Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Day2: River Luce

Luce Abbey through the trees
First Dipper
One of my early starts: the rain had cleared so I headed down the lane to the river. At this time of year before the leaves grow in, there are fleeting views across the valley to the ruins of Luce Abbey. It must have been a tranquil and productive monastery in it's day, as along the valley bottom, there is a large area flat enough to cultivate crops. Today there are no crops though: this is well and truly cattle country, with a constant supply of rain to grow grass, many farmers keep dairy herds, supplying the Caledonian cheese factory in Stranraer, and the remainder keeping suckler herds or sheep.  Some of the sheep farmers aim to have a December lambing period and so now there are two sizes of lamb along the lane - the usual Easter born babies, bleating and falling over their legs, and groups of boisterous strong lambs, out looking for trouble.
My targets for the day were the hedgerows along the valley which are home to a range of small birds in summer including migrants like chiffchaff. The other target was the river itself, which bubbles over areas of boulders and level change- perfect territory for dippers.
Prime Dipper habitat
I found a dipper almost straight away but not close enough for a decent picture.  I tried to get closer but stealth isn't one of my stronger skills and he disappeared ...

Older lamb
Further along the road there was a song thrush belting out a tune from the top of a birch tree, but the other small birds were not being cooperative. so I returned to the river to try some patient waiting and finally got my dipper - although not the best pictures, so I'll just have to go back again in better light to get crisper images- not a hardship, as sitting in peace along the river listening to the water provides a pleasure all of it's own!

Song Thrush

Second Dipper


  1. Wonderful images... The Kenmuir Arms in New Luce was a regular haunt of mine in the 1980's it's a lovely part of the world.

    1. Yes - a nice pub, and a good long walk in summer for us (not so sure in winter - getting to be a wuss in my old age ;-)