… In the Moorfoots. Here’s what I posted in the Lothian Birding thread on BirdForum. Just a quick recap.
Moorfoot Valley today, with the sole intention of finding one bird in particular to add to my life list. Before getting into the actual valley, the walk there gave me a pair ofOystercatchers, 1 flyover Curlew, and a lot of whooshing, peewiting Lapwings. Skylarks were obviously present, and a few Swallows are in the courtyard of Moorfoot Valley. On one of the drystone walls a wee bird popped up and I knew before getting my scope on it that it was a male Wheatear. A female joined him further along the wall. Buzzards present all day, at one point I had 5 in my field of view. Getting closer to the valley Meadow Pipits started appearing and eventually I got used to the fact that 3/4 birds on the ground were going to be Mipits. A single Mallard was unexpected.Pied Wagtails were also ever present. Quite a few maleChaffinches were outside the wee house just before the valley.
Once finally in the valley I noticed more Wheatears all over the place, also Sand Martins, about 6-8 of them overhead. Later found out they are nesting in an embankment by the stream. I saw a bird fly to a rocky area, when looking through the scope I noticed a single Mountain Hare being bothered by Mipits.
Finally at the fence that has the gate into the valley, I saw theRing Ouzels that I was looking for, 4 of them. The rest of the valley produced 1 Dipper, 3 more Ring Ouzels, a Raven, aStonechat and a couple Red Grouse.
Gladhouse Reservoir had not much to be seen, lots of gulls and Greylags, a Great Crested Grebe flying about, 3Cormorants joined in, and a probable Osprey which flew to the main island and disappeared behind it. No Chiffchaffs throughout the whole day, but Willow Warblers were everywhere, even some in a tributary valley in the Moorfoots.
Shrew sp and Vole sp in the grass at the sides of the road when I was walking back home.