Saturday 5 January 2019

Blackford Pond and the Hermitage of Braid

We had a lovely walk today. We started at Blackford Pond where we were delighted to see this handsome male teal.

Teals aren't a species of duck you might expect to see on an urban pond, but they do fairly frequently turn up at Blackford Pond. The really unusual thing about this one was how happy it was to swim close to the edge of the pond, normally they hide away in the vegetation at the far side of the pond.

We then walked alongside Blackford Hill passing by Midmar Paddock, which is still threatened with having housing built on it. It would be a shame to lose this lovely green space, which is much appreciated by dog walkers, joggers and birdwatchers.

We then continued through the Hermitage of Braid, which is always a good place to see fungi

(I'm not sure what species either of these are, but I'll update the post if I find out).

The Braid Burn is usually a good place to see dippers and we weren't disappointed, though I suspect this dipper was pretty disappointed to find this plastic container in the water when it was rooting around for food

The burn is usually fairly clean and certainly has enough invertebrates to support dippers and grey wagtails. (The Briad Burn was one of the areas we surveyed for freshwater invertebrates in the recent training event I attended, which you can read about here).

The dovecot and walled garden were looking nice today

A few years ago now, I took part in two creative writing workshops based in this walled garden, back when it was being restored, you can read about that here and here.


RG said...

I do like dippers. When I and some friends wade a creek to count returning, spawning salmon, one frequently works up the creek ahead of us!! They like salmon eggs!!!

Jeff (Sage) said...

There’s beauty even in urban areas... Have you read Olivia Laing, “To the River?” It is about her journey on the River Ouse (of which I learn there are several by this name, but her river is in Sussex). I’m a little over 1/2 way through.

Lowcarb team member said...

Looks a lovely walk, I enjoyed your photographs.

All the best Jan