We had a lovely walk around Corstorphine Hill yesterday. It's a lovely place to walk though rather steep in places. Edinburgh Council recently constructed a new path over part of the hill.
Many people (including us) question the need for the path (as for most of it's length it doesn't make the climb any less steep and by smoothing things out, only makes it easier for cyclists to rush downhill at great speed, thus increasing the risk of collisions with walkers. But to make matters worse, the path is already, after only a couple of weeks, beginning to deteriorate really badly
Plus, it has damaged the areas where solitary bees have nested for many years. There are also steps that seem to be quite shoddy in their construction
But complaining about the new path aside, we had a lovely walk. The Common Spotted Orchids are coming into bloom (though not yet anywhere near as many as there have been in previous years, perhaps more will bloom in the next week or so)
We were also pleased to see a good selection of insects, though, again, not as many as in previous years. Highlights included this Speckled Wood Butterfly
Several hoverflies, including this Marmalade Hoverfly posing in a buttercup
and this Leucozonia laternaria, a new species for us!
There were lots of young birds calling for food and fluttering around. We were particularly interested to see this adult Blue Tit feeding a young Great Tit! Great Tits are known to sometimes lay eggs in Blue Tit nests. I'm not sure what happens to the young Great Tit once it grows up!
Meanwhile, back at home, the Lesser Black Backed Gulls that are nesting across the road from us have got one chick, which is currently at the stage of running around on the flat area between the roofs. There was a bit of drama earlier today when the parent gulls needed to chase away a couple of Magpies that were getting too close to the chick.
The chick is already exercising its wings