The day started well with six Brambling in with the finches in the garden. As I was watching them this female Blackcap (species 61) appeared at the furthest sunflower feeder. Great to get this species as it could be easy to miss. Although they appear in the garden every winter they are irregular and their visits are often brief - this is the first visit of the winter.
|Brambling, female Blackcap, Goldfinch and Greenfinch in the garden|
Domestic duties then needed my attention but I manged to encourage the kids to do some of them on foot. They are happy to support the increased fitness benefits of Footing It. As we passed through Inch Park I managed a shot of the hybrid Hooded x Carrion Crow that had not cooperated for the camera last weekend (the third out of four).
|Hybrid Hooded x Carrion Crow at Inch Park|
A short spell in a portable hide at the end of the garden after lunch did not get any shots of the Blackcap but a couple of nice finches. I have yet to acquire the requisite mossy stump for aesthetically pleasing shots...
|I have had the canvas and wooden pole hide since the 1980s but only started using it last winter! This male Bullfinch enjoyed peering in at me today...|
The wet meadow area was a bit of a relevation. More extensive than it looks while whizzing past on the by-pass, this area looked good immediately. A dozen Roe Deer and a Red Fox were seen as soon as I entered the area of fields. Once the ground became boggier I started to hope for waders and sure enough a Common Snipe (species 62) soon fled from a wet flush and Mike's flock of 32 Lapwing (63) were eventually located just beyond Pentland Burn. In a wet footed return I flushed 3 more Common Snipe and a single Jack Snipe (64). The latter was not only a Foot It tick, but also a Lothian region tick for me (223). I have managed to resist the temptation to search for Jack Snipe at known localities within Lothian for the last few years as I suspected it was a very good chance as a self find county tick. After banking quite a number of hours of trudging wet fields in and around Liberton looking for this diminutive species, today I was punching the air at long last.
So, that's a total of 64 species - just 11 more to go to reach my target.
|Roe Deer near Straiton, Edinburgh, this afternoon. My Foot It mammal list is on 5...|