Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 16 Sep 1919

A very short entry in Viola’s journal sees her observe a Kestrel at Sauchie Reservoir. There isn’t an official ‘Sauchie Reservoir’ so it is hard to pinpoint exactly where she was.

It is possible that the she is referring to one of the reservoirs near Sauchie in St Ninians. It is also entirely possible that she is referring to Gartmorn Dam in Sauchie!

When Viola was observing the Kestrel in 1919, the number of Kestrels seen in the countryside would have been quite high. Since the 1970’s, however, their numbers have declined significantly.

Kestrels are very easy to spot by their distinctive flight (check out the video below!). When hunting for prey, they will hover and keep their heads completely still…even in strong winds! They have a dinstictive chestnut brown plumage and grey tail whilst males have a grey head.

More information about Kestrels can be found here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/k/kestrel/

Transcript

Page 5

Mon. Sept 16 4.00 p.m. Sauchie Reservoir Saw a kestrel. Some small

birds tried to mob him but without

Page 6

much success. Saw him swoop for some-

thing and fly off to a tree with it.

 

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