Tag Archives: South Lanarkshire

Feathered Winter Visitors

Since my last post I have been attending my archery classes and taking photographs for various people which has taken up a lot of my time. However, today was lovely and sunny and just perfect for a spot of digiscoping at the local bird pond. 

The winter visitors are here and we managed to get some nice photographs of many the birds. Even although the scope can stretch quite a distance, some of the birds were just a bit too far away to photograph them to a good standard.

Below are some of the photographs we took.

The Canada geese always photograph well because they are large birds and also seem to come closer to the water’s edge than the other birds. In the summer I posted some photographs of the young birds which were on the golf course. They have all grown up now.

Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese and Widgeon
Canada Geese and Widgeon
Whooper Swans
Canada Geese and Widgeon
Canada Geese and Widgeon
Whooper Swans

The Whooper swans above include two juveniles – their white beaks dull brown feathers identify them as immature.

Other birds on the pond were Great crested grebes, Tufted ducks, Gadwall, Black-headed gulls, and a Heron. It is a busy pond with plenty of birds to see.

There will not be too many sunny days this winter so it was very enjoyable today.

The Canada geese always photograph well because they are large birds and also seem to come closer to the water’s edge than the other birds. In the summer I posted some photographs of the young birds which were on the golf course. They have all grown up now and are difficult to spot.

The Whooper swans above include two juveniles – their white beaks dull brown feathers identify them as immature.Other birds on the pond were Great crested grebes, Tufted ducks, Gadwall, Black-headed gulls, and a Heron. It is a busy pond with plenty of birds to see. There will not be too many sunny days this winter so it was very enjoyable today.

We did pack up a bit early as there was a man lurking about in the trees watching us and we were a bit afraid he was intending to steal our equipment or attack us.

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Filed under Bird Watching, General, Lanarkshire, Scotland, strathclyde, Wildlife

Ready Steady Gallop – Painted Clydesdale Horses

A few weeks ago I posted an article about Scottish artist Malky McCormick painting a large fibreglass Clydesdale horse which can be read here. This horse and a number of others were to be displayed in the town of Hamilton in South Lanarkshire.

The horses are part of the Ready Steady Gallop event and are mainly on display from 25th June until 6th September in Hamilton Town Centre in South Lanarkshire, although a few are located outwith the centre. I managed to photograph all but three of them and will get the remaining ones soon.

Hamilton Business Improvement District 

The display has been organised by the Hamilton Business Improvement District to encourage visitors to the area and get some exercise at the same time!

Local artists have painted the horses and the results are quite stunning. Below are a few of the horses on display.

First World War Horse

First World War Horse

The First World War Horse is located outside Sainsbury’s supermarket in Douglas Retail Park and is sponsored by the company. It is decorated with the British First World War Medal Trio including the Allied Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the 1914 Mons Star.

Horses in War

It was designed by Jayne Stokes in remembrance of the large number of Clydesdale horses conscripted for the war effort, many of whom suffered along with the brave men and women.  

First World war Medal Trio

In the above photograph can be seen the First World War Medal Trio of the 1914 Mons Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.

Mons Star 

This bronze medal award was authorized by King George V in April 1917 for those who had served in France or Belgium between 5th August 1914 to midnight on 22nd November 1914 inclusive. The award was open to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces, doctors and nurses as well as Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Navy Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who served ashore with the Royal Naval Division in France or Belgium. There were approximately 378,000 1914 Stars issued. 

British War Medal 

The silver or bronze medal was awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. 

The Allied Victory Medal

Each of the allies issued their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory.

‘Regent’ by Malky McCormick

Malky was seen in Hamilton Regent Shopping Centre painting ‘Regent’.

Regent by Malky McCormick

‘Regent’ has the Scottish flags painted on it with the Lion Rampant on one side and the saltire on the other. Well-known Scottish people are also painted on the horse.

Malky painting the Lion Rampant on ‘Regent’

The Lion Rampant

The Lion Rampant is also known as the Royal Standard of Scotland and the Banner of the King of Scots. Its correct use is restricted by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only a few Great Officers of State who officially represent the Sovereign in Scotland.

It is used officially at the Scottish royal residences of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, and Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, when The Queen is not in residence. The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom used in Scotland is flown when the Sovereign is present.

‘Regent’ by Malky McCormick
Scottish personalities on ‘Regent’

The Scottish personalities on the above photograph include Andy Murray, Billy Connolly, and Sean Connery.

Above are just two of the horses. I will include some more on a later posting.

Further Information:

Ready, Steady, Gallop - Information on all the horses including a downloadable location map and phone app.

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Queen’s Baton Relay at South Lanarkshire

The Queen’s Baton Relay for the XX Commonwealth Games arrived in South Lanarkshire on Sunday 22nd June. It was launched on 9th October, 2013 at Buckingham Palace when Her Majesty The Queen placed Her message to the Commonwealth into the baton.

Baton has visited 70 countries

The baton has already passed through the other Commonwealth countries and been seen by thousands of people. The finish line is in Glasgow where Her Majesty The Queen will read aloud Her message at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 23rd. 

In total, the baton will have covered 190,000 kilometres in 288 days and will have visited 70 nations and territories.


Baton at South Lanarkshire

Below are some photographs of the baton in the Palace Grounds in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, on June 22nd.

The Batonbearers are members of the public who have been nominated for the role.

Baton carried by a Batonbearer
Baton carried by a Batonbearer
Another Batonbearer

There were more than one Batonbearer during the relay.

Event at Hamilton Mausoleum

The Mausoleum is a local landmark and was the burial ground of the Dukes of Hamilton.

African band from Ghana

A band from Ghana were provided some entertainment.

Further Information:

XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow

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Filed under General, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Sport, strathclyde

Canada Geese Growning Up

The Canada geese are still running onto the fairway at the golf course to search for food in the ground. Here are some photographs which I took on Sunday. The baby birds are growing up fast. 

Canada Geese on golf fairway

Goose #1 “Do you think it’s a bit dangerous on this fairway with all these golf balls flying about?”

Goose #2 “We should be alright for now. Jane is about to tee off and she will hit the ball into the rough!”

Making their way to the fourth tee!

The birds are growing up fast and will be stronger and bigger when winter is here.

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Baby Geese

This morning when I was out playing a round of golf with the ‘girls’, we spotted a family of Canada geese on one of the fairways.Fortunately, they were quite near the tee, so were not in too much danger of being hit by a ball.

After my golf round, I went home and came back with my scope and camera to take some photographs of this lovely family. The  weather forecast had been for rain, but it turned out to be a lovely sunny day.   

Here are some photographs of the birds.  

Canada Geese on the fairway looking towards the tee
Under the watchful eye of mum
Dad looking out for any danger
Dad having a snack

 After being on the fairway, the family made their way to the pond for a relaxing swim, but stopped off in the undergrowth for another snack. This gave me a chance to get some good close-up images of the young ones.

Baby Canada Goose
Another baby
Another baby
Swimming in the pond
Safely between mum and dad for safety

Looking over the pond, I also saw some Greylag Geese with their young. They were a bit far away, but the photograph came out okay.

Greylag Geese

A Moorhen was in the distance with her young but was too far away to photograph well.

All the photographs were taken by digiscope and they turned out well. What a great way to spend an afternoon!

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Filed under Bird Watching, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Short Walks, strathclyde, Wildlife

Painted Clydesdale Horse

When I was in a shopping centre today I saw Scottish artist Malky McCormick painting a large plaster Clydesdale horse. This is in preparation for a display in South Lanarkshire from 25th June for 10 weeks. The horses will be located in streets and open spaces in Hamilton and South Lanarkshire. 

At the end of the 10 week period the Clydesdale horse sculptures will be auctioned off to raise funds for local charity, The Kilbryde Hospice.

Painted face of the horse
Malky McCormick paints a Lion Rampant on the horse

Malky McCormick has illustrated many magazines and comics and worked on many advertising campaigns in the UK. He is well known as for his caricatures.

Lion Rampant is nearly finished

The Lion Rampant is also known as the Royal Standard of Scotland and the Banner of the King of Scots. Its correct use is restricted by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only a few Great Officers of State who officially represent the Sovereign in Scotland.

It is used officially at the Scottish royal residences of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, and Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, when The Queen is not in residence. The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom used in Scotland is flown when the Sovereign is present.

Other side with the saltire

The horse should look very nice when it is finished and I look forward to seeing all the horses on display. 

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Filed under Lanarkshire, Scotland

Digiscoping Images – Birds

For the last few weeks I have been out golfing but the sunny Easter weather took me to the local bird pond to photograph the birds. With digiscoping, bright weather is required, otherwise the images will not come out well. 

Below are some images I took.

Male Tufted Duck
Female Tufted Duck
Coot
Coot obscured behind some reeds.
Teal
Grey Heron
Nesting Whooper Swan
Great Crested Grebe

The Whooper Swan is unusual because Whoopers usually fly to Iceland to breed over the summer. This swan seems unable to fly the journey to Iceland so has remained behind. There were no other Whooper swans in the pond, but there was a Mute Swan so it may be that he is the father!

The digiscoped images have come out quite well. I find that the camers slightly over-exposes the images so it is best to take images in RAW format and under-expose the shots.

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Filed under Bird Watching, Lanarkshire, Scotland, strathclyde, Wildlife