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TITLE
A Nature Walk in the Great Glen (4 of 4)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_DEREKMCGINN_04
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Derek McGinn
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1888
KEYWORDS
bird watching
ornithology
audio

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In this audio recording from the 1980s, Bill Sinclair chats to fellow amateur wildlife recordist Derek McGinn as they undertake a nature walk in the Great Glen in springtime.

We're coming towards the edge of this mature piece of forest now and adjacent to it there's one of these many plantations of coniferous trees. And I'd like to take you through that because that will bring out the kind of differences that exist between the wildlife that we find in mature forest, such as this one, and in a young one such as a plantation.

Interviewer: Yes. The vegetation is changing very frequently here, isn't it? Very pronounced. The edge of the field here, and the one or two old native Scots Pines we're seeing now.

That's right, yes.

Interviewer: It's got more of a Cairngormy feel about it, isn't it?

Uh-huh. That's right. And we're coming out of the grass and moss, which is on the floor of the oak wood, into a, sort of a more heathery and brackeny covered area. I think I hear a robin though nearby, Bill. I don't know if you can pick him out. I think he's just, just ahead of us here.

Interviewer: Oh, see if we can hear him. [Bird calls]

There he's gone, I think. Has he gone? On no, he's flitting around.

Interviewer: Yes, he's flitting around in the, in the tree.

Look, look, look, here right in front of us here is something I'd like you to have a look at. This is a larch tree. Now look. I'll bring this branch down for you. The thing that's obvious to you, as you come passed it, are the old cones but look, see the end of the little branch here? These little purple flowers coming out? Now they are -

Interviewer: Like mini thistles.

That's - Yes, they are, and if you look at the - in fact, if you just glance at the ends of all these trees, you can see these flowers are coming out in - all over the tree, and so often we miss these lovely things; small, delicate in colour. And that's the larch flowers which come on before the needles come back on the larches, and that's where - So these are the cones from last year -

Interviewer: Yes

- and then after the flowers have been pollinated, we'll get a new set of cones. But if you just have a quick look now, you can see there's actually a lot of these purple flowers. It's really nice, and it's so often it's the early flowers on the trees that we actually miss.

Interviewer: I think larch and - is one of my favourite coniferous trees. You know, it's coniferous in a different sort of way, isn't it?

Yes, that's right. It's a deciduous tree. You know the - people often think that the conifers as being the evergreens, that keep needles all the time, but the larch, it's just like the oaks and the beeches; it drops its leaves

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A Nature Walk in the Great Glen (4 of 4)

1980s

bird watching; ornithology; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Great Glen

In this audio recording from the 1980s, Bill Sinclair chats to fellow amateur wildlife recordist Derek McGinn as they undertake a nature walk in the Great Glen in springtime. <br /> <br /> We're coming towards the edge of this mature piece of forest now and adjacent to it there's one of these many plantations of coniferous trees. And I'd like to take you through that because that will bring out the kind of differences that exist between the wildlife that we find in mature forest, such as this one, and in a young one such as a plantation.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes. The vegetation is changing very frequently here, isn't it? Very pronounced. The edge of the field here, and the one or two old native Scots Pines we're seeing now.<br /> <br /> That's right, yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: It's got more of a Cairngormy feel about it, isn't it?<br /> <br /> Uh-huh. That's right. And we're coming out of the grass and moss, which is on the floor of the oak wood, into a, sort of a more heathery and brackeny covered area. I think I hear a robin though nearby, Bill. I don't know if you can pick him out. I think he's just, just ahead of us here. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Oh, see if we can hear him. [Bird calls]<br /> <br /> There he's gone, I think. Has he gone? On no, he's flitting around. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes, he's flitting around in the, in the tree. <br /> <br /> Look, look, look, here right in front of us here is something I'd like you to have a look at. This is a larch tree. Now look. I'll bring this branch down for you. The thing that's obvious to you, as you come passed it, are the old cones but look, see the end of the little branch here? These little purple flowers coming out? Now they are -<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Like mini thistles.<br /> <br /> That's - Yes, they are, and if you look at the - in fact, if you just glance at the ends of all these trees, you can see these flowers are coming out in - all over the tree, and so often we miss these lovely things; small, delicate in colour. And that's the larch flowers which come on before the needles come back on the larches, and that's where - So these are the cones from last year -<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes<br /> <br /> - and then after the flowers have been pollinated, we'll get a new set of cones. But if you just have a quick look now, you can see there's actually a lot of these purple flowers. It's really nice, and it's so often it's the early flowers on the trees that we actually miss.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: I think larch and - is one of my favourite coniferous trees. You know, it's coniferous in a different sort of way, isn't it?<br /> <br /> Yes, that's right. It's a deciduous tree. You know the - people often think that the conifers as being the evergreens, that keep needles all the time, but the larch, it's just like the oaks and the beeches; it drops its leaves