Once I was into Craigmillar Castle Park a Woodcock (species 65) sprang from the very first patch of damp cover that I checked. I didn't see another for the rest of the day - and I was out for 7 hours... That was my wader list completed with the three expected species (and bonus Jack Snipe) under the belt this weekend, or so I thought. Skylark (66) duly obliged half an hour later with a single overhead - presumably shifted by the cold weather. Again that was the only one of the day.
|Worst shot of Woodcock on the web? It is the speck flying left over the tree tops. Is my sensor that dusty?|
Foot It played a blinder minutes later when I reached my previously unexplored destination of the day. I had always been aware that there were some nice looking fields tucked behind the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at Little France and this is where I was heading. Well, it turns out that a large proportion of the fields are well under the developer's bulldozer of progress, so presumably will not be open space for much longer. But temporary joy of joys - a gull roost - with waders too! This totally unexpected site held several Lapwing, a single Redshank (67 - and an unexpected species) and in amongst the gulls a single Lesser Black-backed Gull (68). The latter was hoped-for but by no means guaranteed. I'll certainly be back to this site...
|This is not a sight I expected to see on my Foot It - a Redshank feeding with Lapwings on a freshwater scrape.|
|And a gull loafing area - with the unexpected bonus of a LBBG.|
After grilling the gulls I headed towards Duddingston and was surprised to come across a flock of 7 Curlew (69 - and also unexpected) feeding on a school playing field.
|More waders - now six species on the list when I only dared to hope for three.|
|At last, after not being sure of the ID of some grey geese last weekend, these PfGs were greatly appreciated.|
Walking further into Holyrood Park I was disappointed to dip on Fulmar on Salisbury Crags, but my jaw did drop when a Lanner Falcon flew past. I assumed it was a falconer's escape but have since read that they are flown over the Scottish Parliament to discourage pigeons - so either it is an escape or 'on duty', but either way it was an exciting moment, though less so for the pigeons perhaps.
|OMG - a Lanner! A falconer's bird obviously.|
|A hybrid Hooded x Carrion Crow making a snowball!!! Bonkers...|
Stats at end of the day: 70 species; total distance so far 52 miles.
Looking forward to next weekend...