The last few days have been simply glorious here in Scotland. The sun has shone, the birds have been singing their little hearts out and all over the place flowers are popping up and brightening the fields and woodlands; and so they should, for today is the first day of Spring and yesterday was my birthday!
Chris and I have been enjoying exploring our new home with blue sky over head and a warm sun on our backs.
We are living on the edge of Knapdale Forest which sits at the top of the Kintyre Peninsula, south of Oban. http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tab=wl
The area is mainly commercial forestry so lots of sitka spruce, which is home to Red Squirrel and Pine Marten. There are also some fabulous rare habitats and the animals that like in them. One of the great joys is the amount of diversity here. The woodlands are temperate rainforest and have a wealth of associated ferns, lichens and bryophytes. They are home to nationally important breeding bird populations and may still harbour a remnant population of the rapidly declining Scottish Wildcat.
The lochs (lakes) in the area include freshwater, brackish and saltwater. Depending on their type these are home to otters, seals, a wealth of dragonflies and many fish. They are hunted by Osprey and White-tailed Eagle.
On higher ground the vegetation is dominated by heather and here we find Golden Eagle, Red Grouse and rare butterflies. From our bedroom window we can see the Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve where Short-eared Owl and Hen Harrier hunt over the boggy ground with it's fascinating plant community.
Paradise for wildlife watchers, and great fun for wildlife watcher's dogs!