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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Today's Walk...a wander around the Pass of Birnam

Dunkeld from Pass of Birnam

Looking east, towards the Sidlaws

Looking south, towards Fife and the Lomond Hills

Everything's looking greener and birds very active.  We had a wonderful view of a red kite coming up above the near horizon and then soaring above the trees around the back of Birnam hill - and a possible two others, although we couldn't be sure as they were moving fast into the wind.  We had a clear view of its pale head, beautiful under-wing markings and distinctively forked tail.
Bright sunshine for much of the afternoon, interrupted by a brief snowstorm, and some rain.  It was very windy so the weather blew across quickly.
We parked on the Dunkeld to Bankfoot road in a muddy layby about fifty yards or so above the signposted walks to Byres of Murthly (on one side) and Birnam hill (on the other).  Plenty of room for three or four cars.
First we walked to Byres of Murthly and Pass of Birnam - a pretty woodland walk by a burn with nice views towards Dunkeld when you get to the top.  The path seems to peter out there and it's a bit overgrown generally, so we retraced our steps and then walked up towards Birnam hill.  We didn't proceed beyond the fence by the woods, and just stopped to enjoy the view towards Fife (see bottom photo).
We'll return another day to tackle the hill itself.  I've been up it a few times but it's quite steep and I really have to be in the right mood.  The views from the top are marvellous, but not sufficiently marvellous to motivate me today.
On the return drive home I was excited to see a pair of lapwings displaying over a field where I know they regularly nest.  Just the one pair though, and it's been the same for the past several years.   There should be lots more. Lovely to see them but how sad that they're in decline.

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