Patching up the holes in my blog, and doing some patchwork too.
Yesterday I went out with James for a wee jaunt on the patch, we were hopeful of something good. Before leaving the house though, I checked the pond, as I usually do, and noticed a white egg lying next to the pond. Undoubtedly a Woodpigeon egg, considering they are (or should that be were?) nesting in the conifer behind the pond.
Anyway, we took the usual route round the field, and checked pretty much every shrub we could, producing not much more than a female Chaffinch, nesting Goldfinches, and a Woodpigeon. Once on the path the through the field we started checking all the tractor tracks down the field for Wheatears as they still hadn’t showed up despite James’ and Geoff’s promises. Eventually at the top of the field James spotted something down one of the tracks and lo and behold, it was a lovely male Wheatear sitting enjoying the sun. We got a bit closer to confirm and to take a picture as proof.
Round Liberton Tower we had a little check of the sheep field up there for any more Wheatears that had decided to make an appearance but none did; just Starlings and Swallows. We also had a bit of a check for Tree Sparrow as it’s been a while since anyone had reported them in the area. This search continued up into the small plantation across the other side of Braid Hills Drive, but that only gave us Robin, Blackbird and maybe a few Tits too. I did manage to pick up some Alder cones to help me with my tree ID though.
Back across the road and down the Howe Dean path, we took a different route on to the golf course, maybe we were hoping for Whitethroat… Or Wryneck… But no luck there. A bit of Shrew watching was good though, right beneath my feet pretty much. Despite the Wheatear patch tick, I think we both felt we deserved something a bit better given neither of us needed to be getting anywhere later in the afternoon. So we went to Musselburgh…
Along the road to the car park we had a listen out for Grasshopper Warbler, but to no avail. The Mute Swans on the boating pond looked pretty angry, so we left them and headed to the scrapes. On them were to usual birds: Dunlin, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Oystercatchers, Teal, Shelduck, and some Ringed Plover, a year tick for me. There was also the slightly less frequent birds such as a single Canada Goose, a few Snipe, a single lonely-looking Pink-footed Goose, a single Grey Plover and a couple of Little Ringed Plovers. The latter I have seen before at Loch Leven but for some reason I haven’t added it to my life list previous to this. It’s on there now though.
After the scrapes we headed to the seawall to perhaps find Purple Sandpiper to add to my list, but no luck. Did add Turnstone and (finally!) Fulmar. Also further out at sea were a few Eiders and a Red-throated Diver which gave good views. Terns also featured but not sure about species, I thought Sandwich based on what my scope told me.
Here’s all the good pictures I took…
This was a surprise year tick, a Gadwall on the scrapes that I only found when I looked at my pics once home.