Crafty Green Boyfriend and I have a few days off so yesterday we joined his mother and brother for a socially distanced trip around some of West Lothian's sights. It was a lovely sunny day (too warm for the time of year, but the sun was most welcome after the very rainy summer we've had here).
We started at the House of the Binns, a relatively short drive (in their car, all wearing masks) from Edinburgh. The beautiful old house is currently closed to the public
But the grounds are open for people to walk around. There's plenty to see here, with many views dominated by the Binns Tower
The gardens of the house are famous for the peacocks but we only saw one
There were plenty of peacock feathers around though and this seven spot ladybird seemed happy sitting on one of them
We then had lunch in the garden of the Rouken Glen garden centre before exploring the nearby allotments, which are a haven for wildlife.
We saw several rabbits (including a young black bunny) though none allowed photos. There were lots of hoverflies around including this Footballer (Helophilus pendulus) on a oxeye daisy
The sunflowers were looking magnificent!
We then travellend along the Firth of Forth to Blackness Castle.
The castle and grounds are closed except for people who have bought advanced tickets under current COVID regulations to enable social distancing but we were able to walk along the coast near the castle. We met this friendly robin on a sailing boat moored in the marina
and round the corner we came across a wonderful stretch of coast that was just full of seabirds including sandwich terns, lapwings, greylag geese, shelducks, redshanks, dunlin and others.