Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Roe Deer, Dippers, Kingfishers and Barn Owls (the latter two species are scarce in this county).

Mixed planted woodland and remnants of native, broad-leaved 'bluebell woodland' surround the golf course which is crossed by the Duntocher Burn.

Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

Crisp Beech leaves the colour of fox fur clung to nearly-bare branches and the forest floor was carpeted with glossy-leaved Ivy which creeped up trees and formed a viney lattice around their trunks.

Flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare shifted secretively between the trees and we saw mixed groups of Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits and Goldcrests in the tree-tops.

Fox (Vulpes vulpes) - dead

The dead Fox we found in the leaf litter, its body frozen stiff, seemed in otherwise healthy condition - no visible disease, injuries or bullet wounds. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that it had been killed by human hands...

Orange Ladybird (Halyzia 16-guttata)

Orange Ladybirds (Halyzia 16-guttata) are herbivores (unlike most ladybirds), feeding on mildews (fungi of the order Erysiphales, which grow on leaves). They are found in deciduous woodland and are often active at night, when they are frequent visitors to lighted windows.

This species can be distinguished from other white-spotted ladybirds by its very bright orange colouration, 12-16 white spots on the elytra and by its unspotted, semi-translucent pronotum.

Ivy (Hedera helix) on Lime tree (Tilia sp.)
Ivy (Hedera helix) on Lime tree (Tilia sp.)