Trip reports

RSPB Outing

RSPB Outing
Eppie Sweeney

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

12 of us met at East Linton on a grey rain-threatening day. Swifts screamed overhead and house sparrows chattered in the hedges. Through the gardens we spotted greenfinches, chaffinches, blackbirds, collared doves and starlings.

We followed the damp often muddy-puddled path edged by many wild flowers upwards. The baby birds which were many, were a delight. First a family of blackcaps, then willow warblers and chiff-chaffs, though we weren`t always sure which, unless there was a flick of the tail. Great, blue and coal tits and their fluffy young calling for food. We also saw robins, dunnocks and many wrens. Looking up the hill we heard and saw yellowhammers and Sam found us a pair of linnets.

Further on a roe deer stood motionless as we passed and two whitethroats flew off. Down below us on the river house martins flew showing their white rumps, with at least one sand martin. Soon swallows joined in, what a lot of insects in the humidity.
Our first dipper flew and rested on the opposite bank. Susan spotted a young crow still at eyelevel, absolutely still.. Next Dave found us an adult goldfinch feeding two fluttering young.

On to Hailes Castle for lunch with jackdaws jacking and a close song thrush serenading us. Mistle thrushes and brown hares were in the fields. Down on the river a pair of grey wagtails flew back and forth, we also saw many pied wagtails.

The rain started with our descent but wasn`t continuous. There were tree sparrows at the cottages, and we were soon into the shelter of the trees. Not as many birds on the way down, and more of the same species. We added mallard to our list.
The rain really set in as we sheltered under the bridge to say our goodbyes. We had timed it well. A good number of species with most interesting and enjoyable observations of young birds.


Eppie Sweeney