November 2020 Wildlife Survey on Edinburgh's Allotments
Click here to download the table of sightings
Our last wildlife survey of the year in November suggests that birdlife was more active, after a lull in the summer (see table at lick above). Birds have finished moulting now and are busy feeding up for winter. Winter migrants were just beginning to arrive – a lone Redwing first spotted at Lady Road on the 22nd and they were also seen at Cambridge Avenue. A group of 8 Blackbirds was seen feeding on apples at Craigentinny on the 29th, and it's quite likely some at least were new arrivals from Scandinavia – yes, blackbirds are migratory too!
There were some notable mammal sightings - Pipistrelle bats at Cambridge Ave, Grey Squirrel, Weasel and Woodmouse at Craigentinny. Foxes seem to be ubiquitous, including a handsome youngster photographed by Jackie at Warriston (see photo), that is a regular visitor.
A fine specimen of Red Admiral butterfly was spotted (either feeding or sunbathing) on ivy at Lady Road on the 6th (the last of the year?), and a late Small White caterpillar seen at Craigentinny on the 23rd. Mike also spotted a House spider (Tegenaria domestica) at Craigentinny – this one makes a funnel web rather than the usual kind that we see.
It's been a traumatic year for many, but a special year for our connection with nature. Many thanks to everyone who has taken part in the surveys, to Ernie Watt, Mike Anderson and Stewart Henderson for collating reports and to Fi Strathdee and Jackie Jack for fab photos. The surveys seem to have stimulated lots of awareness and interest in the wildlife around us and prompted conversations and collaboration. Let's hope that 2021 sees our lives returning to 'normal' – but let's keep looking and listening!
Chris McKinnell (Lady Road)
Photo of fox: Jackie Jack, Warriston allotments.