Recent Posts

More wildflowers to find

Passing our wildflower bank below Crow Wood the other evening I was pleased to see that there was a good scattering of Cowslips in the area below the path. These have developed from the seed mix sown there in 2014 and first appeared in flower in 2018, it looks as though they are becoming a permanent part of our wildflower mix on that bank. The photos below were taken last year and it is clear that this year's flowering is much further on. There are others elsewhere in Dalgety Bay on the bank on the Eastern Approach Road which, thanks to changes in the Council grass cutting schedules, are also now a permanent feature. On the other side of the path, close to the last set of steps are the whi

New Oaks update

It has now been several weeks since we last had any significant rain and there is little in the immediate forecast. Fortunately, the winter was wet which will have helped to top up the ground water, but the oaks planted on 3rd March by the P7 pupils from Donibristle Primary do not yet have deep roots so they are vulnerable to extended periods of dry weather. As in all previous years Blair Law has been able to come to the rescue and all the new oaks got a full soaking with water at the weekend. This is Blair in May 2017 - watering the young trees planted in 2015. Despite the cold wind off the sea this week some of the oaks are now beginning to come into leaf. There will be more watering n


As well as some of the smaller wildlife this is also an excellent time to appreciate some of the birds that benefit from the woodlands and our coastline. Firstly - one of the shore birds. The stretch of coastline that fronts Dalgety Bay from the west end of Hopeward Wood round to Braefoot and beyond, along with many other areas of the Forth, are Ramsar sites. That means they are designated as Wetlands of International Importance for Waterfowl. Most of the birds that use the shallow waters of Donibristle and Dalgety Bays are decked in camouflage colours of greys and browns, but one bird stands out from these - Shelduck. These colourful birds are often seen around the shores, especially clo

Early Butterflies in the sunshine

As I am sure you will have noticed, it is not just bumblebees that are now around our gardens and wildflowers. There are some very colourful butterflies around too. Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock, also spend the winter in hibernation as adults, but unlike the bumblebee queens that dig a chamber underground, these butterflies seek out sheltered dry places; under fallen trees; in cavities in old stone walls; or in sheds or garages - more used in the past when doors did not fit so tightly. Two of the ones you are most likely to see are Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. If the wings are closed, both look dark with camouflage patterning, but when they open the wings to get the warming sun dire

Nettles don’t all sting

Plants are growing fast now and more are coming into flower. Two that we are lucky to have a good number of in Dalgety Bay are Red and White Dead-nettle and they have been starting into flower for a few weeks already. The nettle in the name refers to the leaf shape and when they are not in flower it can be difficult to tell them apart, but the Stinging Nettle leaves are sharper in outline and are not as hairy and so don’t look as soft. Importantly for us, Dead-nettles don't sting. The Dead-nettles are part of the Mint family of plants and, unlike Stinging Nettles which are wind pollinated, have clusters of coloured flowers beneath the leaves. These early flowers are particularly importan

Trees in Spring

For our deciduous trees that have spent the winter with bare branches; the race has started to open the buds, expand the leaves and harvest the light to start into growth again. At this time different trees are at different stages in this process and it is a good time when walking through woodlands to take a look at the different species and their characteristic buds. A selection are shown here, photographed a few days ago while on such a walk in Bathing House and Hopeward Woods Many of these trees can be found in other woods around Dalgety Bay and not all the trees you can see on a walk are included in the brief guide below. If you are using Dalgety Bay’s woods for your walks you might li

Emerging Bumblebees

Now that we have had a few days of sunshine and little wind, many of you will be seeing Bumblebees in the garden, sometimes visiting the flowers that provide nectar for pollinators. You will also see some flying low over the ground in a random zigzag pattern; they are looking for places for building nests. Some people may find these large buzzing insects a bit intimidating, but they won't sting unles you grab hold of them. They have far more important things to do. At the moment, almost all will be the queen bumblebees that have been emerging from their long winter hibernation, and they need some nectar producing flowers to power their searches. The first photos are of two of the most f

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