On the wildside: An evening walk around Fogo

Flowering Rush seen on the evening walk at Fogo.
Flowering Rush seen on the evening walk at Fogo.

Monday, July 13, was a miserable, drizzly evening, but a small group of us still turned up for a general wildlife walk around Fogo led by Andrew Mitchell.

Meeting at the lovely Fogo Kirk, our first encounter was with a spotted flycatcher in a small tree in the churchyard.

Passing Gamekeepers Cottage, where Andrew grew up in the 1960s and 70s, the current owners joined our party.

We then followed the road just a short distance before turning left into the field gateway, and hugged the edge of the wood down to the Blackadder Water.

There we heard coal tits and goldcrests and saw lots of calling cards from bunnies underfoot (they had been scoffing on the wheat crop in the field).

Flora along the field edge included, as expected, included Red Campion mixed with the delicate blue Forget-me-nots, purple Tufted Vetch and yellow Birds-foot-trefoil and Ox-eye Daisies

There was also the fragrant underfoot Pineapple Weed, and I was delighted at the amount of Chickweed (as it is so very good, both for eating and as a skin treatment, I shall be back to pick a basketful) and a single plant of the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel.

Interspersed with the Meadow Sweet in bloom and the Meadow Cranesbill bunches were budded Knapweed, and tucked almost out of sight in a small pool of the river was a wee stand of Flowering Rush (photographed here).

Two buzzards and a grey heron were up and a jay and a song thrush were giving it vocals.

Just at the last approach to the foot-bridge we flushed Mr Pheasant from his hidey-hole – what a commotion there was!

Arriving at the footbridge, built in 2004 and dedicated to John Hunter who was the Minister at Fogo when the original bridge was washed away (Andrew and his sister only remember the very slidey stepping stones), Ron spotted a male Ghost Moth, very white in colour and often seen at dusk hovering over grassy areas like a Moth Lek.

Heading up the footpath to the road, edged with the remains of Jack-by-the-hedge and Herb Robert, we espied both a shrew and a wee frog crossing our path.

Then, peering over Fogo Bridge ,there was only one Yellow Flag Iris in flower, but we were treated to a glimpse of a grey wagtail flying up the water and under the bridge below us.

To be continued .....

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is a Scottish registered charity, number SC005792, and is based in Edinburgh.