A few images from a very enjoyable family visit to Iceland at the end of October 2019

An intriguing country to visit, good food, friendly people and a very professional tourist industry and apart from one evenings rain we had good weather.

We knew we had arrived in Iceland (Keflavik Airport) when this Puffin appeared through the roof of the Terminal building!!
The Gullfoss waterfalls – their size indicated by the spectators on the left!
Strokkur – the geyser in the Geysir geothermal area, which obligingly vents approximately every seven minutes.
The Blue Lagoon – the mineral rich water which stays at a steady 38 deg C all year round, a very soothing experience.
Hallgrimskirkja – the, literally outstanding, Lutheran church in the centre of Reykjavik.
A view of Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrimskirkja.
Hallgrimskirkja from the ‘rainbow road’.

October catch up.

With One.com phasing out their simple blog programme the original Salmotrutta news blog has now been moved to WordPress. Presentation will hopefully improve with better knowledge of the new system. A new home page relative to Corby Loch will be added later, meanwhile the information on Corby Loch and the original blog can be found below.

These are therefore new images which would have been posted on the old blog.

The trees at the top of the road in full Autumn colour at the beginning of October, now they are completely bare.
Pinkfoot geese arriving back on the ‘stubble’ fields for their overnight roost.
( early October.)
A Cob (male) Mute swan conducting not quite synchronised grooming.
At the beginning of October there were over thirty Mute swans feeding on the Loch.
A few Whooper Swans arrived by the end of October resting on their journey south.
One of this years six remaining Cygnets in good health, unfortunately the seventh disappeared.
Enjoying the peace of an evenings fishing.


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What was a news page mainly about fishing on the Loch has over the years become much more wildlife orientated and with the dropping of the fishing cover it has now morphed into a blog of images mainly in the vicinity of the Loch.

The Photo page is now formatted under One photo and will be progressively updated.

For those that have asked there is a comments section at the bottom of this blog.

Corby Loch History.
Corby Loch and Lily Loch to the west lie in a shallow basin formed at the end of the last ice age when subterranean ice melted and the ground above collapsed. At one time they probably comprised one body of water which over the ensuing centuries has silted up leaving the two lochs. Both are known as Kettle-hole Lochs and are within the boundary of a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Corby loch is fed both by water from a peaty area to the north known as the Red Moss and also by drainage water from surrounding farmland which can be nutrient rich and the Loch therefore gets a classification by SNH as a eutrophic water.
Both the inlet burn/ditch and the outlet burn have rock reinforced sides in places to ensure a flow of water downhill to supply the now disused Mill of Mundurno some mile and a half downstream of the Loch.

The mill and mill-wheel still exist as does the associated farmhouse now extended and operating as a pub/restaurant.

Weather – Click on this link for weather forecast :- http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/1999?

Scottish Mink Initiative : The following is an extract from the SMI’s 2014 Spring Newsletter:

” Reliable signs of Water Vole activity were reported around Corby Loch, which is the first such sighting in this area ….. for many years.


Rig Supply Vessels anchored north of the port awaiting entrance to the harbour.

Parkhill Fishery – a cock Robin with attitude!

Parkhill Fishery – a young Spotted Flycatcher.

This Common Darter Dragonfly decided to use the garden table to bask in the sun.(The board is 50mm wide!)

The Harvesters are out gathering in the grain.

Oops! I had better get out of here! (A Roe Deer)

It is that time of year for colourful sunsets!

And today a few Red Admirals appeared.

There are a few Peacock butterflies on what is left of the Buddleia which bloomed early this year.

The Corby swans have had a more successful breeding season this year raising seven cygnets to this size.

Away from the Corby loch area – a visit today to the Macduff Marine Aquarium.
If we read the check card right this is a female Cuckoo Wrasse

The viewing area for the big display pool.

The young Ray came for a look at the visitors.

As did the Octopus.

Who then decided to try to camouflage itself!

And finally a splendid Anemone.

Lapwings and Oyster Catchers enjoy probing the ‘grasses’ in the AWPR filtration pond.

There is a lot of activity on the farmlands around the Loch.

One of the few Painted Lady butterflies seen so far. Somewhat pale in colour but after a long journey from North Africa hardly surprising. There do not appear to be so many butterflies around this year with the Buddleia (butterfly) bushes having blossomed early and already losing their blooms.

A slight break in posts, just back after a week in the Channel Island of Jersey.!

Bumped into this Red Squirrel on my wanderings today. Nice to see this winning the survival battle against the Grey Squirrels which have pushed the Reds out of many parts of the UK by dominance and transmitting a viral disease which often kills Red Squirrels.

In a heavy shower I was joined at Parkhill Fishery this afternoon by a professional ‘fisher’ – a Kingfisher, one of the UKs more colourful birds usually seen as a flash of colour along the river.

It moved to a perch over the water, stayed for a few minutes and then headed back in the direction of the River Don.

It is the time of the year for the appearance of the Damsel and Dragon flies.This Common Blue Damselfly was difficult to spot in the grasses around one of the ponds.

The Ceanothus is in full bloom and is attracting many insects especially ……..

Bees and ……


This young Roe Deer buck was so busy grazing that even though I was upwind of him and only twenty feet away he wasn’t aware of my presence ……

suddenly he saw me …..

and headed off to safety!

Another heavy shower over the city!

It is Rhododendron time at Parkhill.

Good weather for cutting pastures for silage.

The young Blue tits are near to fledging.

There must be some food somewhere!

A somewhat bedraggled adult arrives with food.The pair are delivering up to six feeds a minute!

At last grubs up!

Two male Tufted ducks (‘Tufties’,’Divers’) have Balgownie Pool to themselves.

Between the heavy showers a double rainbow looking north-east from the track….

..and a bright sun highlights the not so obvious colours of the Magpie, at first glance a black and white bird.

A friendly seven spot Ladybird. This spring there have been unusually large numbers of these in gardens and countryside.

The Hawthorn or St Marks fly (Bibio Marci). With the warmer weather last week there were good hatches of these terrestrial flies.

Still sitting tight.

An afternoon with the Herons.
On approach.


Being observed from the margins. (Possible bill damage?)

In the rushes.

Aberdeen Beach Art (04.05.14).

It is Cherry Tree blossom time around the city – a little earlier this year as is all nature.

Nest repairs!

On the far side of the Loch the resident Swans are awaiting their first hatching.

The Lookouts –
One at the top of a large sandhill.

The other at the top of the tallest Fir tree.

With slightly warmer weather the first appearance of a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.
Two Peacock butterflies seen last week but no photograph!

In the last week the Whin (Gorse) bushes have coloured up – these are at the south end of the Loch with the concrete lane divider of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral By-pass visible in the distance.

This time of year crops are being sown.

Definitely Spring with Daffodils blooming along the road verges.

No excuses for posting this one, a different and more mature cock Pheasant with a far larger wattle and ‘ear’ tufts.

It is that time of year when these fellows are out and about strutting their stuff!

A walk around the local ponds on a fine early spring Sunday morning.

It would appear that the Corby ‘resident’ pair of Mute Swans have decided to nest in the North East corner of the Loch again this year.

Meanwhile a single male Mute swan is hiding in the rush at the South end of the Loch.

The delicate anatomy of a ‘spreadwing’ Damselfly.

The waterfall on the inlet burn to Parkhill Fishery.

Parkhill Fishery – The female Swan (the Pen) showing off to her mate (the Cob).

Parkhill Fishery – the Otter, competition for the anglers.

A fish wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of these teeth!

Parkhill Fishery – carpets of Snowdrops, the harbingers of spring.

Calm water and peaceful reflections.

One of the smaller ducks – a male Teal enjoying the calm water.

A sign that Spring is coming – the Pinkfeet Geese are back in their thousands heading north for the summer.

Just part of a flock of over 2000 birds.

A few of the birds that frequent the back garden – our resident Robin, a Fieldfare ‘puffed up’ against the cold, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove and the resident male Blackbird. (Click on picture for enlargement below.)

and unusually last summer a one-off ‘pied’ Blackbird.

Surprising visitors this morning to the trees at the back of the house a male Bullfinch –

and his two lady friends feeding on the new buds on the flowering Cherry tree.
Flocks of these in fruit growing areas can devastate orchards.

Lerwick in the Shetland Islands holds its spectacular Fire Festival, Up Helly Aa, tomorrow Tuesday 29th January.
Watch it on this link – https://www.shetlandwebcams.com/uphellyaa/ or the Up Helly Aa site www.uphellyaa.org

(These are a few of photographs taken during my thirty years working in the Islands.)

For the fly tyer, plenty of peacock herl here! (26.05.2008.)

Like something out of Star Wars the Tachina Grossa fly, one of the largest European flies. (Photographed in the back garden 01.08.2007.)

Daddy Long Legs (Crane Fly) formation!

One of the most familiar of birds in the UK, the starling has suffered a significant population decline in recent years, and it is now of conservation concern.
This time of year, joined by large numbers from the Continent, Starlings can gather into large flocks (murmurations) and can perform spectacular aerial displays.
Normally seen as a common black bird, in full plumage they can look quite striking.

Captured and released this was one of the larger residents of the garden shed (the old one pound coin is 23mm in diameter).

Not the last thing a fly wants to see!

On the far side of this the Chinese have landed their module

A misty evening in the Don valley. (31.01.06)

This young Black Headed Gull decided to practice its yoga at the Loch. (30.06.14)


Definitely a frosty morning! (25.12.18 ).


A neighbours ‘menagerie’!

With the weather changing and photo opportunities reducing, some images will be from the archives and will be noted accordingly.

Another Corby sunset. (19.12.16.)

With severe gale force winds overnight storm Deirdre left its mark..

The ferry to the Orkney and Shetland Isles clearing the Aberdeen Harbour breakwater. (27.01.08)


The cutter ‘Searcher’, HM Customs and Excise (now The Border Force) leaving Aberdeen Harbour. (18.12 2004).

After a night with temperatures below zero yesterday morning saw a thin layer of ice on the local pond.

The unique markings of the common Garden Spider.

A watery late autumn sun looking towards Aberdeen harbour entrance.

A kite surfer braves a rough sea at the mouth of the River Don.

A mature Grey Heron is quite a striking bird.

This evening from the house, another one of those unbelievable sunsets.

The friendly Bull along the track….

….and a cow!

A misty morning on the Loch.

A watery sunset over Balgownie Pool.

A slight hint as to where the ‘pot of gold’ is!

Not a Halloween mask with a ghostly ‘bird’ behind it but the centre of our white orchid flower!

The path through the local wood is covered with golden brown autumn leaves.

The Whooper swans appear to have moved on – maybe they know something we don’t!

This years Roe deer twins – the doe was keeping an eye on them further up the hill.

This time of year there can be some spectacular sunrises, this morning was no exception!

The sunset wasn’t that shabby either!

And the next evening!

Heading back to the roost.

Autumn is definitely here – a flock of a thousand plus ‘Pinkies’ ( Pink Footed geese) arrive from the north and stop on their journey south.

They settle in the ‘stubble’ fields to the south of the Loch to ‘graze’. It depends on the winter weather as to whether they stay or move further south.

Obviously how they got their name.

A fierce looking weapon but used more for grabbing than stabbing. Apart from fish the Grey Heron comfortably copes with frogs,small mammals and fledglings and even young rabbits. It’s not uncommon to catch fish showing beak grab marks.

Parkhill reflections.

The Fieldfares have started to arrive from northern Europe for their winter stay.

This young Buzzard decided the telegraph pole was a fine vantage point!

The deciduous trees to the north of the Loch are beginning to sport their autumn colours.

With twenty six Whooper swans on the Loch this afternoon there are a few disputes!

The Whooper swans are back on their way south, eighteen in all sheltering from the north-westerly gale on the far side of the Loch.

It is the first day of October and the trees are beginning to remind us that Autumn is upon us.

One of the few survivors in full bloom after the gales and change in the weather.

With my limited knowledge of Damselflies I referred this one, pictured in August on a small pond north of the Loch, to Dr. Lesley Lancaster, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, who identified it as Lestes sponsa often referred to as ‘spreadwings’ because of this resting mode similar to Dragonflies.

A Common Green Shield Bug sunning itself.

Storm Ali – the wind at times gusting to 80mph almost flattening the waves on the Loch.

Prior to storm Ali there were still a few of the ‘regular’ butterflies on the Buddleia. This Red Admiral decided to meet me ‘head on’!

‘Eyeballed’ by a garden snail!

Back from a week in a very hot Malta (42deg C one day) – not what we northern mortals are used to!!

Part of a flock of some fifty Lapwings (the commonest of Plovers and also known as Peewits due to their call) arriving at a stubble field to feed.

Lapwings feeding.

A Sparrowhawk in the back garden living up to its name and determined to finish its meal even though it was fully aware of my presence.

The last thing you expect to come across this far north in a fairly remote spot is a Sunflower growing ‘wild’ on a mound of earth. How did it get there – garden waste, bird droppings who knows?

A sign of early Autumn – with a fine summer and now some rain the Blackberries (Brambles) are swelling and ripening in the hedgerows.

A plant commonly known as the Fox-and-Cubs (also known as Orange Hawkweed) a good pollinator, but considered a weed when it grows in proliferation.

A seven spot Ladybird getting airborne.

One of the Corby Herons took exception to my sudden appearance …….
and left!

Down to the Buddleia last Friday to do a Butterfly count. The weather was very warm with barely a breeze and there were Butterflies, Hoverflies and other insects in abundance. As well as these –


Red Admiral.

Small Tortoiseshell.

These two were also present –

Painted Lady.

Small Copper (feeding on the Rosebay Willowherb).

With the rain and the weather still warm there has been an almost infestation of mostly Marmalade Hoverflies.

Hoverflies homing in on a Honeysuckle for ‘lunch’.

Close-up of a female Marmalade hoverfly on the roses.

Happened on these two grazing in the sunshine in a pasture to the north of the Loch . They were very wary and continuously on their guard.

Roe deer hind.

Roe deer stag.

Small Tortoiseshell on the Thistle heads. Not so many of these around this summer.

The Harebell (also referred to as the Scottish Bluebell) can be found in small clusters along the road verges and banks.

Reed Canary Grass – one of the more colourful grasses around the Loch. It usually has more of a green/yellow head.

Why a picture of a prisoner staring out of cell 9?
With the schools off it follows an enlightening (short term!) visit to Peterhead Prison Museum last week with some of the family. First opened in 1888 as a convict prison and finally closed in 2013 with the opening of the new prison, the museum opened in June 2016. With the personal audio aid walking you through numerous ‘exhibits’ it traced the history of the prison and was eye-opening and thoroughly worth the visit.

The fluorescence of the Blue Damselfly

There are patches of Rosebay Willowherb around the Loch. This plant is found in profusion in and around Aberdeen and throughout the UK. Without control it spreads easily.

It colonises large areas with its strikingly colourful purple/pink flowers. It might be a ‘weed’ but it provides bees with nectar.

The male of the Whitethroat family.

Along the track – a female Skylark arrives with food for her chicks.

This male Blackbird decided 23 deg C merited sunbathing in the back garden!

Hey Bruv have a look down here!

A Moorhen, the commonest member of the Rail family, in the sun at ADAAs Parkhill Fishery.

The northern section of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) from the Blackdog to Parkhill (Goval) opened today. Corby Loch is some 200 metres downhill to the left of the vehicles. (Photo taken from the bridge near the entrance gate to the Loch.)

With the good weather more grassland butterflies are evident. This Ringlet was resting in the track verge.

All eleven – ready to go?

Strange birds!
A large ‘gull’ on the horizon?

The blades of a new wind turbine.

An unusual bird in the distance!
A bird scarer protecting the experimental rape crops.

A Goldfinch, one of the UKs more colourful birds, feeding on seed heads.

A young Whitethroat surveys its territory.

A Pied Wagtail chasing small flies.

Fished the Aberdeen and Distrct Angling Association (ADAA) Parkhill Fishery, Dyce for an hour in the afternoon but sport was slow so out came the camera.

The fishing bothy.

Rhododendron reflections on the small island.

There were beds of Yellow Irises around the margins.

The Yellow Iris (known also as Yellow Flag)

A male Large Red Damselfly (approx 30 – 35mm) – there were plenty of these and Blue Damsels enjoying the sheltered sunny spots.

Great Tit – grubs up (pardon the pun!)

A Wood Carpet Moth sheltering in the long grasses at the south end of the Loch.
(wingspan 20 – 25mm.)

Corby swans – on the far side of the Loch, it looks like five cygnets this year.
The Mallard out-does the swans by producing nine ducklings.

Very vulnerable in late evening and early morning unfortunately this young Badger appears to have misjudged the traffic.

Within the SSSI the land to the west of Lily Loch with Bog Cotton in the foreground.

At the moment the countryside appears mostly gold/yellow and green.

Gorse ( known in Scotland as Whins) and found throughout the countryside.

Broom – forming the hedgerows on many country roads.

Meadows of Buttercups.

Wind turbines, now there are eleven!

Change of venue? A Grey Heron fishing Balgownie Pool said to contain small perch.

‘Any chance of getting out of here?’ A grumpy looking Blue Tit chick in the nest box nearly ready to fledge.

Lily Loch – A Heron stalking along the rush.

A Yellowhammer in the pine trees at the south end of the Loch.

A Green-veined White butterfly ‘feeding’ on a Daisy in the pasture at the south end of the Loch.

This time of year throughout the city the Cherry trees are in full bloom.

25th April 2018
Both butterflies in the back garden today. Had camera to hand for Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell image from my archives. Don’t know how they will survive as there were hail showers today.

Peacock Butterfly.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

24th April 2018
Lily Loch to the west of Corby Loch – a bird in a tree!

It’s a Grey Heron relaxing.

23rd April 2018.
Photos taken from the bridge over the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route some fifty metres to the north of the entrance gate to the Loch.

The lifting barge installing the wind turbines.

Looking east – the ‘by-pass’ nearing completion with one of the wind turbines offshore.

Looking west – still some work to do – the Bennachie Hills in the distance.

20th April 2018 – a glorious day with the air temperature 18 deg C at 2pm – first sighting of the year of Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies (unfortunately camera not to hand!)

At the risk of being boring this fellow insisted on having his photo taken!

The sun highlighting the colours of the male (drake) Mallard.

The delicate beauty of the Common Darter dragonfly occasionally seen around the Loch during the warmer days in the summer.

Sunset reflections.

The remarkable colours of another cock pheasant ‘strutting his stuff’!

Evening silhouettes.

Another ‘steely’ sunset and a frozen Loch.

The majesty of the male (Cob) Mute swan defending his territory. One of the dominant pair who have frequented the Loch for many years. Unfortunately their breeding results have been poor from completely barren years to losing their brood to predators or natural disasters.

A small bundle of feathers with a long tail – a small flock of Long Tailed Tits are frequenting the back garden.

It is that time of year when the cock pheasants begin to seek out their mates.