Hope everyone has been having a lovely relaxing and creative holiday. Here are some highlights from our nature walks of the last few days:
Christmas Day - we saw a fox in the centre of Edinburgh, not as common a sight as it once was, since rubbish is now put in bins, rather than bin bags being piled in the street as they used to be.
Boxing Day - we walked along the Union Canal and saw: a goosander; loads of tits and finches in the trees and hedges in mixed groups and separately, including: blue tits, long tailed tits, greenfinches, goldfinches and bullfinches (a particularly pleasing sighting as they're declining quite badly these days). Also encouraging to see large numbers of house sparrows, another species that is declining across the country though it does seem to hold its own in certain selected locations (such as the Union Canal). We also had our best view ever of a kingfisher and the first we've ever seen on the canal rather than the rivers of Edinburgh (where we see them quite regularly). Not just a turquoise flash across the water but also a sitting pose in a tree over the water and a rather intriguing visit to a bird feeder (what would tempt a kingfisher to a bird feeder I wonder?)
Yesterday it was beautiful cold blue skies and the ground covered in crunchy frost. We walked through Inverleith Gardens, where we saw around 20 oystercatchers on the grass as well as plenty of swans, mallards and four tufted ducks in the pond. We then walked round the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. The squirrels were very lively and aggressive, grunting to each other and fighting and one of them attacked a pigeon. We also saw a lively and noisy mixed flock of tits, including several long tailed tits, a great tit and a few blue tits.
I'll be busy with other things for the next few days, but will be back again early in January. Enjoy the rest of the holidays!