Once again, we were lucky with the weather as 34 members turned out for the walk at Montrose Basin on Tuesday February 18.
Starting point was the parking area at Bridge of Dun Station, and from there we made our way back along the road to the Old Mill car-park where there is an old water wheel in a state of disrepair.
It is all that remains of the Mains of Dun Threshing Mill that once stood on this site. It is reputedly 5 metres in diameter and is now entwined with ivy but worth a look nevertheless.
From that car-park, we crossed the road on to a wide track sign-posted “To the hides”. Here a hare was lolloping about in the field, totally unfazed by our presence.
We were to see several more hares along the way, but they were all dead unfortunately; dead and partly eaten. Where our track crossed the old railway line is the start of the Nature Reserve and it was shortly after we had entered the reserve that a Scottish Wildlife Trust vehicle passed and stopped to see what we were up to! At the fork, we went left towards the Widgeon hide.
With so many walkers, it wasn’t possible for us to spend long in the hide: we just climbed up for a quick look; a look over the basin from the bank revealed little without binoculars.
From the hide, we retraced our steps until we came to a path off to the left. This took us eventually on to one of the main tracks; the second hide, the Shelduck hide was within sight, but we chose to take the long way round to get there! It was along here that 2 swans flew low overhead and circled a couple of times – almost checking us out – then flew off to land in the Basin. After a quick lunch at the hide, we made our way back, passing a reedbed on our left. Once we reached the old railway line, we decided to head back to Bridge of Dun Station by that route. However, we should not have done that as it led us on to what is the private property of the station. So if any of you decide to follow these instructions for a walk, please note that you should return to the station by the route we took on our outward journey.
Where this walk bordered fields, we were intrigued by wrecks of cars dumped seemingly randomly. I guess they are there for a purpose, presumably to scare the geese, but how effective they are, we have no idea. And, as somebody asked, do they combine round them or remove them before combining? Perhaps someone can enlighten us.
The next walk will be on Tuesday March 4, starting in Fettercairn and taking the distillery road to Fasque, Bogendollo and Fettercairn House. Parking will be at Bridgend where the smiddy and joinery used to be. As usual, the minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk at 10am.