Squirrel Nutkin and a fish ladder

I saw not one Squirrel Nutkin but two Squirrel Nutkins this morning (and by Squirrel Nutkin I’m referring to the very elusive red squirrel). I went out by myself just after breakfast and it didn’t take very long to spot them. They’re much smaller than I thought and very, very cute. They’re incredibly agile and quick and leapt from branch to branch and even tree to tree with great speed. They’re a lovely ginger colour with a white tummy and quite different to the grey squirrel which now seems rather large and sluggish. I tried to get photos but it was tricky because they move so fast and they were quite skittish. I did get this 9-second movie though.

We went for a little walk this morning and saw some pretty scenery.

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Then we went to the fish ladder. This is a very interesting place. It’s a hydropower station which was constructed mid-last century on the River Tummel. Hydropower stations of this type dam the river and prevent fish from traveling upstream. This is a problem for salmon stocks as salmon like to swim upstream during the breeding season to lay their eggs. An Act of Parliament in 1943 required the hydroelectric board to exercise a duty of care to preserve these fish stocks and so they built a fish ladder as a way for these fish to swim upstream past the power station. The fish ladder is the series of pools on the right in this next photo:

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You can peek into the power station too although you can’t see all that much.

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From the outside it looks like this:

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I can remember learning about electricity generation at school and how it sounded like magic. That spinning a magnet inside a solenoid (coiled wire) can generate electricity is pretty amazing.

Then we wandered home and Daniel had a haircut at this cool barber’s on the way:

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We’re heading back to Aberdeen tomorrow but will go on another short walk somewhere in the morning.

27 thoughts on “Squirrel Nutkin and a fish ladder

  1. What is it with you and squirrels? In my part of the world they are prevalent. Are they rare in Scotland?

    Love the video. It made me laugh imagining you standing there trying to capture your little friends.

    1. These aren’t just any old squirrel you know. These are red squirrels, native to Britain, and almost completely wiped out by the introduced grey squirrel. We have plenty of grey squirrels in our backyard in Aberdeen but these little guys are very different and very rare.

      1. I didn’t realize that. I had better archive that video then.

        By the way, I love the photos of your family and the countryside. For some time now, I have wanted to plan a cycling trip to Scotland. You have got me thinking about it again.

    1. It has been very warm and sunny all week. It was apparently warmer in Aboyne (a little village near Aberdeen) than in Barcelona on Monday.

      I’m going to try to see some more red squirrels tomorrow before we leave 🙂

    1. Somehow we missed the viewing chamber. I didn’t see it. Maybe we were concentrating too intently on the deep, dark pools looking for salmon? We didn’t see any salmon.

  2. Good job to capture one at all. They are very quick. It is reckoned that you’ll find red squirrels in/near pone forests which also house the elusive pine martin. The pine martins prey upon squirrels but it is easier for them to catch the grey than the red.

    The last time I saw a red was on the Isle of Wight – it bit me. 😀

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