Saturday, 29 April 2017

On Ilkley Moor, new bird to list...

(Willow warbler)

Over the past month since we got back from our holidays, it been all about work. Not much time for blogging or trips out. 

But today with news there were some Ring Ouzel's  not far from me a trip out was on the cards.

(Willow warbler)

After leaving the car, you were hit with  bird song mainly Willow warbler, other birds found at the base of the hill was..

Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, Chaffinch, Long-tailed tit.

The higher moor land were covered in singing Meadow pipit.

(Meadow pipit)
Curlew, Lapwing, Red kite and Grouse were calling.

Lovely looking sheep,

 I had been given a rough guide were to find  the Ouzel , but spotted a Wheatear first , then one more and another. I had spent all last year looking for this bird , the amount I saw today made up for it.

 The hillside was covered in rough grass and old heather.
Rocks formed a ridge , many sticking out of the ground giving platforms for the birds to sing from.

It was like a bird festival, birds flying  and  singing  were ever you looked.
 So it didn't take long to spot my first Ouzel's.

Ring ouzel

Even though the land looked barren there was still beauty to be found close to the ground, mosses and Lichen were flowering.

I managed to find a few wild flowers to, still have to name them...

I have loved this place .....

April's photos...

Curlew and Snipe


Muslin Moth (Diaphora mendica)

Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria)

 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)
Blue tit nest


Sunday, 2 April 2017

Edinburgh.. Day four,

Rain was forecast today so we planned to do the Museums and Art galleries.
National Museum Of Scotland was first on the list, discovering it did not open till 10, we popped over the road to Greyfriars Kirk.

.another Church and grounds filled with history. 

Greyfriars Bobby




The first thing you noticed was  the Skull  grave stones, as well as the large Mausoleums. I managed to find some 1782 Graffiti .

The primary reason skulls appeared on memorial and headstones was as a Memento Mori, a reminder of our own mortality, an aide-mémoire, should it be needed, that you too will die one day - death is inexorable !(link)

Sir George Mackenzie's Mausoleum

Memorial Stones, West end of Kirk

 In 1679 the Wars of the Covenant returned to Greyfriars, when the South Yard of the kirkyard was used as a temporary prison for 1200 Covenanters awaiting trial. This must have been a remarkably grim prison, open to the skies and shared with the mausoleums that line both sides of the yard, but it is hard to see how it could have been an especially secure one. (link)


National Museum Of Scotland

What a great place to visit and it's free, seeing the natural history displays were the best. You can spend the day here and there is something for everybody, we didn't manage to get round it all.

 All the walking from the week was starting to catch up with me.

For lunch we went down one of the small streets running of the Royal Mile.

Soup of the day and sandwiches, yet another lovely place to eat.

... a bit of gift shopping then to St Giles Cathedral,

 St Giles’ Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh.
With its famed crown spire it stands on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivalric company of knights chosen by The Queen.)

St Giles Cathedral, was the first building we went in on Monday, we both fell in love with the place. After chatting with Ragged Robbin  we realised the Cathedral was full of "Green Men". So we went looking, they are usually found high up. The Cathedral is very high and the light was bad as it was raining out side, but we managed to find a few.

Green Man motif has many variations. Found in many cultures from many ages around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities. It is primarily interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of growth each spring.

The North window by Douglas Strachan .

The more we looked the more things we found in the building...

 One of the few stones probably dating from the original Romanesque building.


The Order of the Thistle is Scotland’s great order of chivalry, and membership is considered to be one of the country’s highest honours. The Order is traditionally given to 
Scots or people of Scots ancestry, who have given distinguished service.
Appointments are entirely in the personal gift of the Sovereign.

The Order of the Thistle has roots in the Middle Ages, but the presentday order was largelycreated in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland (King James II of England). The nave of Holyrood Abbey was adapted as its chapel, but in 1688 the Abbey was ransacked by the Edinburgh mob, furious at King James’ Roman Catholic allegiance. After that, the Knights of the Thistle had no chapel of their own for over 200 years.

you have to see this
 to understand how stunning it was as the photos do not do it justice.

Books were bought from the gift shop to remind us of our visit to this amazing building.

this morning seemed so long ago and we were both VERY SHATTERED !

The next morning was home time, we went out for breakfast and caught the train home.

 .....hope this has made up your mind and you must visit Edinburgh .

Five wonderful days in EDINBURGH....Day one