Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary – 28 Apr 1928

After a long period off from writing in her diary, Viola returns with a long entry about one of her favourite birds: geese.

Viola has travelled to Flanders Moss to await the arrival of geese. Despite the presence of an army corps the area, Viola observes over 200 geese coming in to land and comments that it was ‘lovely to watch them somersault before landing’. Unfortunately a shepherd and his dog spook the geese into leaving the area.

Viola continues her entry noting that Starlings and Thrushes have laid their eggs outside her house.



Resumed tentatively 28.IV.28


Spent an excellent day on Flanders Moss sitting in a bog hole

awaiting the elusive geese. Amazing number of gulls about:

hovering in a cloud high above our heads as we ploughed

over the moss 1 making enough shindy to warrant the

presence of an army corps. Set up half a dozen roe deer

in the birch coppice – came past me later, v. close, startled by

L.S. Blue hare nearby ran over my feet. Geese feeding some

½ mile away, but shy. About 6.30 the flighting began

into a small stony field, half grass, half stubble just above

the moss. Fully 200 must have come in from the E. & S.E.

up the Forth by groups of 10 or 20. Completely unsuspicious

took no notice of us worming our way up the field below

them. Flying low; lovely to watch them somersault

before landing. Got within 150 yards of the puddle where

they were feeding but damn shepherd & his dog

then put up the lot, going off N.W.


Page 33


There seems to be a certain lack of delicacy in the

domestic economy of certain birds. From earliest infancy

I have found starlings eggs lying in the grass, but then

no starling was ever a delicate bird. Thrushes however

one generally considers genteel; yet this year, within a

week we have had a neat little pile of 2 thrushes’ eggs &

1 starlings, all laid promiscuous-like on the grass

in front of the house. Neither decent nor convenient

somehow – bad staff work in fact.