Wednesday 10 April 2013

Birding and an interesting find

John Muir Walkway, Musselburgh

Skylarks sing from the clouds. Pussy willow catkins, losing their fluffiness, are becoming yellow with pollen, a bright contrast to the mostly mist-subdued colours. Winter browned grass. Grey sea.

A chaffinch sings. I love the fact that chaffinches have dialects depending on where they live. This one though, seems to have a dialect all of its own. It sings quite distinctly 'Scooby Doo' at the end of every phrase.

I enjoy the quieteness here, very few people around most times. Today though in one of the hides:

discussing football
the birdwatching group waits
for a rarity.

I don't know what the rarity was. I love seeing the variety of birds here, there's always something different even on the days when I don't see a rarity.

Today the most notable find though is a large number of pellets, produced by birds of prey that have been deposited on the sea walls. I've rarely seen these pellets here, and never in such number. 

Using the RSPB's helpful guide to bird of prey pellets, I work out that these are probably from kestrels or short eared owls. Short eared owls are rare, daytime hunting owls, but are seen frequently round here. I had a very close encounter with one a few months ago.

For Nature Notes

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The Weaver of Grass said...

we get quite a lot of owl pellets in our fields Juliet - usually under the trees. We have Scots pines outside our house as a shelter from the prevailing wind and we hear owls in them at night and can usually find a pellet or two - fascinating things aren#'t they?

Little Miss Titch said...

wow owls!

Ms Sparrow said...

What a productive nature walk you had!

RG said...

Certainly more significant than from a rabbit!!

Gillena Cox said...

i just luv this phrase
"losing their fluffiness"

much love...

Carver said...

Very interesting post. I also like your ideas for re-using cotton bags in the next post.

Rambling Woods said...

I have never found one, but love a good nature mystery...Michelle