The weather last Sunday reverted to standard scottish summer: drizzle and low grey cloud. Not worth a trip to Gullane which would have felt short-changed after the brilliant weather and wildlife show the day before. Best to run off the hangovers round the A Seat 10 miler. I took a wee baggie, like an illlicit stash in my shorts pocket, of mealworms, dead, to bribe the likes of the robin we saw up there which sat nearby, as if waiting for a treat.
I googled online to find mealworms and pet shops. There was a Dofos Pet Shop 50 yards round the corner on Leith Walk, hidden in plain view. Right enough. I went in and got chatting to the teenager sharing the counter space with an African Grey. Does it talk? Yes it does but only when relaxed and happy and can't be induced. (Not-so-pretty-polly.) What age is it? 32years. How old do they live to? About the same as a human says he, about 50 or 60. I should have slapped his face. Teenagers and their short sightedness.
When we got to Holyrood there were swallows zooming and swooping around the playing fields next to the Palace. We stood for ages taking dozens of bad photos in the poor light. I have been meaning to return on a sunny day with the bigger camera to try to catch them zipping by. Whether they are attracted to humans because we kick up insects while walking by, or whether they just fly in circles round us to show us how much fun it is I am uncertain. But there does seem to be a great joy taken in flying as fast as possible in and around any moving obstacles. Haven't witnessed any collisions yet, which I suspect may only happen to the youngsters testing their wings, shortly out the nest.
I liked the restraint of language used here (not too waggy fingered) though thought they didn't need to add "for the birds" at the end of the first paragraph.
If the Scottish Parliament has done nothing else for us (and I am including that ugly building housing many ugly specimens) then it has at least planted some lovely flowers just outside. I can honestly say it is the singular aspect of that square mile of lies, hot air and broken promises that I approve of wholeheartedly. They have let the grasses grow long and sown them with wildflowers, and currently it is a picture.