Friday, 14 September 2012

Photos from Scotland trip...

Ok, so I promised some photographs in my last post... so let's start with my trip to Scotland back in June.  I spent almost a week over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend visiting my parents in Prestwick, Ayrshire.  We had a few day trips outs and about and I visited some of my old haunts.  I was keen to get out and see the local wildlife.  Whilst I have always loved animals I didn't have an appreciation of UK wildlife when I was younger and therefore totally overlooked what was on my doorstep.

We visited Culzean Country Park and its clifftop position overlooking the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Arran is beautiful.  My brother worked here as a Ranger over a decade ago and lived on site.

Culzean Country Park - view across to Arran

This is the view from one of the footpaths - you can see Arran in the background.  It reminded me a little of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica... but cooler and with fewer mosquitoes!

We walked along the coast line to a small town called Maidens.  From much of the Ayrshire coastline you can see Ailsa Craig which is a granite outcrop in the middle of the sea.  Granite was quarried here and Scottish curling stones are made from it.  However, now it is a SSSI and SPA and is managed by the RSPB.  

Maidens Beach looking across to Ailsa Craig

We took a trip up to Stirlingshire one day and stopped off at the Falkirk Wheel which is a rotating boat lift which joins two canals and is really quite fascinating (if you like engineering!).  From the top of the lift there are lovely views across to the Ochil Hills.  I used to live at the foot of these hills and it brings back some lovely memories.

Falkirk Wheel - Ochil Hills in the distance

After Falkirk we carried on to Stirling - another of my old stomping grounds.  We visited the old town and walked round the castle.  The photo below is the view from the castle across to the Ochil Hills with the Wallace Monument and the river Forth in the foreground.

I used to have this view from my living room window!

Back to Prestwick and a walk along the sand dunes revealed a bit of erosion between the dunes and Old Prestwick Golf Course.. a somewhat pointless fence!

Prestwick sand dunes

There was however an abundance of bird life along the dunes and on the beach.  Dunlin and Ringed Plover edged along the tide line, Skylarks above the golf course and a few Reed Buntings flitting about the gorse.

I have to say I do miss this beautiful beach and the views over to Arran, and beyond.

I'm looking forward to going back over Christmas when I will try to take some wintery shots of the beach and the sea!

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