CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Leisure

Wildlife highlight of the day

(3686 posts)

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  1. unhurt
    Member

  2. jdanielp
    Member

    @unhurt that is quite poetic. Well done on your spot by the way.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  3. gembo
    Member

    Mad merganser numbers in canal today. First three males near Wester hailes. Then big mixed group longstone and finally two females nearer craiglockhart

    Posted 6 days ago #
  4. jdanielp
    Member

    @gembo you say merganser, I say goosander, let's call the whole thing off. Having said that, now that I have looked at some pictures of both I am more confused than ever...

    Posted 5 days ago #
  5. jdanielp
    Member

    A colleague casually reported having seen a kingfisher by The Loch at Heriot-Watt a year or two ago. Since then I've taken to scanning the low-hanging branches whenever I walk around or past it, but without success. As I was wandering by the narrow end just now, however, a flash of blue caught my attention and I spotted a kingfisher that had just taken off from quite a high branch of the tree that I was next to. It disappeared behind foliage so I retraced my steps around the end of the loch to try to spot it from the other side. I did eventually spot it on the same branch from which it had taken off a couple of minutes previously. I admired it briefly before it abruptly dived into the water with a splash. I waited for another couple of minutes, but eventually gave up, assuming that it had taken cover to enjoy its catch.

    Posted 5 days ago #
  6. unhurt
    Member

    If it's got a clean, sharp delineation between the colour on the head/neck and a nice white breast it's a goosander.

    Male merganser have a white ring between their green heads but they have a red-brown breast (thus full name). Females are more tricky as both have white fronts but the goosander has a pretty sharp line, while the RBG fades to white.

    RSPB guide here - though they do the MOST annoying thing of making the images of the female smaller even though those are the two more people struggle to differentiate. (:muttermutter-reificationofgenderhierarchy & themaleasthe
    typespecimenmuttermutter:)

    Posted 5 days ago #
  7. gembo
    Member

    I just went with merganser for the alliteration. Merges Merganser.

    Is it true the crossbill is the only UK bird not found elsewhere?

    Posted 5 days ago #
  8. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    Five long-tailed tits by Rennie's Bridge in Musselburgh. Also flocks of widgeon and goosanders.

    Posted 4 days ago #
  9. amir
    Member

    Is it true the crossbill is the only UK bird not found elsewhere?

    Arguably yes, though the red grouse may be treated as a separate species by some (said he quoting from wikipedia)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_endemic_species_of_the_British_Isles
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_crossbill
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_grouse

    Posted 4 days ago #
  10. amir
    Member

    From the same pages, the horrid ground-weaver spider must be worth seeing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothophantes)

    Posted 4 days ago #
  11. jdanielp
    Member

    A cormorant drying its wings in the wind on the far bank of the canal at Wester Hailes; it looked like it was pretending to fly.

    Posted 4 days ago #
  12. steveo
    Member

    Typical Wikipedia, its missing the entire sub section of Jurassic related sub sea ice age survivors.

    Posted 4 days ago #
  13. amir
    Member

    Does that include Nessy?

    Posted 4 days ago #
  14. unhurt
    Member

    Sub-loch, surely? Unless the submerged tunnel to the North Sea really does exist. (I have seen this offered as an, er, sensible explanation of how nessies (nessi?) could survive till today - they can pop out for some better fishing. No, I didn't used to have a subscription to the Fortean Times, why do you ask?)

    Posted 4 days ago #
  15. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    Unless the submerged tunnel to the North Sea really does exist.

    As there are only ever twenty tonnes of fish in the black, acidic waters of Loch Ness the tunnel must exist. As the surface of that loch is twenty metres above sea level the tunnel must have some kind of valve/air lock arrangement to stop the water falling out, proving also that Nessie has technology. Maybe even a phone with a camera?

    Posted 3 days ago #
  16. unhurt
    Member

    Are technologically advanced plesiosaurs absolutely required? We know Nessie can also move about out of water.

    (Realised I was ignoring laws of physics so had to edit the first attempt. Bah!)

    I'd imagine prehistoric survivors would be quite comfortable with your phone. Valve technology?

    Posted 3 days ago #
  17. jdanielp
    Member

    @unhurt nice sketch, but I can't see any kingfishers? As luck would have it, I spotted the Heriot-Watt Kingfisher by The Loch again just now, which was a bit of a surprise given that it is still a tad windy. I would have wandered by on the far side without spotting it had it not chirped and caught my attention. It was quite high on a branch of the same tree as the other day (near the woodchip path) so after watching it for a minute or two I wandered around to the other side for a closer look, which I managed briefly before it took exception to my proximity and flew away.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  18. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    I can't see any kingfishers

    Now you know how we feel.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  19. unhurt
    Member

    @jdanielp - I can't draw kingfishers* - will this do instead?

    *or anything really, but I just tried to put a kingfisher on a nessie's head and it did not go well**

    **now I have the theme tune to The Family Ness stuck in my head.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  20. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    @unhurt

    Liking the diagram. Could it incorporate the two pumped storage facilities at Foyers and Glen Doe?

    Kingdom of the Mole People could be another autobiography?

    Posted 3 days ago #
  21. Frenchy
    Member

    The Family Ness

    Woah. Blast fae the past.

    Posted 3 days ago #
  22. jdanielp
    Member

    @IWRATS that's a fair point.

    @unhurt how very sinister...

    Posted 3 days ago #
  23. jdanielp
    Member

    The Hailes Quarry Park Kingfisher was back this morning. Also a pair of cormorants further into Wester Hailes, a skein of geese flying south-west between the moon and the Scott Russell Aqueduct, and a lone cormorant just beyond.

    Posted 2 days ago #
  24. nedd1e_h
    Member

    Took the canal twice yesterday.

    No Kingfishers...

    Bah.

    Posted 2 days ago #
  25. unhurt
    Member

    Continuing the Nessie theme:

    Posted 2 days ago #
  26. unhurt
    Member


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