Patch Catch-up

I’ve not updated my blog in a while, and I’ve been out a lot, pretty much exclusively on my patch. So here are some key sightings that I’ve had…

Common Kestrel: seen the male a lot, in fact a couple days ago I saw 2 makes having a wee face-off on the golf course. 1 sighting of the female.

Common Buzzard: quite a few sightings, one day produced 4 individuals so looking good for breeding this year. Unfortunately I wasn’t happy seeing them at some points as I was looking for the next bird…

Osprey: there was a fly-over reported straight over the top of Blackford Hill, and another reported over Duddingston Loch so that one probably passed pretty near my patch too. Very frustrating, still haven’t seen one.

Bank Vole: heard a lot of these as I’ve been staying out quite late recently. Finally saw one hiding in some long grass. Also heard shrews and probably some mice. A make-shift camera trap gave me a lot of action behind the camera so just a bit of noise in the background.

Common Pipistrelle: had great views of them hunting over the Braid Burn. Threw some seeds up on front of one of them to see their echolocation in action.

Nuthatch: heard twice from the edge of the woods. I haven’t really been into the woods, just keeping to the field, and the Hermitage upto the edge of the woods.

Treecreeper: also heard, but next to Agassiz Rock, two of them. I suspect they are breeding.

Chiffchaff: they are common as Robins now. One day I heard 7 different birds calling.

Mallard: they’ve been flying about quite a lot, all over the place. Only 1 female, lots of males.

Teal: 1 very high fly-over.

Sparrowhawk: few sightings, 1 of the female over Liberton.

Meadow Pipits: hundreds of them in the field. They head to roost at about 8:30pm, not sure where. Possibly on Blackford Hill as they head in that direction.

Skylark: they’ve been singing all week. Long may it continue! Sounds lovely

Linnet: suspect they are nesting in the gorse at the top of the field.

Sand Martin: had quite a few nice sightings of them. 2 up at Liberton Tower at the top of the field, 1 past the house, and this morning had 2 feeding over the field. Nice views through the scope.

Tracking: I’ve been trying to get to grips with some animal tracks and signs. Best find was Otter spraint by a waterway on the patch. Quite a lot of it, but after discussion on Facebook with people on the Animal Tracks & Signs group we’ve decided the Otter was taking advantage of the frogs spawning there. This was particularly obvious when I looked carefully at the spraint as there were loads of bones, frogs’ bones.

Brown Rat: I was quite happy to see this as it was an addition to my mammal year list. I saw something under the water in the burn going downstream and then it disappeared into some plants hanging over the water’s edge. I chucked a wee stone into the water to see if that made whatever it was move and out swam a Rat towards me.

Melanistic Pheasant: a strange sighting, the melanistic pheasant strutted around the perimeter of the field past the garden.

Fieldfare: 1 individual in the field yesterday, I suspect it’ll be the last one I see on my patch for a while…

Wheatear: despite searching every day at the top of the filed where James and Geoff have told me they turn up, I haven’t seen them. But they still might turn up, along with the Willow Warblers and Swallows! 

Some great reports of falls of migrants down south so hopefully we’ll be getting some more appearing here! And hopefully I’ll find them myself 🙂

Patch Catch-up

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