Water of Leith today. Two grey herons were chasing each other and one landed on the grass for Crafty Green Boyfriend to capture on camera. He also caught the tawny owl, who today had attracted quite an audience. Just after this photo was taken, he shuffled back into the dark recesses of his roosting hole.
Nine of these birds have been lifers, that is I've never seen them before, these are:
avocet (a very exciting sighting on Musselburgh Lagoons, avocets have come back from near extinction in the UK and in certain places in England are now frequently seen, but they're still rare in Scotland!)
pied flycatcher (we went to Dumfries in Spring this year, specifically hoping to see migrant birds including pied flycatchers and we weren't disappointed! It was on the same trip that I saw my first ever redstart in the UK - previously I'd only ever seen this bird in Vienna, where it was hopping around outside the Natural history museum).
wood sandpiper (on Musselburgh Lagoon, not a particularly good sighting, it was skulking around in some undergrowth!)
little gull (turning in circles on Musselburgh Lagoons)
ruff (on Musselburgh Lagoons, less spectacular in non-breeding plumage than it would have been in breeding plumage, but still a beautiful bird!)
curlew sandpiper, little stint and green sandpiper (on Musselburgh Lagoons)
common scoter (swimming in the middle of a group of velvet scoters at the sea front at Musselburgh).
So you can tell that Musselburgh Lagoons is a great place for seeing unusual birds! (I was sad to miss the spoonbill that visited Musselburgh this year.....)
In addition I've seen (and heard!) more mistle thrushes this year than ever before and have been delighted by the return of the Colinton Dell tawny owl to its rightful roost (scroll down in that post to see the best photo of the owl).Plus I was delighted and amazed to see a murmuration of knots at Musselburgh.
So, what have been your favourite bird sightings this year?
If you're in the UK, remember that the Big Garden Birdwatch is coming up soon, and I'll be blogging about that in early January.
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