Let me share the highlights of our visit to The Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh. We entered the garden via the North Gate passing The Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden shown above. Today my plan was to visit the Chinese Garden to see if we could spot (get photos) of the Bullfinches seen there on my visit last February.
After a brief detour, via the tearoom, we arrived at the top path of the Chinese Garden to find tape across it. Pruning was going on there today. Well, I suppose that was our bit of bad luck. We decided to walk along the path above it and round to another entrance.
On our way round we spotted a female Sparrowhawk high above us on a branch of a tree – she appeared to be enjoy a sunny spot! We never got inside the Chinese Garden but walking around the outside we still managed to catch a glimpse of the bullfinches in this area of the garden.
Catkins and berries added interest and colour as we walked around the garden and if we looked closely in the undergrowth of the shrubs and trees we could see birds like the Moorhen (shown above) and Magpies looking for food.
Just before we left for Edinburgh this morning I had another new sight from my garden. Today, three Fieldfares landed on the tree above my hedge! It looks like they’ll be back now. This tree really isn’t the best for getting photos due to the distance and the lighting conditions but you can still make the birds out.
The montage below shows the Song Thrush (two square photos), the Mistle Thrush (centre) and the Fieldfare on the right. Although the last two aren’t very good they still give a little guide to compare these birds. Note the different wing markings on the thrushes and the spotted pattern of the Song Thrush has ‘v’ formations.
So that was Friday the thirteenth, not such an unlucky day after all! Tomorrow sees Valentine’s Day. I wonder how many roses will be bought. Of course, you could always make some fondant ones as in the cake below I made for my Mum and Dad’s Golden Wedding Anniversary. Ah… does that not make you think of romance?
What about the next photo? No? Well, there is a reason I am posting this photo of the Blackbird Nestbox I have hanging in my pergola. Yes, birds are considering pairing up at this time of year. So you could say ‘Love is in the air’.
However, Valentine’s Day is also the day that the BTO has picked for their National Nestbox Week here in the UK. They want to encourage us to put up Nestboxes ready for the nesting season ahead. Their website gives lots of tips for exisiting ones, sighting new ones and plans for you to make your own. A family project for this week/weekend perhaps?
I don’t know if my small garden could support anymore nestboxes. Blue tits are still showing interest in both our camera and non camera nestboxes but we have yet to see this Blackbird one get used. It has been up almost a year now. I might need to consider giving it more protection from a cat climbing up there. That could be our project for the weekend! However you spend your weekend, I’d like to wish you a good one!
All photos above, with the exception of the Nestbox, Cake, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush, were taken on Friday the 13th of February 2009.