Friday, 24 September 2021

admirals on the water


The thirteenth - lucky for some! The sun was shining and I had an hour or two at lunchtime to go check locally for wildlife. The plan was to visit Warriston but on the way there I thought I'd go past the bend in the river to see if there were any ducks or goosanders about. I'd seen on the internet that folk were saying the goosanders were about in good numbers down at the Esk estuary. I couldn't see anything at the usual spot so ran further downstream to the bend between W Bowling Green Street and Gt Junkie Street. There are a load of buddleia on the edge of the river here and I hurriedly got the camera out as there were at least 4 red admirals. (No other species.) I spent the next 25 minutes taking photos of them. I was trying to get the water reflecting sunlight in the background as it was far enough away to create large round spots of bokeh.

macro rather than zoom

Even though neither of these butterflies is in focus I like this pic anyway as it makes me think there is one giant RA and a small one, due to confusing perspective.

charming graffiti

It was going to be hard for Warriston to compete with the riverside RA overdose. There wasn't that much going on there except for a good amount of speckleds. There seems to be an explosion of them up and down the East Coast - great to see the species having an excellent year; not every butterfly is. 

I noticed the bird feeding tables have been reconstructed again. There are 3 brick towers, one with a water dish on top. I put some bread and seeds on the other 2 and quite quickly a few birds appeared. Most notably this young robin who turned out to be a bit of a terror - chasing off any smaller birds who had the cheek to land on HIS territory. The other birds continued regardless although he sometimes followed them at top speed into the ivy or round the trees if he felt they didn't get the message. It was NOT very friendly behaviour and not the stuff of christmas card cuteness. You could tell he was born this year as he still had remnants of those longer feathers or down from the back of his head. I am saying "he" because of the aggressive behaviour but there are very few visual clues to distinguish the sexes. I have been back more recently and his behaviour has not improved! I have been trying to think of names but so far Hitler Robin doesn't have a ring to it.

coal tit

blue tit

lots of speckled woods

Thursday, 23 September 2021

painted lady


9/11 (not a disaster)
Saturday 11th Sept was a decent day out with Mary and Nick doing the usual route round Gullane. I seem to have forgotten to take photos of the run. But when we got back to the car, parked near the public loos in Goose Green Road, the sun had come out and the buddleia was awash with a painted lady. Haha! Okay, not quite the scene as it was in 2019 when a couple of dozen Painted Ladies were all over the same buddleia flowers. But given the shortage of Painted Ladies this year it was very welcome and I was glad that Nick and Mary stood and chatted for 15mins while I dashed about taking photos of this one and a small tort which had the place to themselves.

couple of speckleds dancing in the sun