Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 21st September 1919

This entry for 21st September finds Viola at North Third Reservoir. She sees a grey heron.

Then hares that are changing colour for the winter season. Mountain hares gradually turn white in the autumn so that they are better camouflaged for the winter:

There had evidently been little rain in the late summer and autumn that year as the level of the reservoir is low and Viola sees minnows in the remaining water.

The wild duck mentioned are possibly Mallard as these are frequently found in Scotland.

The ‘grouse’ that Viola describes changing to their winter plumage are most likely Ptarmigan, one of the grouse family, as these are the only British birds to do this.

Viola is still enjoying making owl cries and frightening the blackbirds!

Sunday Sept 21st Reservoir 6 p.m.West End

Saw a heron quite close to me

3rd Reservoir 6.30 Saw two hares which were

turning white. The Loch which is usually

about ¾ ml long by 200 to 300 yds broad

is now a bare hundred and in a small pool

about a yard long by ¾ yd wide there were

something like 500 minnows. Saw a

flight of wild duck.

6.50 saw a large covey of grouse they

also are assuming winter plumage

7.30 I caused great alarm among blackbirds

and sparrows etc by hooting like an

owl but much to early thereby

arousing a concert of terrified cries.

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