Musselburgh is renowned as a place where rare birds often stop over near Edinburgh. There seem always to be some notable species somewhere along the River Esk or at the Lagoons. I didn't see any of them today, but really that doesn't matter because there were large numbers of swallows, house martins and the occasional sand martin swooping low over the River Esk. It's just amazing to see these lovely birds all so busy catching insects above the water. Lots of swallows over the Boating Pond too and here they were swooping round over the nearby grass, sometimes circling round me. Just wonderful!
Yesterday I took my birdwatching class up Corstorphine Hill. I had arrived early, as I usually do, to check out what was around, and came across two jays, being chased by magpies. Jays aren't uncommon birds but they are surprisingly elusive. They're large pinkish birds with vivid blue streaks in the wings, you'd think they'd be easy to spot, but they're not. This was my best ever sighting. Sadly, they weren't still around when the group arrived for the guided walk. But we did have an excellent view of a sparrowhawk and the birdsong was amazing.
I've seen very few swifts around where we live so far this year. (Anywhere in fact). It's a species in decline, so I'm always worried that we're losing them here, but I really hope we're not.
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