Met a Pilgrim on the way round Lindean


One of the jewels in the Borders wildlife crown is, in my opinion, Lindean Reservoir near Selkirk.

A gentle stroll round there on a nice June day is hard to beat.

On a recent outing, I was immediately impressed on setting out, that the orchids this year look to be particularly abundant.

Almost all the way round, these glorious spikes of purple were pushing through the vegetation to greet the summer sunshine.

Another plant which seems to spreading round the reserve is the cowslip.

Although most flowers were setting seed, their prominent leaves and stems were extremely widespread.

As the path wound through an area of predominantly sycamore trees, I paused to listen to the song of an unseen redstart, high in the canopy.

I seem to be encountering these lovely summer migrants in places I haven’t previously, this year.

I wonder if they are on the increase after a few years of decline.

On the loch itself, wildfowl was sparse, save for a pair of tufted ducks and some little grebes, but I was pleased to see that the resident pair of mute swans had successfully raised a brood of six cygnets, which were out of the nest with their parents, looking to be about a week old.

This pair of birds has had quite a good track record in recent years in getting their youngsters up to adulthood, unlike some swan broods which are extremely susceptible to predation.

Around the loch there are a few well-placed seats where you can sit quietly for a while and watch the abundant wildlife.

A few Orange-tip butterflies were on the wing and bird song was abundant and varied, with the singing skylarks high overhead particularly enjoyable.

Later in the summer, more butterfly species will be around and the thousands of damselflies and dragonflies on the wing will be a particular highlight.

Halfway round, I paused to have a blether with another local newspaper columnist “The Pilgrim”, who also spends a lot of time at Lindean Reservoir.

My pup Treacle was introduced to his dog Tam, who is a couple of months older at nine months.

Both are still full of youthful exuberance and managed to tire one another out while we stood and chatted.

I wish I could bottle some of that energy!

After logging my sightings in the bird hide diary, it was back to the car park, after yet another brilliant walk round this lovely spot.