Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 24 July 1921

It’s late July now, but Viola is recalling some other nature sightings from the past couple of months which she forgot to note at the time. She recalls seeing the nest of an Oystercatcher in June, containing two eggs. She questions whether a ‘hollow in the sand’ is a nest and this is likely. Viola describes the eggs as looking like stones and they are spotted, or, ‘flecked’ as she describes them.

Viola also saw ‘three young ptarmigan’ earlier in July, which were similarly mentioned in a May diary entry. They are described as being seen near Slochd, which is on the Inverness road, west of Carrbridge.

She moves from birds to heather when talking of her current observations. She describes the ling heather (or Calluna) as being ‘full blown’ but the bell heather is now passing its best. Ling heather has delicate pink flowers, whereas, bell heather‘s flowers are a darker purple/pink and are unsurprisingly shaped like bells.

Transcript

July 24. Riverdale

I forgot to put down that on June 3rd I saw

an Oyster Catchers nest with two eggs. The

nest (?) was a hollow in the sand on an island

in the bed of the Druie, and the eggs were

just like the surrounding stones. Yellow in colour

flecked with brown.

Saw full blown ling out. Bell heather

has been out for a long time in masses

It’s almost getting over

About July 15 I saw three young

ptarmigan near the Inverness road by Slochd.

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