Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A walk in the park

My! it's warm. We're experiencing the warmest March since records began here in Scotland and the rest of the UK. On Tuesday up in Aberdeenshire they recorded a temperature of 23.6C, which beat the previous record set on Monday which in turn beat the one set on Sunday. Before that the warmest March day in Scotland was in 1965 when a temperature of 22.2 was recorded. I've picked those very few days to go off on a world tour of North Wales and Wiltshire visiting a few friends. I've took 764 pictures during that time and they're not quite sorted out yet.

These pictures are from just over a week ago when we went for a wee walk in Princes Street Gardens. Jerseys and coats were in evidence then and if we wandered out of the sun it was quite chilly. Not knowing what the weather was about to do, this was marked down as a lovely day and the local wild life seemed to think so too.

Robins are not just for Christmas

This bee was enjoying the plentiful blossom

A couple of squirrels were out and about down at the bottom of the gardens.

They were quite keen to come and pay us a visit in case we were dishing out goodies.

We weren't, so they returned to their bushes.

At last I've managed to see a tree creaper. I didn't manage to get a decent picture of one though. I did get this little fellow and I have no idea what sort of bird he (or she) is - any idea? He was quite an enthusiastic singer.

The castle looms over the gardens. Anyone who knows the area probably realises that this was taken round the corner from Castle Terrace, a little later the same day, and not the gardens.

There's a path around the bottom of the cliff. As you get nearer you can see that there is a barred gate in the wall.

There's a wee sign at the bottom to save you climbing up the rock to read the one above the door.

The sign doesn't really give much of a clue to the goings on here. Both the Viscount Dundee and the Duke of Gordon were prominant Jacobites and as far as I can see met at this rather inaccessible gate because the castle was being blockaded by a group Cameronians. Seems the actual reason for the conference was unclear, perhaps to bolster resolve in the Duke of Gordon or perhaps an offer of troops.

In July of that year Viscount Dundee (below) led the Jacobite troops to famous victory at the Battle of Killiecrankie although he himself was killed that day. He became a hero of the Jacobite cause and is remembered in the song Bonnie Dundee

Another lovely sunset over Edinburgh


Poppy said...

Love your photos as always Sandy, our Robin at work just sings all day now it has turned warm, I love to hear him sing :) The little bird you don't know is gorgeous, I hope someone will be able to identify it for you. I love squirrels, so really enjoyed your photos of them. Looking forward to seeing more photos :) Take care :)

Ellie said...

Hi Sandy isn't this weather just great, it's a wee bit chillier here today but we certainly can't complain. Due to get colder over the weekend though.
You have got some wonderful pictures here, plenty of wildlife out for you to see.
We had a great time in Edinburgh and we will have to go back sometime soon to see some more.
Our car failed it's MOT too, groan. I'm afraid it's gonna cost us as well.
Looking forward to seeing some of your 764 pictures - good luck sorting them out :))

Anne@A Little Fur in the Paint said...

Wonderful! I'm now following...(your Robins are so different from ours! (US))

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks Poppy - I've got to get a good fill of bird song in the next few days - there'll be precious little when I get back to work for a fortnight.

My cars better again Ellie - I'll just have to await the bill now. Good luck with yours - I'm sure it'll be taking you back to Edinburgh before you know it.

Anne, welcome - I've seen your robins on other peoples blogs. Two completely different birds with the same name. The red chest is the only connection.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely photos again, specially the third photo of the squirrel.

The unknown bird is I'm pretty sure a dunnock. They have a lovely song you're right and there are a few of them in Princes Street Gardens

Sandy's witterings said...

Thank you Juliet, that bird had me flummoxed - didn't stop us admiring it though.

Shundo said...

Nice to see those signs of spring over there. Similar to the robin thing, I saw a pair of raptors out on Mount Tam yesterday, who turned out to be osprey, but in true American style, probably twice the size of the ones I remember from home.

Sandy's witterings said...

Ospreys are pretty chunky birds over here when you see them. It wouldn't surprise me if American Ospreys are something completely different (and bigger of course).

Today we've had another sign of a British spring Shundo - Snow!!