Late afternoon sun

 

 

Croick Church with Croick Lodge behind

Glaschoil cottage

Open hill with new planting

Red deer hinds on the hill

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to Late afternoon sun

  1. Julian Smith says:

    Very interested to read your blog and look at your photos. Are there still some fallow deer on the estate? How are the black grouse doing? I would love to hear from you.

    • croick says:

      Julian

      Thank you for your note. This blog is a new experiment and yours is our first comment. So you caused great excitement. May I ask how you found it?

      As to your questions, we do still have fallow deer though in trust they survive but do not prosper. I guess numbers have stayed static over the past seven years. I think the weather is just too wet for them. I also think they are bullied by the sika and thus deprived of woodland shelter that they probably need more than any other deer on the estate.

      And the black grouse are thriving. The RSPB come every year to survey our numbers and are very pleased. Unfortunately they do not have the resources to do a full count so we don’t know the total numbers. But we do know they are breeding successfully. Last year they found in one morning a brood of six and a brood of four. We were all absolutely delighted.

      I should also mention the plantings that you provided during your tenure here. They are doing very well indeed. In fact they are doing so well that we have introduced a few deer to help ensure that we can actually get through the ground at all. The deer in the new plantings are, as you would expect, doing very well indeed and are now beginning to provide some most exciting stalking.

  2. Julian Smith says:

    I found your blog on Google. I would guess that you would get more hits if you mentioned more bird species, plants or insects.

    I’m sorry to hear that the fallows are doing poorly as they are such an attractive deer species. I had lunch with Ronnie Munro-Ferguson at Novar on Saturday and the fallows in his park looked splendid.

    I’m very pleased to hear that the black grouse are thriving. I particularly liked watching them at their lekking sites. The one opposite Lubachoinnich was particularly good with up to 13 cocks displaying in 2003. There were other leks forming too, with a good one between the Croick Wood and the Northern commercial forestry block. I think that I found the best month for seeing them was April. You have to get up in the dark, but It’s very exciting hearing the drumming snipe and then, as dawn breaks, more and more blackcock beginning to make their peculiar noises.

    I would think that the ‘new native pinewood’ plantations could do with some cattle being introduced to them to open them up a little. The cattle would also graze down some of the undergrowth, making it easier for the chicks of ground nesting birds (like black grouse) to run about foraging for insects.

    I would very much like to visit the estate to see how it has progressed. The last time I was there was several years ago when I stayed at Alladale with Paul Lister.

    Julian

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