The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust(WWT) found in a recent research that there are growing fears of Polar Bears preying on the eggs of barnacle geese who migrate to the Solway Firth in Scotland each winter.
The bears have turned to the eggs after being stranded on land in the summer months as a result of diminishing ice. And, the centre have recorded an increase in the polar bear activity while monitoring a barnacle goose colony on the Arctic island of Svalbard. If the situation continues bird numbers could be devastated, the researchers worried.
Barnacle goose Barnacle goose numbers have risen dramatically over the past 60 years. But the polar bears are now capable of diminishing there numbers by eating more than 1,000 eggs at one sitting.
Of more than 500 nests on the island, fewer than 40 were successful and most of them had very small clutch sizes of only one or two gosling. The geese are very long-lived birds and their survival rate is increased if they don’t actually breed, especially the females.
Zoologists says that if their breeding continues to be affected in this way the population will quickly age, which threatens its stability and the future conservation of this bird which is very special to WWT.
The entire population of Svalbard barnacle geese winter on the Solway Firth and return to breed in the Arctic each summer.
If you are looking for a weekend itinerary, choose for a walking tour onto the Eildon Hills in Melrose, Scotland. The Eldion Hills are said to be the icons of the Borders and are visible from miles around. Steeped in legend and history, the King Arthur and his army are said to have lived up here. The Iron Age man and Romans have also called it their home in the past.
Although the walk up is steep, quickly you’ll get views down to Melrose and its picturesque abbey. Mid Hill, at 1,385ft, is the highest of the Eildons and the first point you’ll reach at. From here you can get fantastic views across the rolling Borders countryside. You then walk to the top of North Hill, once the site of an Iron Age fort and a Roman Hill Station. You’ll get better view of the Tweed Valley, with the old railway viaduct at Leaderfoot visible below.
A steep descent takes you close to where the Queen of the Fairies is once said to have got to work on a Borders man, Thomas the Rhymer (She entranced him away to fairyland and when he returned several years later – although he thought he had only been gone a few days – he had the ability to see into the future.). You can take a detour to a memorial marking the actual spot it is said to have happened. It takes 3 to 4 hours for you to reach the top of the hill and the distance is almost 5 miles from below. The road that leads to the top can be muddy and rough, so that a full walking gear is needed. Also, you are at the mercy of the elements on top.
The lanes and paths from top of the hills lead back to the pretty town of Melrose. In the centre of Melrose, opposite the abbey, there is a pay and display car park. Melrose is blessed with a great range of places to eat and drink including Marmions Brasserie, Burt’s Hotel and a range of cafés. For a really good, vibrant pub try the Ship Inn.
While you holiday in Melrose visit places that have some significance to the past. At the centre of the town is the place where the heart of Robert the Bruce is thought to have buried. The Three Hills Roman Heritage Centre, just next to the library passed at the start of the walk, is full of interesting history about the town and the surrounding countryside.
Scotland has an outstanding diversity of cetacean watching opportunities with its extensive coastline, numerous headlands and rich inshore waters. Recently, there were evident sightings of dolphins and whales have reported in Moray Firth and at Spey Bay.
It is not months, but only a few weeks since the bottle-nose colony of dolphins along the coast in Moray Firth started to delight wildlife watchers. The authorities got worried since the influx of visitors started to increase and they have issued a plea for the public to act responsibly to ensure Scotland remains number one place in Europe for dolphin watching. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society is concerned following reports of harassment.
Harbour porpoises and minke whales have also been reported from the WDCS wildlife centres and other shore-based watching sites around Scotland. Pilot whales have been spotted near Cromarty in spring and a “super-pod” of common dolphins in Gairloch. There are some great land-based watching sites all around Scotland that are really easy for visitors to reach by car or on foot. The authorities reminds the public, if anyone is out watching dolphins by boat on the water, they can keep a safe distance away from them to ensure the animals security.
It is always an unforgettable experience to see whales and dolphins in their natural environment. All you need is a bit patience to spot them in sea raise up by chance.
One of the seven beaches in Scotland, Coldingham won the coveted International award in 2010 which is recognised around the world- The Blue Flag status for the first time. Another 56 beaches were commended by Keep Scotland Beautiful(KSB), for their quality, but Elie Harbour Beach in Fife and Montrose Seafront in Angus lost the award for failing to meet the criteria including the highest EU standards of bathing water.
A sheltered sandy beach within the bay, it stretches for a kilometre with rocky shores at either end of the beach. Besides, many amenities like cafe, car parking, toilets and disabled access, this beach also offers wonderful views of the surrounding coastline for anybody who would like to take a stroll on the beach. Popular with surfers and body boarders, it has 55 beach huts which are said to be a100 years old.
One can find flowers like rest-harrow and butterflies such as the small copper on the beach sides and also thousands of cliff nesting birds in spring at the nearby St Abbs Head nature reserve.
Chief executive of KSB, John Summers says in the BBC article:
“I am particularly delighted to welcome Coldingham Bay in the Scottish Borders to the Blue Flag list and to see more beaches joining the award scheme in Aberdeenshire and Angus too.”
Scotland, well known for its unspoilt and stunning surroundings has been a factor for the number of Seaside Awards soaring in the past decades which in turn become a major boost for the tourist industry.
Have you ever fancied to go for that dream drive on the one of the most picturesque routes in Scotland? If yes, then get ready for a dream run on the ten-mile stretch of the A817 from Loch Lomond to Garelochhead which has been voted as the most scenic stretch in Scotland. This beautiful stretch which extends up through the Glen Fruin was recently voted the most scenic stretch in a poll of motorist conducted to find Britains best drives.
This pleasant stretch has been known for its splendid views, thanks to the Loch Lomond and The Trossach National Park which adds charm to the place. Meanwhile, last year A87 was voted the best stretch, but this new found stretch from Loch Lomond to Grelochhead is also among the top five UK’s best drives. Been built for transporting military supplies, today this spectacular stretch stands out to be one of the most idyllic and beautiful stretch of Scotland.
Driving on this stretch resembles as if you are riding on a rollercoaster, with the nature of the road rising 1000ft above Glen Fruin and dropping hundred of feet, driving on it remains special. Being the top favourite among riders and motorists, this beautiful stretch has always attracted many motorists to experience a memorable drive on this ten-mile road.