The Water of Leith – New Year’s Day 2013

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.

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6 Responses to The Water of Leith – New Year’s Day 2013

  1. James Corner says:

    My daughter lives in Edinburgh and on a mid-winter visit a few years ago I was surprised to see a Blackcap while walking down the Water of Leith. I know that a few birds over-winter in the UK each year but as far north as Edinburgh was a real surprise to me. By the way, nice walk isn’t it.

  2. Pingback: The Monday Bird of the Week No.7 – Dipper | Why watch wildlife?

  3. julietwilson says:

    I always love walking along the Water of Leith. Ravens an impressive bird to see there, I know they’re around in Edinburgh but I’ve never seen them by the river!

    I like birdwatching from trains too!


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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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