Thursday, 22 May 2014

A bit of birding and the Cup Final

On Friday after yesterdays efforts we had a quiet morning we then drove down the Sma’ Glen not far from Perth and then up Glen Quiach looking for Black Grouse which we didn’t see. I did see Red Grouse but as it was a nice day we just wanted to relax. In the late afternoon we arrived at Loch of Lowes near Dunkeld and made our way to the hide. The Osprey’s were nesting but there was little else around. This was the place that I first saw Otter nearly 20 years ago and I have been many times since with no luck. We were just getting ready to leave when I spotted a head swimming through the water, Otter I uttered and the hide sprang to life. As it got closer one of the wardens pointed out that it was actually a Beaver! It then proceeded to swim past us pretty closely!

The next day was Cup Final day. Having been born in Perth (left aged 8) I have always been a mad keen fan. My Grandfather used to take me to all the home games and ever since I have always managed to see them a few times every season. There was never a doubt that I would be at the game, I was quietly confident, but happy to see them in the Scottish Cup Final for the first time ever. I just wish my father had lived long enough to see it (he was mad keen as well).

As I was driving we left early parking up and walking about a mile and a half to the ground. I hadn’t realised that this area had been designated for Dundee United fans. We found our seats and sat down just as the rain started. Fortunately the rain ceased just before kick off and the atmosphere was electric, the Saints fans were going to enjoy the occasion win or lose. It was a cracking game, end to end with Saints just about having the upper hand. United hit the post, their keeper made a couple of great saves and just before half time we scored from a corner. The second half started with United hitting the bar, it look a goal from the far end, then we had a goal chalked off! My heart couldn’t take much more, then the ball broke and our centre forwards Steve Mclean poked the ball home and all hell broke loose. I turned to Joy and said that it, we won the cup. I might not have been as confident had it been the Albion, we specialise in loosing two and even three goal leads!

The ref blew for time and that was it St Johnstone had won their first major trophy in their history (130 years). We stayed for the celebrations and then headed back to the car. I was really surprised but Dundee United fans were congratulating Saints fans a real contrast to down south. I suppose they are happy if anyone but the “Old Firm’ win. Then to cap it off, we saw an Osprey just outside Perth on the way back!

On the evening we when down the Cherrybank Inn which was packed with Saints fans, and a piper played “When the Saints go Marching In”. I would recommend the pub to travelling birders going to Speyside it has a good selection of local real ales. At the Broxton Roundabout, rather than turned left on the A9 continue into Perth for about a mile and it is on the right hand side.

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