Trees and ... trees
Looking down over the Chilean rainforest hillside in Benmore Gardens from the seat on the high path, I was struck on this quiet, cold, frosty day by the variety of shapes and sizes - very different from the solid ranks of conifers on the far slopes of Glen Massan. A lunchtime walk again, making the most of daylight while allowing for the socialising I'd arranged later, when two of our oldest Dunoon friends came along the lane for aperos and chat that we don't usually have time for.
A highlight of the walk, however, I captured only on video. We stopped briefly at the hide to see if there were any red squirrels out - and yes, there were three or four, scampering along the big rope between the feeders and bounding over the dead leaves on the ground. But the excitement for me was in identifying not one but two nuthatches, one very close to the wicker fence that screens off the area and through which I had a slit for my lens and another for my eyes. The other was making a marvellous noise battering at the clear plastic that holds the nuts for squirrels, clearly trying to get at the nuts inside.
And then I went home and looked them up, to discover that they're really rare in Scotland. I knew I'd seen them before, but to see two looking so established was quite exciting, even for a non-birdwatcher. Cheers!