Saturday, December 31, 2011

Barnacle geese flying over Tantallon Castle, Scotland

Scottish Barnacle geese over Tantallon Castle, Scotland
Picture: Christian Moullec

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Guardian of the Way - YouTube

Poem of comfort whispered by the oak leaves, the acorns, the green man ay returning. Words of the poem available at

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blue Tit in the snow

A blue tit perches on branch in snow, at the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Picture: Mark Hamblin / Barcroft Media

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Red squirrel

A red squirrel eats juniper berries in a Scottish forest

Friday, September 16, 2011

Royal Highland cow

Melissa Sinclair and Matt Auld prepare seven year old Maisie the Highland cow ahead of the International Highland Cattle Show being held at Pollock Country Park in Glasgow

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Buying Scottish Whisky Online - Try this!

NB: We do not endorse or recommend this site but put it here for information only.

As far as we know they are a professional and reputable company.

We do recommend that if you are buying goods online, you should take every precaution to protect your data and money accounts.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Scottish Highlands: Indigenous Wild Cat

The elusive Highland Tiger, or Scottish Wildcat, is captured on camera in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

Nature photographer Peter Cairns, from Kingussie, has been documenting the decline of the Highland Tiger.

Unfortunately, he predicts that unless more people are made aware of this Scottish national icon, its future is decidedly uncertain.

"I think part of the problem is the fact that not many people realise the animal exists; its very rare and elusive," explained Peter, 48. "It's hard for people to relate and care for something that they dont know exists."

Picture: Peter Cairns / Barcroft Media

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scottish ospreys begin perilous journey

A young, female Scottish osprey, which is being tracked by satellite, has embarked on a celebration zig-zag-tour of the remainder of the mainland UK and a flypast of a number of RSPB nature reserves before heading for Africa for the winter.

Last Wednesday morning (17 August) the three-month old bird, christened 'Tore', was still at its parents' nest at the RSPB Loch Garten reserve, in the Highlands of Scotland.

By Thursday afternoon, the bird completed a flypast of the RSPB's nature reserve at South Stack, on the Welsh island of Anglesey, after passing through Dumfries and Galloway and flying over the Isle of Man.

Perilous Journey across Wales and England
After roosting overnight in North Wales she headed across the industrial Midlands of England and rural East Anglia to the RSPB's Minsmere reserve on the Suffolk coast.

Staff at Minsmere saw an osprey with an attached aerial, proving beyond doubt that it was Tore. The latest update revealed that Tore had skirted around the worst of south-east London and the RSPB's Rainham nature reserve, en route for the British Channel coast near Portsmouth.

The journey of Bynack, Tore's brother, has also been followed using GPS satellite technology. Worryingly he headed from Scotland over the North Sea, heading towards Norway, sparking considerable alarm. However, he has since reappeared near Bruges, in Belgium.

Loch Garten, one of the best Breeding Sites of Scottish Ospreys
The Scottish Osprey's prefer to nest in the tall Scot's Pines, which are found in the more remote and mountainous regions of Scotland. The habitat is not only one of the most picturesque areas in Scotland but it is also home for many other rare creatures and threatened bird life e.g. Pine Martin, Capercaillie, Red Squirrel, Crested Tits, Red deer, Crossbills, etc.

GPS Satellite tracking
Caroline Rance, an osprey information officer at Loch Garten, in Scotland, has been following the reserve's osprey stories. She said: 'Ever since they hatched Tore and Bynack have become stars of the reserve. Visitors to the reserve and the website have been following their fortunes.

'The satellite technology is fantastic, allowing us to follow their travels in detail, but it can cause our hearts to leap into our mouths when these birds do something unexpected like taking a wrong turn.'

The Ospreys are not expected to return to Scotland from Africa until late Spring or early Summer next year (2012). Until that time, and in association with all our migratory birds, they face an uncertain future from predation, habitat loss, human destruction and conflict.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Edinburgh: Jungle City unveiled in Royal Botanic Gardens

Today saw the launch of Jungle City in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens. There’s around 130 life sized animals dotted around the gardens, with some special ones on show in Harvey Nichols at St Andrew Square and inside The Dome on George Street.

The Elephant Family exists to save the endangered Asian elephant from extinction in the wild, along with tigers, orang-utans and all the other animals who share their habitat.

The Botanics are free to enter and the Jungle City is situated around the main paths and trees and easy to spot.

For those that want to learn more about the animals, there is an audio guide available and the £4.50 cost to hire the guide goes direct to the charity. One audio guide is fine per family as it is speaker-based and not through headphones.

The sculptures will remain in the Botanical Gardens for the next few weeks and will then be relocated on the streets of Edinburgh on 6th September. They will then regroup for one final gathering at the National Museum of Scotland, before being sold at auction in aid of the preservation of Asian elephants.
  •  There are 130 sculptures of mother and baby elephants, tigers, hornbills, crocodiles, orangutans and tigers. All have been creatively decorated by artists and celebrities.
  • Fifty of the sculptures can ‘talk’ and feature voiceovers by a number of celebrities including Andrea Corr, Dame Rula Lenska and Geri Halliwell. You will have the opportunity to use the audio guides to listen to the voices.
  • The Jungle City concept is the brainchild of Elephant Family founder and conservationist Mark Shand.
  • The online auction will go live on 22nd September – please visit for further details
  • The auction will take place 29th September at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
We’ll be bringing you more pictures of our favourites and a full review in due course. When the animals move to the Edinburgh Streets, there will be a map available to track them all down.

Elephant merchandise is available to purchase at the Botanics and Harvey Nichols, with all the profit going direct to the cause.

You can find the Elephant Family and Jungle City on Facebook and follow them on twitter.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

A male capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) displaying in snow

A male capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) displaying in snow, Cairngorms National Park.

An increasing rare sight in the Scottish mountains as habitat changes reduce the Capercaillie's.

Scottish Pine marten (Martes martes)

Pine marten (Martes martes) climbing tree, Cairngorms National Park

Scottish Mountain hare (Lepus timidus)

Mountain hare (Lepus timidus) in winter pelage, in the snow in the Cairngorms National Park

Scottish wildcat (Felis sylvestris)

Scottish wildcat (Felis sylvestris) climbing fallen tree in pine forest, Cairngorms National Park.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sheepdog Show with a difference, Aberfoyle

The Sheepdog Trial with a difference, at Aberfoyle

First the rather elderly star of the show. Don't be decieved by his appearance this is one smart dog.

What has these ducks in such a stramash?
Oh! Now I see!
He and his lovely assistant are herding the ducks and puting them over and through the obstacles
Now the last obstacle. Through the tunnel and heading for the finish line
Carefully! Don't let them split up!
With the final result that all the ducks are contained

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Male Pheasant

Female Pheasant

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Whiskey and the Loch Lomond Distillery

"If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pits of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

However, if by whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favour of it.

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to be compromised on matters of principle.

(Address to the legislature by a Mississippi state senator, 1958, "Whiskey Speech")

Loch Lomond Distillery Company Limited

Winged Messenger - Feed the Birds

Hedghog visitor

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tartan Sheep, ......but is it art

Stirling Castle: Palace Project Video

Renaissance heads of Caesar and Henry VIII to return to Stirling Castle

Painted carvings showing the heads of Henry VIII, Caesar and King James V which were lost when a Scottish castle ceiling was torn down more than 200 years ago have been restored as part of a six-year, £12 million project by the Scottish government’s Historic Scotland campaign.

The oak Stirling Heads, which measure a metre wide each and decorated the ceiling in the Royal Palace of James V at Stirling Castle with the faces of Royalty, ancient heroes and members of the Scottish nobility, were destroyed and scattered across the UK after being removed in 1777.

Thirty-four of the “magnificent” medallions have now been created by Livingston-based master craftsman John Donaldson.

“Carving new versions of the Stirling Heads was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the new ceiling looks absolutely stunning,” he said.

“It’s quite a feeling to have your work included in a project of this scale and importance and which will hopefully be enjoyed by millions of visitors for many decades to come.”

Leith expert Graciela Ainsworth led a specialist art conservation and restoration team in restoring the original colourful look of the heads, painting them after they had been attached to the ceiling.

“There’s nothing quite like the Stirling Heads anywhere in the world, so it is fantastic to be involved,” she said.

“I really love Scottish Renaissance styles, they have a distinctive boldness, strength and raw energy – what Historic Scotland is doing really recaptures the character of the art of the time.”

The original heads were commissioned by James V while the castle was being built, celebrating his marriage to Mary of Guise. Historians believe the building was still under construction when he died at the age of 30 in 1542, leaving the decadent home to his widow and the infant Mary, Queen of Scots.

A special gallery on the upper floor of the palace will show the new heads, ranking the King and his ancestors alongside other European rules of the time and leading historical and mythological figures such as Hercules.

“We’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time,” said project leader Peter Buchanan.

“The new versions of the heads took five years to carve and since then a great deal of work has been done to create the ceiling and get the painting just right.

“The original ceiling was a masterpiece of Scottish Renaissance art and craftsmanship and our recreation is designed to be just as impressive.
“When people see it for the first time they sometimes just stand and say ‘wow’.”

The building is expected to open in June 2011.

Eddi Reader sings 'Aye Fond Kiss'

Mhairi Campbell sings 'Auld lang Syne'

Eva Cassidy Signs 'My Love is like a Red, Red Rose'

Friday, January 7, 2011