Yesterday, I was particularly keen to go birdwatching at Musselburgh. I had hoped to see this bird, which if it is really a Stejnegers Scoter, would be the first ever to be sighted in British waters.
I didn't see it, or if it was there, it was too far out for me to recognise it as different from the velvet scoters.
If I had seen the rare scoter, I had hoped to take a photo for id purposes and to prove that I had really seen it. However I forgot my camera, which made me think about the pros and cons of photographing birds.
I tend only to take photos of large slow moving birds, like herons, swans or geese or other water birds that will come quite close. They make easier subjects!
I also feel I miss out on enjoying the birds, if I'm struggling to get the perfect shot. The quality of my photo of a small, quick moving bird wouldn't be good enough to justify losing that moment of enjoyment.
Yesterday's main moment of enjoyment was seeing the teals on Musselburgh Lagoons. These little ducks are beautiful, but yesterday's sighting was doubly special. Firstly the light was amazing and the drakes' colours were glowing in the sun. Secondly, the drakes were doing their courtship display, which was quite comical, they throw their heads back, then pause briefly then lift up their hind quarters and shimmy so that their teal green and yellow colouration is shown off to full advantage, specially in the perfect light.
It was also lovely to see lots of lapwings, oystercatchers and other waders on the Musselburgh Lagoons and a group of around 20 long tailed ducks on the Firth of Forth, the largest group I've ever seen of these ducks. I saw three birds for the first time this year, dunlin, grey plover and rock pipit, and I updated my 2014 bird list! I also saw the famous Musselburgh hooded crow / carrion crow cross.
So there are no photos of the day but lots of lovely memories!