Thursday 12 January 2023

Winter in Warriston Cemetery

 The popular BBC TV show Winterwatch is coming to Edinburgh this year! One of the places it will be visiting is Warriston Cemetery, the largest cemetery in the city. 

As I've recently surveyed the wildlife in Edinburgh's cemeteries, the council asked me to help them with mapping the cemetery for the production. 

So yesterday I spent a very chilly (but thankfully dry) day in Warriston Cemetery.

I was very pleased to find good numbers of ladybirds on some gravestones, as these are one of the most interesting aspects of winter wildlife in cemeteries. Here are a few of the ladybirds I found! 

Orange Ladybirds with one Harlequin and one 2 Spot.
A group of Harlequin ladybirds showing the variety of markings this invasive species shows
Two Spot, Pine, Orange and Harlequin Ladybirds
I was also pleased to find a large fallen branch, which was covered in lichens and mosses. Many lichens and mosses are found in much greater abundance high up in the trees, so we only get the chance to see them when a branch falls.  The photo below shows just some of the lichens on this particular branch.

I saw plenty of birds too, including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Bullfinches, lots of  Long Tailed Tits and (very unexpectedly) Redpolls. I spent a coffee break with a very friendly Robin, which at one point looked as though it was going to jump into my rucksack. Part of the cemetery overlooks the Water of Leith, where yesterday I saw Goosanders and Mallards, but where you can often see Kingfishers and Dippers. 
A Water Rail has apparently been seen here recently. 



eileeninmd said...

Love the cute ladybugs, sounds like you had some great bird sightings.
Take care, enjoy your day!

Lowcarb team member said...

That sounds nice to spend a coffee break with a very friendly Robin :)

All the best Jan

Caroline Gill said...

Oh Juliet, how exciting that you have been helping Winterwatch in this way. I thought of you last night when the cemeteries were mentioned in relation to wildlife. The ladybirds (ah, all those beautiful orange spots ...) are more, I think, than I saw during the whole of last summer. I hope your assistance will be credited ...

Caroline Gill said...

I should probably just have written 'Orange' ladybirds! I got a bit carried away with all their spots ...

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Eileen thanks

Lowcarb, yes it was a lovely coffee break! Robins are great company!

Caroline - my wildlife surveys have been mentioned on Winterwatch, but my name hasn't so far been mentioned. I didn't check the credits though! Cemeteries are great place for ladybirds in winter, particularly Orange ladybirds.