Sunday 26 May 2024

Arthur's Seat

We have had a lot of rain in Edinburgh recently, the Water of Leith has burst its banks in a few places and swans and other birds have had their nests swept away by the floodwaters.  West Princes Street Gardens and Inch Park are closed due to flooding. Many roads have been made impassable. Yesterday, the rain stopped and allowed us to have a lovely walk around Arthur's Seat (we guessed that this would be guaranteed to be fairly dry as it is such high ground). 

The lower reaches of the hill are beautiful with Cow Parsley at the moment

We were delighted to see lots of toad tadpoles in Dunsapie Loch near the top of the hill, obviously some wildlife has benefitted from the wet weather! 

Two Grey Herons were hanging around the pond, but we're not sure whether they would eat toad tadpoles, as the tadpoles are known to be unpalatable to predators. 

Sadly, we couldn't see many nests in the heronry down on the islands on Duddingston Loch. Around thirty pairs of Grey Herons used to nest there, but we could only see evidence of three nests (admittedly there could be more hidden in amongst the foliage, but normally you'd see herons at most of the nests). If you click on the photo below to enlarge it, you may see a heron close to the centre of the picture.

It was much easier to see this Jackdaw at its nest site, a nice cosy home in amongst the stones of the wall! The young Jackdaws were making a lot of noise as they demanded to be fed.

Lots of Jackdaw nest on Arthur's Seat, and they're very commonly seen! 

as are their larger relatives, the Carrion Crows 

 and the largest of the crow family, Ravens, though we didn't see any Ravens yesterday. 

There weren't a lot of insects around, but we did see a couple of Epistrophe eligans hoverflies

and this lovely cranefly, which I think is a Tiger Cranefly. 

Today it's been raining most of the day, so we were lucky with the weather for our walk yesterday. This volume of rain is very worrying for both people and wildlife.

1 comment:

Caroline Gill said...

How lovely to see the tadpoles, CGP. I keep hoping to see some, but I haven't even seen spawn. And like you (proportionately, no doubt) we have had a very wet spring, though the sun came out unexpectedly this afternoon ... and I saw my first Cinnabar moth of the season and then later at home, our first male Lesser Stag Beetle.