I’m yet to get out for a proper birding trip this year, but even without trying you can add an interesting bird or two.
We spent New Year with friends in Edinburgh. Most birders like to make a note of the first bird they see each year, and for me it was a Chaffinch (or rather six chaffinches) on feeders in their garden. These were soon joined by Greenfinches, a Wren, a Dunnock, a Robin, and a Blue Tit. Both Herring and Black-Headed Gulls could be seen overhead.
We then went for a 6 mile walk along the Water of Leith. This fits into the ‘Green Exercise’ theme I’ve mentioned before, as we walked off excesses of the night before!
There was a surprising lack of small birds, bar the common tits, but a couple of Dippers and a Grey Heron made themselves obligingly watchable even without binoculars. There were also a pair of Ravens croaking in the trees. The duck count was surprisingly low, with little bar a pair of Mallards. But a good start to the year.
I did a bit more bird spotting on the way home. There were good-sized flocks of small birds, but from a train they are impossible to ID. the fields were full of crows, wood pigeons, magpies, and black-headed gulls. Many fields were heavily flooded, and these were then well-populated with mallard. One even had five Curlew!
I also find trains great for spotting birds of prey, and was not surprised to see buzzard, sparrowhawk, and kestrel.