CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Leisure

Wildlife highlight of the day

(7166 posts)

  1. SF
    Member

    As per Frenchy, had one badger run past me in daylight and two having a midnight pagger on my driveway in Corstorphine last year, maybe from one of the setts up Corstorphine Hill.
    Not uncommon to see a dead 'un when crossing over the top of Clermiston Road .

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. ejstubbs
    Member

    Only time I've 'seen' a live badger was back in July '22 when one appeared on the trailcam I keep set up in the garden, which was a bit of a surprise. That highlight turned in to a lowlight the next day when IIRC someone on here pointed out that Scott Arthur had Xed* about a dead badger on Comiston Road. We certainly never saw a badger in our garden after that.

    (There is what looks to me like evidence of badger activity on the steep bank at the back of Fairmilehead Park overlooking the executive residencettes at the end of Colmestone Gate. There certainly seems, looking from above, to be quite a bit of excavation having taken place there. It's not easy to get close to see better since the bank is so steep and pretty slippery and I wouldn't want to try getting down to look without a rope from above, which might excite interest/objection from the human residents below. If it did turn out to be a a sett I wouldn't want to have drawn too much attention to it, since people can be funny about badgers, especially if they think their carefully manicured lawn and shrubbery might be at risk. It could just be foxes, of course.)

    * Or whatever the correct verb is since the musky one decided to rename it.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. Greenroofer
    Member

    I once saw one crossing the western end of Morningside Drive. It was in the small hours of the morning and I was on my way back from a very long bike ride, but i wasn't hallucinating (I don't think).

    Close to Craighouse/Craiglockhart Hill so lots of places for them to live.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. gembo
    Member

    The Episcopalian Minister of Balerno was cycling the top Road home at dusk one summer’s evening and a badger jumped into the big half of the frame diamond of his bicycle and hitched a lift.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. chdot
    Admin

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. Frenchy
    Member

    Nessie?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

  8. gembo
    Member

    Yep, a few of these coining up at the moment.

    The squirrel that plays dead under the brush it knocks over another

    And an incredibly clean colour photo of Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor at an alpine Col with super road surface with brand new jumpers, untarnished bikes and coiffures.

    It seems AI is to blame???

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. jdanielp
    Member

    One kingfisher flying into town along the canal early on Sunday afternoon. Two kingfishers perched on branches on the far side of the canal between Wester Hailes and Calder Road Bridge this morning (quite far apart). Two herons and lots of goosanders. No otter, although a colleague saw one on the canal over the break.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. jdanielp
    Member

    On the subject of goosanders, here is the latest installment of my sporadic series of James Bond theme tunes with lyrics updated to celebrate Edinburgh wildlife, which I should have posted in the autumn before the goosanders were everywhere...

    Where are they? Did they migrate?
    Follow the bubbling trail that leads to their mate
    Just like the goosanders dive in search of their meal of fish
    I search for them, to see sawbill birds my wish
    I've seen their crests in a thousand dreams
    Heard their squawks and it always seems
    They love fish
    They love fish

    Where are they? When will they meet?
    Take our wintry canal and make it complete
    Just like the goosanders know their chicks will look cute someday
    I know that they are only a ride away
    I've seen their crests in a thousand dreams
    Heard their squawks and it always seems
    They love fish
    They love fish

    (Despite the numbers of goosanders on the canal just now, I have only ever seen goosander chicks on one occasion several years ago on the Water of Leith, but they were really cute!)

    Posted 3 months ago #
  11. ejstubbs
    Member

    An unexpected visitor in our garden in the early hours of Wednesday last week*:

    https://youtu.be/biFzEg7Tw0U

    I'd have been more chuffed about it if I hadn't then discovered that the creature in question had eaten all the frogs in our pond (as evidenced by rather the gruesome remains left on the pond edge) and hauled several of the stones around the border of the pond out of their usual positions - dumping some of them in the deepest depths of the pond - in order to get at their prey. The frogs turn up regularly at this time of year to do their froggy jiggy thing, but there's no frogspawn in the pond and it looks like there now won't be any this year, or in following years given the massacre carried out last week :(

    Anyone got any frogspawn going spare?

    * So not strictly a highlight "of the day", if you take "the day" to mean the date of posting. My excuse is that I only check my garden trailcam every so often.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  12. Dave
    Member

    That's very cool! How far are you from water? We had a badger come up to the front door when I happened to be doing late night tidying up. We're not all that far from good badger terrain but still must have been quite an urban trek for it..

    Posted 2 months ago #
  13. jdanielp
    Member

    Someone on the 'Friends Of The Union Canal Edinburgh' Facebook page spotted a mink at what looked like the Slateford Aqueduct yesterday morning...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  14. ejstubbs
    Member

    @Dave: The nearest natural open water is the Braid Burn, which at its closest (roughly where the pond is in Oxgangs) would be about a mile away, along streets and/or through gardens. The Braid Burn eventually becomes the Figgate Burn as it flows across Duddingston golf course, and otters are often seen on the pond in Figgate Park so it's not entirely inconceivable that a roving otter might make its way upstream to Oxgangs, but why then hike a mile across less inviting terrain, including a climb of ~200ft to our garden?

    The next nearest is probably the Burdiehouse Burn which again has been recorded as an otter habitat in the past. It's a rather longer hike, more like two miles as the crow flies from Old Burdiehouse Road, but 60-70% of that could be done through fields until you get to Biggar Road, which I imagine would be a fairly intimidating obstacle even for a hungry otter. The altitude gain would be less than coming from Oxgangs, though.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  15. Arellcat
    Moderator

    @ejstubbs, do you remember the big pond in "the gully"? It was a wonderful local water resource that because of its size seldom dried out, until the Cala development in the late 1980s filled most of it in. The last dregs of pond disappeared a few years ago when Scottish Water finally found the source of the leak that fed it and some of the adjacent natural springs (not the official Comiston Springs, though).

    There have been otters spotted in the gardens along the southern edge. I know this because I've seen video footage of two otters in a garden pond, and the poor resident frogs never had a chance.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  16. gembo
    Member

    @jdanielp I have spotted Mink on the acqueduct before

    Today was three boys on the weed.

    They gave me no bother.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  17. ejstubbs
    Member

    @Arellcat: do you remember the big pond in "the gully"? It was a wonderful local water resource that because of its size seldom dried out, until the Cala development in the late 1980s filled most of it in.

    That would have been before my time here: we didn't move in to the area until 2004. There was still a reasonably well flowing stream in the bottom of the gully back then, but these days it's almost completely dried up, both in the gully and where it emerges from under the tarmac path on the west side of the park. I did note the other day that the latter has been running a bit more vigorously recently, presumably due to the prolonged wet weather this winter. I think the water ends up in the same drain that collects the water that runs down through the wooded strip alongside Cockmylane south of the RAAC-affected* Pentland primary school.

    When you say that Scottish Water found the source of the leak, do you mean a leak from the now defunct Fairmilehead water treatment plant? I had assumed that it was a natural spring - unless perhaps the outflow from the Elf Loch on Mortonhall golf course had been culverted that way.

    * Presumably in the 1970s bits of Comiston primary school which were incorporated into Pentland primary back in the noughties when Hunter's Tryst primary was closed.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. gembo
    Member

    Hunters Tryst was at the bottom of the hill and the more pukka Comiston was at the top of the hill. A field separated the two but it was more like a chasm in terms of SIMD.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  19. Arellcat
    Moderator

    When you say that Scottish Water found the source of the leak, do you mean a leak from the now defunct Fairmilehead water treatment plant? I had assumed that it was a natural spring

    Truth may be stranger than fiction, but yes, the leak was from the filter beds at Fairmilehead. It was traced through radioactivity monitoring. Not that some residents in Camus needed any fancy equipment: the solums of their houses were permanently soaking wet and it took a lot of fighting to have any notice taken of the years-long problem. Sadly that same leak largely fed the now moribund stream at the eastern end of the park, by the banana flats.

    The otters were spotted again just last week on garden video camera!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  20. ejstubbs
    Member

    @Arellcat: The otters were spotted again just last week on garden video camera!

    Sounds like they're fairly regular visitors to that neck of the woods. It is at least significantly closer to the Braid Burn than my garden is, and by a route which can be done almost entirely away from roads e.g. down Cockmylane to Braidburn Valley Park.

    TBH I'm not sure how chuffed I'd be to see one back here soon. I spent a good hour or more on Monday reassembling as best I could the stonework that our visiting mustelid had torn out to get at the frogs. In the process I did come across one single solitary frog; whether a lucky survivor of the massacre, or a late arrival for the frog orgy I don't know. I'm kind of hoping that our visitor thinks he/she/it got the lot first time around and it's not worth coming back for another go (which does rather assume, perhaps unreasonably optimistically, that otters are capable of that degree of ratiocination).

    In the mean time I'm hoping to be able to find somewhere nearby that has an excess of frogspawn from which I might transplant a smallish amount into our pond, in the hope that it might help the population in our immediate neighbourhood to recover.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  21. chdot
    Admin

  22. neddie
    Member

    Heard the Meadows woodpecker with its "drrrr drrrr drrrr" at the 5-ways junction this morning.

    I bet you wouldn't get that in a car.

    (no, this is not an April fools)

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

  24. gembo
    Member

    Bizarre sighting of the crazy bird the Hoopoe on The Isle of May?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  25. ejstubbs
    Member

    I found myself unexpectedly uplifted on hearing my first chiffchaff of the year yesterday, down by the Braid Road cafe. There were plenty more elsewhere in the Hermitage, also nuthatch and a GSW drumming. The Blackford Pond swans were busy with nest construction in the reed bed at the west end of the pond (the island being underwater again), watched by a small group of interested folks from behind the newly-erected wooden fence, and the Little Grebe gave us a rendition of its rather haunting "distinctive whinnying trill" (© RSPB).

    It almost gives one hope that we may be emerging from the prolonged autumn and winter deluge into something resembling spring.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  26. jdanielp
    Member

    A large number of small ducklings on the canal at Wester Hailes this morning.

    Posted 1 week ago #

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