CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Leisure

Wildlife highlight of the day

(3892 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months ago #
  8. Cyclingmollie
    Member

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

    Posted 2 months 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 2 months ago #
  10. amir
    Member

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

    Posted 2 months 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 2 months ago #
  12. steveo
    Member

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

    Posted 2 months ago #
  13. amir
    Member

    Does that include Nessy?

    Posted 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months ago #
  18. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    I can't see any kingfishers

    Now you know how we feel.

    Posted 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months ago #
  21. Frenchy
    Member

    The Family Ness

    Woah. Blast fae the past.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  22. jdanielp
    Member

    @IWRATS that's a fair point.

    @unhurt how very sinister...

    Posted 2 months 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 months ago #
  24. nedd1e_h
    Member

    Took the canal twice yesterday.

    No Kingfishers...

    Bah.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  25. unhurt
    Member

    Continuing the Nessie theme:

    Posted 2 months ago #
  26. unhurt
    Member

  27. chdot
    Admin

    If your idea of a dream job is protecting one of Scotland’s most majestic animals then look no further.

    The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, which aims to boost the numbers of this iconic bird in the Scottish Borders is set to take off.

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/wanted-workers-to-help-with-conservation-of-scottish-golden-eagle-1-4637298

    Posted 2 months ago #
  28. jdanielp
    Member

    The swan family (one cygnet still present) were looking a little disgruntled this morning; one of the adults stood, while the other adult and cygnet sat on the rain-covered ice, which looked like it should be swimmable open water.

    I had another brief glimpse of the Heriot-Watt Stoat as I was wandering along The Walk after lunch this afternoon.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, which aims to boost the numbers of this iconic bird in the Scottish Borders is set to take off.

    If they wanted the numbers of this iconic bird to take off all they have to do is persuade the Duke of [Redacted] to tell his people to stop killing them. Young eagles wander into the Southern Uplands all the time. It's just that they then vanish.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  30. sallyhinch
    Member

    We only ever learn we've got golden eagles when another corpse turns up. Very sad.

    Posted 2 months ago #

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