Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 12 Apr 1922

Viola is out and about on another spring day and spots a Goldcrest and a Firecrest. These birds are cousins of each other but the Firecrest is much rarer. She seems to appreciate this by declaring ‘Great Luck’!. The video below from the British Trust for Ornothology helps you tell the two birds apart.

Viola has also spotted a blackbird’s nest with three eggs whilst also recounting a less charming story: she shot a rat and then speculates that the other rats had eaten its corpse. Viola definitely has a strong stomach!

She then remembers that she spotted a reed warbler in Gargunnock on Thursday. Reed warblers visit the UK in the summer to breed but it is very uncommon to find them in Scotland today. If Viola has correctly identified the bird, it certainly wasn’t the local weather that had attracted a reed warbler to Gargunnock. The County meteorological returns for 1922 evidence that it was a very cold April. In fact, two days later on Good Friday it was so cold that even snow was lying.


April 12th Gartinstarry

Saw Fire Crest & Gold Crest on a

spruce tree by the conservatory. Great luck.

Also found Blackbird’s nest with three

eggs. Shot a female rat on 10th carrying paper

etc. between two holes. Making nest I

suppose. Others ate her up the next night

& only left the skin turned inside out

& picked clean.

Saw a reed warbler at Gargunnock

on Thursday.


April 12th Gartinstarry 3.00 pm.

Saw a Fire Crest and Goldcrests up a fir tree.