During the month of May, young fledglings left their nests for the first time to brave the big new world. There is a burst of new life right on our doorsteps, and with less traffic on the roads and people on the streets, we can see and hear much more around us.
Being in lockdown during Spring, has meant less time commuting back and forward to work in the city centre allowing more time for early morning walks and spending time in the garden. It's been a great opportunity to witness this abundance of new life.
In my garden alone, I have seen young great tits, house sparrow fledglings (from the eaves of my roof), a young dunnock, and a murmuration of noisy juvenile starlings begging their parents for food.
Starling- Adult and Juvenile
I have also been spending a few early spring mornings at my local nature reserve, Roslin Glen, and was lucky to see a juvenile grey wagtail being fed by its parent down by the river. It was standing on a rock stretching its wings and naturally adopting that characteristic tail wag, whilst it's parent hopped across the pebbles and rocks catching insects.
Juvenile Grey Wagtail
A few days later, on the same stretch of river, I was lucky to spot a juvenile dipper, which momentarily popped out from the undergrowth by the side of the river and perched on a branch near to where I was sitting. The photography settings were quite tricky to get right. The light was low, increasing the noise (i.e. graininess) of the image, but I managed a couple of shots before it scuttled off.
I have also frequented some other local nature spots near to my home in Midlothian and have enjoyed observing the journey of a number of water birds from initial nest building, to brooding, and hatching.
Newly Hatched Little Grebe Chick
Returning to a local spot to find new chicks venturing onto the pond or lake, and exploring it's new environment is very heartwarming and rewarding.
Mute Swan and Cygnets
I am certainly not the only one to think that bird life, and indeed wildlife in general, is thriving during this period of isolation, with quieter surroundings, reduced disturbance of nests, and less people feeding the birds inappropriate food stuff.
I hope you have managed to enjoy some time in nature. New baby birds are appearing in our gardens, ponds, lakes and fields every day.
Canadian Geese and Goslings