Report from Aron Bowers
Time: 0650am onwards
Date: Saturday 18-10-2003
Location: Woodlands nr village of Carnie, West of Aberdeen
Description: Arrived to see dawn break, loaded with camera gear (video and still), plaster of paris, and lots of enthusiasm and longing!!
Woodlands - pockets of such scattered all around the sleepy villages to the West of Aberdeen. Largely Pine plantations, bordered with Birch trees.
First thing that struck me are the rabbit warrens, huge complexes, fresh signs of rabbits everywhere, sightings, fresh urine/faeces at latrines. Natural sand traps existing for spoor collecting, but unfortunately far too dry and sandy to give any detail. Size 11 wellington mark, collapsed, on lifting foot, to form a shriveled no- detailed mark. Puckered marks of smaller size abound.
Discovered in an area of thinned out trees, a trail through the long dainty grasses. An area of flattened grass 6' by 2', then a trail wandering off from the area. In the distance netting hangs in the trees, signs of previous pheasant rearing. For 3 minutes (timed) all wildlife noises stop, no jackdaws, no crows, etc. Noises then resume.
Loose pile of plucked rabbit fur found in an area of bracken filled woodland floor, no signs of carcase.
Large black shape seen in nr distance, suddenly leaping in the air, rushing away from 30' away. Red deer hind, the 'flash' in the distance suggests another in its' company.
Discover, at side of disused track, a skinned out rabbit carcase less the head and cranial thoracic ribs. Skin peeled off, turned inside out. Flesh all but removed; skeleton remains, with skin attached to furry hind feet.
Not 6' away, front leg of roe deer found, no sinews or muscle, old looking, scraps of skin at coronary bands of foot.
Another pile of plucked rabbit fur found, again no signs of carcase discovered.
Wildlife: Red and roe deer, rabbits, hare (occasional) Crows, Jackdaws, Buzzards, Assorted small birds.
Plenty of wildlife, large and small, signs of predation re these. Quiet areas of patchy woodlands, interspersed amongst farmlands - to look for big cats is to look for that proverbial needle! - but Hey!, it gets me out in the countryside.
The Carnie woods, Aberdeenshire and surrounding environs. provide ideal cover/terrain for big cats, reminds me of some of the areas in Moray, perfect environment to support large predators.
I'll soon be revisiting the Carnie woods, would recommend it to anyone visitng the area.
18 th October 2003
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