Four Seasons in a Week

A bit of a mixed week this week- wet, windy, warm and sunny! At least we haven’t had snow- yet. Fortunately, the after-school club came on one of the sunny days, especially after they all decided to go under the waterfall and got soaked….brrr! The sun has made the autumn colours on the trees look gorgeous this week- but the wind has done its best to strip the trees bare as soon as the leaves turn golden. Here are some of the trees early on in the week- but they looked much barer after “Gonzalo” on Tuesday.

Aspen against a blue sky

Aspen against a blue sky

Autumn birches

The birches are losing their leaves fast.

Early in the week

After  Gonzalo...the birches are much barer.

After Gonzalo…the birches are much barer.

The aspen at the visitor centre has held onto its leaves much longer than the ones down by the loch. It’s fairly sheltered here by comparison!

Autumn aspen at visitor centre

Autumn aspen at visitor centre

Even the bracken is starting to die down – but there are still a few golden fronds standing.

Autumn bracken

Autumn bracken

Down on the lochs, the wildfowl numbers are building up. A nice mixture of ducks and geese spend the winter here and we occasionally play host to some birds from further afield. The young swans are looking much more grown-up now but are still hanging around with mum. She has done well this year, raising six cygnets to full-size swans. Not that you could see that much of them as they were spending most of their time upside – down feeding!

Bottoms up!

Bottoms up!

While we were counting the wildfowl, there was a lovely, musical bugling overhead. This marked the arrival of a party of whooper swans. These swans will have flown here from Iceland and seemed glad to arrive. As as soon as they had landed, checked everyone was there (with head bobbing and whoop-whoop-whoop calls) they started feeding right away.

Incoming! Whooper swans on final approach....

Incoming! Whooper swans on final approach….

.....flaps down....

…..flaps down….

....safe landing!

….safe landing!

It was nice to see that, from 14 whoopers, 5 were this year’s young. That’s more than I’ve seen with whoopers fro a few years now.

And finally…we did manage to track down a lone adder this week! There have been a couple of fairly warm afternoons and it has brought at least one out for a late bask. Wonder how long it will be until they go underground for good over the winter?

The last adder of the season?

The last adder of the season?

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