Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Sparrowhawk in Edinburgh (and other stuff)

We went up to stay at our daughters the weekend in Edinburgh, so officially a non birding weekend, but that doesn't mean they don't come to us.

We looked out of the flat window and across the car park some 100 yards away, it was lunch time!

The obliging Sparrowhawk stayed for about 30 minutes whilst he completely devoured the pigeon. Shame the weather was so dull, plus he was under some trees, otherwise the photos would I hope have been better.

Whilst not a huge fan of Zoos, we booked a slot to see the Pandas, that was well worth it as I very much doubt that we will ever get the chance to see them in the wild:

We wandered around the Zoo and whilst we enjoyed the day, I still find it distressing to see the behaviour of some of the animals, especially the big cats, a Leopard in particular looked 'unhappy' pacing in front of the glass in what seems to me a tiny enclosure. I understand the essential breeding programme work that is so important for some species, but I find it difficult to reconcile some of the conditions, I could rant on for ages, but I won't.

So on the way home we took the scenic route via North Berwick and stopped for a coffee and Ice-cream. We had good views of Gannets coming close to the harbour, plus Eider and our first Turnstones of the year.

If we had had time, we would have loved to gone on one of the boat trips run from the Scottish Sea Bird centre to get close to the Gannetts on Barr Rock, maybe next time...

20 days to Sri Lanka and counting!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

.... and Youngsters in the Garden!

Blogs must be like buses. wait for ages then 2 come along one after the other.

Even though we haven't been out and about much the garden has been busy. During the Olympics we achieved our first ever garden lifer! We were sitting outside having a brew in between olympic events when two Warblers alighted in our blossom tree. We quickly realised what they were and got 'the books' to check. Two Garden Warblers!! Another one of those pesky birds that has eluded us for so long! Sadly no photos as I didn't have a camera handy and they only waited long enough for me to look them up!

We now have a semi resident juvenile Jay, it's in most days having a go at the peanuts. It has been interesting to watch it's progress. It first turned up with a parent who went to get the nuts and feed it, but now it comes on its own:
About 2 Weeks ago

We have also had juvenile Robin, Goldfinch, Blue Tits and Great Tits, the Robin and Goldfinch being the most obliging:

Then yesterday we were invaded by a mob of Long-tailed Tits:

Sri Lanka...... 27 Days and counting........

Monday, 20 August 2012

Kingfisher in the Park......

It's been a while since we have posted. We really got caught up in the Olympics so as it's pretty quiet on the Birding front we concentrated on that and then this is a busy time of year family wise, with loads of Birthdays and the like!

So having had very busy days we just decided to walk up to Haden Hill Park on Sunday afternoon.

We made straight for the lower pool in case the Kingfishers were about, we hung around for a while (had a coffee) and apart from the Mallards, Coots and Moorhens

only the Dragonflies were giving a display, most seem to be laying eggs, but knowing very little on this front, some of you experts out there could probably say if this is the right behaviour for that or not:

We were just about to wander off, a flash of blue went screaming across the pool and perched some distance away from us:

I was delighted as this is the first time that Tina had seen a Kingfisher at Haden Hill.. Result! We tried to get closer but every time we moved so did he! It was just great to see him.

The only other sighting of note was a crow in a tree near the lower pool, feasting on a small bird it had picked up:

We then went for a wander around the nature reserve, this was pretty quiet until we got to the top end not far from the hall. Here we were treated  to a number of Nuthatches, Blackcap, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Long Tailed Tits, swooping around catching insects on the wing. I had never seen this behaviour from Nuthatches, although they kept close to the trees, whereas the Tits were coming within a few feet of us and grabbing what they could!

So to celebrate a nice walk, we wandered back via the Ice Cream van up by Haden Hill House and walked home a great couple of hours!

The list for the park:
Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-Headed Gull, Blue Tit, Crow, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Coot, Great Spotted Wood Pecker, Great Tit, Jay, Kingfisher, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Nuthatch, Robin, Feral & Woodpigeon.