On Saturday I felt I could reward myself for doing my prelims which didn’t go bad at all, so me n’ dad went out for a walk, first across farmland to Roseberry Reservoir and then he went home and I continued on to Gladhouse Reservoir.
First noteable sighting was a Red Fox out in a patch of grassland. Definitely the healthiest looking fox I’ve ever seen, and it looked even better in the golden sunlight. However, being the timorous creature that it is, it quickly ran off at the sight of me taking my camera out my pocket. A nice experience though.
On through farmland there weren’t that many birds to see other than a flock of c10 Fieldfare, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers being rather noisy, and a Nuthatch being even noisier.
Once at Roseberry, found c25 Tufties were paddling about. Also had a Dipper down at the outlet of the reservoir, and another Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Scoped at the far end of Roseberry were 2 Teal and at the opposite end where I could see them, 3 Wigeon, and c10 Mallard resting on the ice, or should that be chilling on the ice? There was also 1 male Goldeneye.
Passing the very small settlement of Yorkston a Buzzard flew out of one of the fields being mobbed by the many Common Gulls in the fields. Stopped for lunch at the bottom of the hill past Yorkston and whilst there I added an easy year tick, a Lesser-black Backed Gull had joined the Common and Herring Gulls and was feeding in the massive field in front of me. For whatever reason I didn’t take any photos of it but here is one of the Common Gulls.
Dad then left me and headed for home to do some work or something, leaving me to plod off towards Gladhouse. In the spring/summer the fields to either side of the road to Gladhouse have loads of Curlew, some Lapwing, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Hares, sometimes Dunlin, and some other less frequent birds. In the winter however, it’s Crows and Gulls and sheep. I have however seen two Skylarks kicking about and I think Meadow Pipits are starting to repopulate further inland. So hopefully it won’t be long before I’ll be seeing these birds again.
A quick check of my photos has shown that I did in fact see Fieldfare in one of the fields.
When I reached Gladhouse, the Gladhouse Kestrel was there but too distant for photos. I was amazed to see how much of the reservoir had frozen over. I’d say around 80% ice. And it was thick. I threw a large rock at it and it just bounced off. Made some cool noises though.
Across the reservoir I could see the birds were all grouped on the ice along one strip if water that went straight through the middle of the reservoir. I headed off round the east side to get a better view. Whilst I was traversing a field, a Woodcock flushed from amongst the Pine trees by the water. Another easy year tick for me! Easy to see the shape of the bird with it’s badly proportioned head and longish beak.
Once I finally found a good point from which I could see the action on the ice I set up my scope and started snapping pictures. I only managed this picture…
And then the Robin returned, expecting more crumbs so I obliged.
I then decided to walk around to the other side, once again underestimating how far I was going to need to walk. I did manage a nice couple of photos of a Carrion Crow in the sun, albeit one of him flying away.
Bored of the TV I decided to draw something, so I opened my field guide at a random page and of course, it teases me by giving me a Stonechat. A bird that I set off into the Moorfoot Hills specifically to see and I didn’t see it. I drew it anyway. The legs could do with being shorter but it’s not too bad in my opinion.