We had a wonderful week away at Kirkennan Cottage near to the village of Palnackie near Dumfries. The cottage was palatial. The kids loved the garden. The bird feeders were always busy with tits and occasionally a woodpecker. There was also a resident family of red squirrels whose antics kept use entertained:
With the wind in the north east it was cold, but bright. The sunshine even enticed a red admiral to grace the garden:
The mornings were generally frosty. Both the sprogs and my dad found that the cold penetrated if we stayed out too long, so our walks were necessarily short. We even needed three attempts to climb the Motte of Mark which attains the staggering height of 44m above the Urr estuary.
It’s named after King Mark apparently and was occupied as a fort between the fifth and seventh centuries AD. The tidal island in the foreground is Rough Island. You can pick out the causeway that crosses the Rough Firth to reach what is now a bird sanctuary. In the background in the centre you can also see Hestan Island.
We had a plodge in the sand (mud) here too which was rich in seashells.
Although perhaps sometimes less really is more:
We revisited Sandyhills Bay.
A and B eagerly showed their mum and their grandparents the scenes of their digging, and the route up the small hill to the west of the bay. It was here that we met the robin which was so tame that it allowed us to photograph it from point blank range. S was more impressed with the tractor which it rested on.
On the last day of our trip we stopped off at Caerlaverock Castle.
Where there was much charging about, searching after dragons, firing of trebuchets and general fun to be had. There are both a bird reserve and a wildfowl trust centre nearby. Apparently huge numbers of barnacle geese over-winter here from Svalbard in Arctic Norway. Unfortunately, we didn’t see them, but we could hear them when we arrived.