Trip reports

Local birdwathing outing

Male greenfinch perched on rhododendron bush
RSPB

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

After all the recent unseasonal weather, a good day was in prospect for the 7 members that turned up at Hadfast to blue skies and some warmth in the air. However, given the recent flush of foliage, spotting birds in the trees and scrub was going to be a challenge.
As we left the car park a willow warbler could be heard ahead. When we were within a few yards of the singing, some of us managed to catch glimpses of the bird. This was the story of the morning; lots of birdsong - wren, robin, blackcap (lots), chiffchaff, willow warbler, whitethroat, tits and finches - but not so many clear sightings. The only species consistently seen was whitethroat, perching on tops of bushes and taking short flights. Starling, jackdaw, crow and magpie were seen in the adjoining fields and buzzards were overhead.
After lunch 5 of us headed to the western (Ormiston) section of the Pencaitland Railway Walk. Before we were out of our cars we could hear a yellowhammer which was seen first on the car park, then in a nearby tree. Starting along the track another was moving ahead of us before heading into the bushes. It wasn't long before we heard then saw the first of many sedge warblers. In the marshy area to the north of the track many reed buntings were seen moving to and from their perches in the rushes. For most of the rest of the walk sedge warblers showed in the trackside bushes and kept us entertained with their varied songs and mimicry. These were interspersed with wrens, tits (including long tailed), finches and more yellowhammers.
Not quite the variety of species we might have hoped for, but for anyone that didn't know the sedge warbler's song - they do now, and it was a lovely day for a walk.

Dave Stewart