Country diary: South UistGuardian Unlimited | 07 Apr 2011
The first wheatears have returned to the islands, and chiffchaffs and willow warblers are beginning to pass through on their spring journeys. A bright and sunny morning seems the perfect time to look for the newly arrived travellers. A short car tour and a lengthy walk turn up not even a fleeting...
Country Diary: StrathnairnGuardian Unlimited | 06 Apr 2011
It seemed I needed more signs of spring as they are slow in showing this far north. So I climbed up through the birch and rowan woodland above the house and on to the main badger setts. The scene did not augur well as the gaunt, twisted, fallen and hanging branches of the birch trees seemed everywhere, forming a crazy pattern. No birds were calling, let alone singing, as I sat on a fallen tree overlooking the setts.
Granny osprey flies back to Scotland from Africa for record 21st timeGuardian Unlimited | 29 Mar 2011
Lady, oldest osprey in the UK, is preparing to mate in Dunkeld, Scotland, after travelling thousands of miles from the GambiaOne of the world's oldest ospreys, which has already laid 58 eggs and seen 48 chicks leave her nest, has returned to her roost in the Highlands, breaking her own record for...
New device boosts memory storageYahoo! News | 27 Mar 2011
Researchers in Scotland have helped to create a new device which improves memory storage for technology including MP3s smartphones and cameras.
Scottish tidal power station gets approvalGuardian Unlimited | 17 Mar 2011
Underwater power station to generate enough energy for 10,000 Hebridean homes, and some distilleries. The world's first major tidal power station is to be installed in a deep, but sheltered, channel between two Scottish islands, providing electricity for up to 10,000 homes.The array of 10 underwater turbines will be placed between the inner Hebridean islands of Islay and Jura, both well known for their malt whisky.
Country diary: Ruthven, HighlandsGuardian Unlimited | 10 Mar 2011
The plan was to look for wild goats on the moorland and scattered juniper woodland on the slopes adjoining the river Findhorn to see if the tribe of wild goats had any kids. The goats have their kids in late February or March so there was the possibility of seeing some despite the prolonged snow and ice of the past winter. The river looked in a sombre mood and seemed quieter than usual as if awaiting something to happen.
Country diary: South UistGuardian Unlimited | 25 Feb 2011
Some time in the past all outward growing branches of the Rosa rugosa have been severely pruned. Bereft of summer's leafy covering, the hedge is revealed as a line of sad brown sticks covered with slender pale thorns. But even in this sorry state the rose is windbreak enough to afford some shelter from today's gale. In its lee, on ground still pockmarked by the trampling of cattle, is a song thrush.
High Court judge green lights legal challenge over deep sea oil drillingGreenpeace UK | 24 Feb 2011
A High Court Judge has given the green light to a far reaching legal challenge that will have significant implications for the oil industry. The High Court will now review Energy Secretary Chris Huhnes decision to grant oil drilling licenses in deep waters off the Scottish coast.
Country diary: Loch FlemingtonGuardian Unlimited | 24 Feb 2011
After a few weeks of being completely covered with ice, it was as if the birds on the highland loch were pleased with the open water. The birds were very vocal, with their various calls echoing across the open water. The commonest bird was the wigeon, with over 60 birds, and at first the dominant calls were from the drakes, with their musical whistles. Goldeneye were busy diving for food and in such calm water their splashing gave them away.
Newcastle hopes to tap deep heat with 2000m geothermal probeGuardian Unlimited | 23 Feb 2011
Britain's greenest city has launched a hunt for virtually free hot water more than a mile below its central streets. Drilling has started in Newcastle Upon Tyne on a borehole which hopes to tap inexhaustible supplies of groundwater naturally kept at 80C (176F) by geothermal heat. The project, based...
Country diary: South UistGuardian Unlimited | 11 Feb 2011
High winds fling kelp plucked from the seabed on to the shore. In places successive gales have built up weedy deposits several feet deep. A tractor lurches and sways along the track. Held in the air above it, at the end of long jointed arms, is a wickedly spiked front-loader giving it the...
Country diary: Cromarty FirthGuardian Unlimited | 10 Feb 2011
One plan was to look for mountain hares, to take some photographs. We would drive over some high ground on roads over the hills and use the car as a hide. The overnight fresh fall of snow thwarted this idea because, if the white winter coat of the hare can hide it from golden eagles, what chance would we have? So it was plan B and to the sea where eventually we ended up in the hide on the south side of this extensive firth on the east coast.
SSE applies for EU funding for carbon projectYahoo! News | 09 Feb 2011
Scottish and Southern Energy has applied for European Union funding to develop a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its gas-fired power station in Peterhead Scotland the utility said on Wednesday.