Monday, 31 July 2017

drama on the stairwell (a true life photostory)

It does seem to be that time of the year; when young birds are out and about for the first time doing daft stuff or getting into fixes. I came home this afternoon to find a fledgling on the tenement stairs unable to exit the (non-opening) windows. I got the ladders out and asked Mary to get her camera. The chick was just able to fly but only just. Since none of the windows open it was difficult to imagine how it got there - perhaps a ground floor neighbour (whose windows were open) put it out their door into the stair? It also struggled vigorously and escaped my clutches once during the process. However it was a happy ending. Chick flew off uninjured and was probably the offspring of the adult robin looking on keenly in the back garden. All photos Mary.

Not always a happy ending to such stories, and I did wonder about this little chap flying over the garden wall and into the jaws of a neighbourhood cat. It wouldn't be the first time. In fact it seems to happen alarmingly often.....
Here (rabbit lovers look away!)
and here (this made me lol and has at least the merit of being short.)
and here ok this is in poor taste


Saturday, 29 July 2017

summertime blues

Mixed weather at Gullane today. And mixed company too. The travelling people had brought van loads of delights to Gullane Green with most of the entertainments designed to make your stomach flip. I expect they had timed that to coincide with the triathlon taking place on the beach and round the environs. Well done to all who took part. (We were oblivious to it until we turned up and found it had already come and gone.) Spoke to the legendary Scott B who was helping organise. 

this is like a list of all the foods you should avoid

There were some big grey clouds passing in front of the sun but most of them passed without shaking hands. Down the JMW through the golf course and there were some blues and browns and maybe a young wagtail who sat on the path until we got way too close then flew 50m along the path and did the same thing. I suspect like the heron from last blog it was just finding its feet and working out its surroundings.

quick visit to the facilities at Aberlady - rather beautiful window

Then over the bridge and more Blues. This one was most obliging and right at the side of the path. While Mary ran on I took a load of close ups. I think the stiff breeze is so challenging for the insects that they are too busy holding on to the swaying foliage to notice the camera moving in close. The decent sunlight meant the camera caught every wrinkle and even the tiny stitching on the end of the antennae. 

As I said a couple of blogs ago I don't really bother a lot with the Whites, but there wasn't so much happening around Toad Corner today so you just make hay with whatever shows up. (Where have all the deer gone - I'm guessing they're either rearing their young in less exposed venues or like everyone else, are abroad on their holidays.) I spotted a large frog or toad but it was deep into the long grasses before I could catch it and then I was worried I'd stand on it, so I moved to another area. A few blues (and Meadow browns) were about, and whites and one or 2 Small Heaths but also an end of season feeling too. (What will I do then?)

Small Heath in colourful setting

By the time we headed to the beach there was some bad weather troubling the Pentlands and given the west wind we knew it would be troubling us soon too. We sprinted along the beach but got caught at the far end. I was glad I had carried a poly bag for the camera as we got a good drenching. The light was doing interesting things and I was surprised there wasn't a large rainbow as the sun emerged right behind the heavy rain.

We left the beach at the small path leading up to the car park and toilets on the west of the bay. I said to M to keep her eyes peeled as there is often wildlife just there. Sure enough a dead one of these, almost exactly the same place as the deceased water shrew. Although a different species. Must be getting struck by lightning or something as otherwise unharmed.

birds and bees

In Holyrood the swallows are teaching their young to swoop and dive. They definitely react to the human presence and will barrel towards you as you cross the grass, their grass. Difficult to know why they will use you as a marker, a turning point, but I like to think it is a celebration of their aerial dexterity. I have been trying to capture their fly-pasts in between the rain showers that are plaguing this summer. I nearly called this blog entry "swallow! (don't spit)".  

Mary did some stretches while I got dizzy spinning round as the aero bullets zipped by. I have been meaning to go there with the bigger camera set to fast shutter speed to see if I could get better images or video. They are an absolute delight. However Mary finished her limbering up and we ran round the back of St Margaret's Loch. Where there were a couple of juvenile heron. One stood on the path and told us since it had newly arrived on the planet it wasn't sure about who was a friend and who was a foe. We crept closer assuring it we were of the friend variety but it eventually thought better and swooped on giant wings into the safety of the pond. It promptly caught a fish (didn't realise this until seeing the photos later at home). Who knew there were 4" fish in that swan-poop loch? I thought it was just eating bits of pond weed and probably near starvation; doing a bit of freeloading and white-loafing off the tourists.


I had the notion while taking this photo that if I had enough time and energy, and Mary didn't run too fast I could get a photo of NB Law on her head like a hat. Might take some finagling as I don't have photoshop currently.

throstle smoking a pipe

is that seats behind the wee boathouse? Must check this out.

Person on Haggis Knowe looked like ex-PRCer Claudia;
her of the long black hair who didn't tie it back when running.

quite right! 
And lets have harsher penalties too.

Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on the ragwort

More swallowing