Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year and a Winter Walk

Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! We had a lovely walk today (the Scottish second New Year Bank Holiday!). We walked round a frozen Blackford pond, where a swan and a greylag goose were gingerly trying to skate on the ice, while the mallards and moorhens were either on dry ground or swimming in the small patches of water free from ice. We walked through the Hermitage of Braid and got a wonderfully close view of a goldcrest, fluttering in the branches of a tree, showing off its yellow crest to full advantage. We also saw a bullfinch and two coal tits at close range as well as there being reasonable numbers of other tits and finches in the trees.

On the way home we walked on a bridge over the Union Canal and we're pretty certain we saw a water vole, diving and swimming across the water. This is quite exciting as water voles are pretty rare these days in Scotland.

(If you are unfamiliar with any of the species mentioned, remember each bird or animal name links to a page where you can find out more!)

Wishing everyone best wishes for 2009.

20 comments:

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Love your little picture supported safari tours. We had a whole flock of I think Finches in our tiny lemon tree, it was amazing. I think for 2009 I will learn more bird IDs. I mean what kind of Finches were they, if indeed they were...Happy '09 to your CGP and your CGBF.

egretsnest said...

Happy New Year! I loved learning about the water vole! Thanks!

The Weaver of Grass said...

This sounds a lovely walk. My daughter in law has had a goldcrest in her garden in North Yorkshire for a few days. It is just outside her kitchen window on the wall - quite unusual for here. Best wishes for the New Year.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

How cute the water vole is, and how fortunate to experience such beauty. Nature certainly inspires!

Mistlethrush said...

Well done on spotting a water vole. Not any around here that I know of.

All the best for 2009

Gordon Mason said...

Great places for walks at this time of year!

Glad to see you've not been down Leith way with the bits of bodies and the missing plans of Holyrood House or you might be needing an alibi!

Rethabile said...

Happy everything to you, Juliet. A cleaner world would be a good start.

polona said...

thanks for another lovely walk with you and happy 2009!

Rabbits' Guy said...

A Winter Walk .. very nice ...

Coastcard said...

I recall the moment when I saw my first water vole, in a stream in Hampshire. Such a cute creature - and much more in line with my picture of the character of Ratty in 'The Wind in the Willows' than a 'proper' rat!

Would love to see a goldcrest: Aberglasney, the 'garden lost in time' not far from my home has a resident firecrest: I keep hoping I will spot it!

Have a great, green new year!

Mistlethrush said...

Have started reading the Ruth Padel books - it's enlightening. Thanks for sending it to me.

Maithri said...

Wow!!! Thank you for the spectacular walk....

I love birds... am always amazed at their beauty, their song, their ingenuity...

Sending you peace and love on the wings of a new year,

Maithri

Dave King said...

Lovely, and your wishes are reciprocated.

furrybutts said...

The water vole page won't load for me.. I'll try again tomorrow :)

Happy New Year to all of you!! May it be a happy, blessed one!

said...

hi there! your christmas and new year nature walks and highlights sound lovely! and foxes in cities are always quite enchanting, aren't they? i remember when i lived in london, in dulwich, and i saw a fox on the high street, bizarre, but nice! hope you had a good time, sounds like it! i still have to post up from our festive season, my mum just flew back to the uk yesterday and today we're being house hermits tidying and putting up new pictures. wishing you a serence and bright 2009, catch you soon, nà

said...

ps.s - that was meant to read 'serene' of course :)

Janice Thomson said...

You really have a huge variety of birds, in particular songbirds, over there. I love reading these posts and check each bird.
The water vole is an interesting rodent - and cute - is it considered a pest like the rat is here?

Crafty Green Poet said...

d moll - enjoy learning more bird id!

Weaver - my parents have a goldcrest in their garden sometimes too.

Mistlethrush - I didn't realise there were water voles round here until we saw this one.... Glad you're enjoying the book...

Gordon - ay, its good I've avoided Leith recently....

Coastguard - yeah the water vole is cute isn't it? I'd love to see a firecrest,

Janice - water voles are not at all pests, mink and rats are the pests that have added to the water voles decline in numbers

Best wishes for 2009 to all of you

Selma said...

I love your walks - it is just so lovely to see all the animals. I am looking forward to many more walks this year. Wishing you all the best for the days ahead!!

this is my patch said...

Such beautiful birds you saw on your winter walk. Wishing you a very Happy New Year. x