My monthly BTO WeBS count along the Union Canal, Linlithgow to Philpstoun.
Tuesday 17th December 2013
End time 11.50am
|approaching Philpstoun, the lovely Shirvalee at berth|
Weather fine after heavy rain on preceding days. The flood field does now have a small pool in it but nothing like in previous winters, pre-draining.
- waterbirds were pretty scarce but lack of quantity was made up for in quality - nine beautiful crisp goosanders and a kingfisher kingfisher kingfisher! There on the canal behind my house and studio when I set out at 9am, there again or still when I returned around noon. Sometimes difficult to spot, rust-red chest blending into dead winter undergrowth when it perched. Then when it flew its metallic blue back flashed like a jewel.
|spot the kingfisher. |
Actually, that's a crisp packet. It was almost immediately after I'd taken this photo that I spotted the real kingfisher.
- Fieldfares and redwings all around, as last month. Larger flocks now, at least 100 fieldfares and 50 redwings, taking full advantage of the red berries of canalside hawthorn hedgerows.
N.B. If you haven't tried hawthorn berries you should. They have a nice nutty creamy texture and taste. Take care not to crunch on the big stone in the middle. Don't eat them all though, the thrushes need some.
|hawthorn heaven for fieldfares (and maybe you too)|
|fieldfares and Forth Bridge (rail)|
All water birds eligible for count:
moorhen - 2
goosander - 9kingfisher - 1
black headed gulls present, not very many
All birds seen:
Unidentified geese flying over
24 - species
In the woods, heavy flow:
A Very Happy Sprouty Christmas To You All