BIRDS Thirty-nine bird species were recorded in the Edinburgh ‘Botanics’ in January 2014. They included a possibly wintering Chiffchaff, heard calling (and trying to sing briefly) once (20th), a wintering Blackcap, at least two visits by a Buzzard, five by a Grey Wagtail that has taken a liking to the little pond in the NW corner of the Garden, and Kingfisher visiting the main Pond on seven days. The full list of January’s birds is: Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Common Gull, Curlew, Dunnock, Feral Pigeon, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, Kingfisher, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Redwing, Robin, Siskin, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Tawny Owl, Tree Creeper (see photo above), Wood Pigeon and Wren.
INSECTS The only insects noted in January were the Late Needle-fly Leuctra fusca and the hibernating Orange Ladybirds Halyzia 16-guttata, both of which have been the subjects of previous Botanics Stories posts on 14 and 24 January respectively. On 27 January, a couple of M.Sc. students and I went to the tree where I had found the single Orange Ladybird hibernating, and between the three of us we found at least a dozen more, hibernating in groups of up to four in various cracks in the bark.