Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Friday 2nd March 2012, 15:29   #1
Leading a life of quiet desperation
markgrubb's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: edinburgh
Posts: 2,606
A 5 mile stretch of Borders road

I've been out of action for the last 2 months and my only birding has been a desultory 200m hirple round to the local loch and hide to usually not see the bittern that is skulking there. So with things getting better I set off to my favourite stretch of the Scottish Borders just out of Lothian.

I had tried last week but a pea souper had put paid to any trip. It was a still cool morning with pockets of low mist as I set off at 6.30. By 7.00 I had climbed up the B road to over 1000 feet. 500 yards into Borders region and with the window wound down I heard the lovely bubbling of black grouse. A lot of scanning at the entrance to the estate frustratingly produced no birds so I drove on 400 yards and looked back to see 6 black grouse, 2 displaying to each other. A good start.

A mile descent into the valley-more pockets of mist and the sun just peeking out. Life stirring everywhere and signs of spring emerging. A few lapwing, getting into lazy elastic flight, a snipe chipping, oystercatchers peeping nervously, caffies, wood pigeopns and wrens all alerting me to their presence. It's marvellous how senses heighten and awaken hearing all these sounds after not being birding for weeks. As the ground rose 3 more black grouse displayed and 400m on more of them were bubbling away but unseen behind a ridge.

Down into the main valley and I see a distant kestrel hovering-but wait, not a kestrel shape-a short eared owl looking for prey. The bird comes closer and closer and passes barely 10 yards over the car intent on prey. A little further and no less than 13 black grouse at the top of a field, most feeding but a couple facing up. A little further on a group of 4 up on the hill, 2 of them really squaring up. A walk up a track produces 2 dippers and a grey wagtail protesting at my presence.

Back in the car and a mile further on and 2 more black grouse on a hillside. I see the welcome presence of Le Phreak the leucistic oystercatcher about 500m downstream from his location last year. As I watch by a stream a dipper announces his presence, picks up nesting material and goes under the bridge I am by to add to his nest

And that was it, the highlight a minimum of 28 black grouse, pretty good for so early in the year. So time for a celebratory cup of coffee and boy it is good to get back out birding
Tired and wired, we ruin too easy
markgrubb is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Support BirdForum With A Donation


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Along the river into town... great stretch for wildlife! Fozzybear Birds & Birding 217 Saturday 18th December 2010 17:07
Stretch fit trousers matt green Outdoor Clothing 0 Saturday 4th November 2006 22:00
hello from the mile high city ftapp Say Hello 7 Friday 23rd June 2006 08:12
Swan stretch Henry B Your Birding Day 7 Thursday 10th November 2005 20:23
Its 3/4 mile away Jane Turner Bird Forum Fun Quizzes 9 Thursday 26th February 2004 21:27


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.15960407 seconds with 10 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:34.