Greetings nature lovers!
This is the first of a two part series in which my aim is to expose the truth about wildlife in Scotland.
Too often, would-be visitors are presented with an appealing vision of a land teeming with red squirrels, sea eagles, osprey, otters, pine martens, bottle-nosed dolphins, capercaillie etc.
Yes, appealing, most certainly. But whilst all the above mentioned creatures can indeed, with patience and planning, be seen in specific corners of the country, it is undeniable that for most unsuspecting tourists, a different reality awaits.
As they say, forewarned is forearmed.
Let me introduce to you the Aberdeen Seagull (strictly speaking the herring gull, Larus argentatus).
Found in large numbers all over the city, but particularly prevalent on roof tops around the harbour, he (or she) has an enthusiasm for marking motor vehicles unmatched even by the most territorial of intact male pups.
These vocal local residents are up bright and early and will do their best to ensure that you are too.
Although in general they are unfussy eaters, one renowned member of the species is on record as having a particular fondness for Tangy Cheese Doritos…
But wait! Why am I telling you all this when we have a local avian star who can give it you direct?
Meet Steven Seagull...
(Gail says she hopes that readers will be able to decipher Steven's distinctly Aberdonian accent and vocabulary, but surely that could never be a problem…?)
For Part 2 of the series we shall focus on the wildlife of the Western Highlands.
Watch this space.
A new week.
1 hour ago