Tuesday 9 July 2024

In the Flower Meadows

 As long term readers of this blog will know, I regularly go out along Edinburgh's Water of Leith collecting litter and recording the wildlife I see as a volunteer for the Water of Leith Conservation Trust. Today I managed to get out and back before the rain started. The wildflower meadows along the river walkway are beautiful at this time of year. One of the meadows is more or less entirely natural, though managed to prevent invasive species from encroaching. At this time of year this meadow is full of flowers, mostly buttercups and Common Spotted Orchids

I'll zoom in so you get a better view of the orchids 

The meadow is very marshy, so I don't walk in there to get closer to the flowers, also it's nice to feel there are areas where nature can just get on with its own thing without people barging in, even if it is with the benign intention of taking photos. There are Roe Deer in this area and some years the mother deer will leave their fawns in this meadow, while the mother goes to feed somewhere else. 

The other meadow that is looking particularly lovely at the moment has been managed and sown with wildflower seeds in ground near to the old Bogs Mill. 

This meadow contains a wide variety of species, including Cowslips and Meadowsweet. At this time of year, my favourite is the Meadow Cranesbill 

While I was taking the photo above, I heard a noisy bird flying around. I looked up to see a Jay, then was astonished as over the next ten minutes four or even five Jays flew around in the trees by the meadow. Jays are not uncommon, but I've found them to be incredibly elusive and have had very few close sightings of them and have never seen a group together like this. No photos, unfortunately, as they were moving around too much and hiding in the leaves of the trees.

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