About a week ago in Holyrood

So, I’m a bit late in posting this but that’s how it is.

One of my Thursdays spent at Holyrood Park doing my John Muir Award. I was actually finalising my proposal for all the things I’m going to be doing, and we’ve added sketching and speaking to people to my list of activities. Anyway, last Thursday I only really did some walking about in the area and seeing what’s going on, which is actually one if the things I’m supposed to do to help me gain an understanding of the area.

I started by heading from the Historic Scotland office to St. Margaret’s Loch, just across the playing fields, and I did a wee count of the birds on and around the loch.

2015/01/img_4407.jpg 32 Mute Swans, more than usual on the Loch.

2015/01/img_4408.jpg Quite chuffed with this shot of one of the 19 Greylags around the Loch.

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2015/01/img_4410.jpg A couple of Swans started doing what I assume is a greeting ritual/dance? I’ll need to read up on it.

2015/01/img_4413.jpg About 200 Black-headed Gulls on St. Margaret’s, still no Med Gull for me!

2015/01/img_4414.jpg A cheeky Dunnock who wouldn’t face the camera.

2015/01/img_4412.jpg With the Swans and Geese.

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2015/01/img_4415.jpg Number of Feral Pigeons seems to have gone up now it’s cold.

After St. Margaret’s Loch I head up the high road to The Lilyhill, my first area that I’m studying for my Award. Every week I see the same Magpies. Almost feel like I’m getting to know them. One week I sat and watched 4 of them systematically make their way through the leaf litter, picking things up and burying them in different places.

2015/01/img_4416.jpg One of the Magpies.

I proceeded up the hill and into Lilyhill where I found quite a few firsts for this year; Coal Tit, Chaffinch, and a couple others I think. Once I reached the end of Lilyhill I went up to Whinny Hill and had a wee walk through there, adding Bullfinch to my year list and getting some very nice views of Goldcrests squeaking about in the Gorse and Broom. After this I had to go back to the office to finalise my proposal with one if the wardens but after that I headed back out to my third area, Dunsapie Loch. Before I got there though I was distracted by a Kestrel which was being, A. Very noisy and B. Mobbed by a couple of Carrion Crows. Whilst the Kestrel was clearly not very happy about being chased around the park, it did mean another year tick for me! And I got a few decent pictures.

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This shot (below) I’m also quite happy with, looks very artistic and was obviously completely on purpose (not!)

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So after spending ages staring at the sky I finally moved on and got to Dunsapie and saw what I’d expected, and added Pheasant to my year list 🙂 also struggled to get nice shots of the Tufted Ducks which kept diving so eventually I gave in and settled for this “post-dive” shot.

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And of course the Black-headed Gulls posed as much as they could.

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So that was probably the last time I was out birding, I might manage to get out tomorrow but I’m not promising anything.

In other news, I’ve ordered a digiscoping adapter for my compact camera so I’m sure I’ll be updating you with all the shots I take using that!
Hope everybody has a good week!

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About a week ago in Holyrood

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