From Monday, July 19:
“This morning on my way into town past the university a small bird flew overhead. It was singing and I had heard that song before in the same place. Then I had identified it as an aberrant greenfinch but today I realised that it was a redpoll. Apart from the oddness of the urban location there are no conifers for miles around. This being the second sighting suggests that the bird may be
nesting in the area, so it is doubly strange.
“Yesterday I checked out the sand martins at their new home in Broughty Ferry. They must be doing well. Dozens of them zip past your head as you walk towards their nests. I think that the only other city where I have registered sand martins is San Francisco, where they nest in the cliffs below Fort Funston. Bar-tailed godwits were also foraging in the Tay Estuary at low tide – again not a common city bird.
“Four days ago the fire station at the back of Forest Park Road was host to a crow that was certainly more hooded crow than anything else. The pale underparts and back were interspersed with patches of dark feathers. I had seen this bird before too but thought that it was merely a juvenile. However, none of my field guides shows juveniles as being anything other than black. This time there was another crow with it, carrion but showing some paleness that could be attributes to hooded genes.”