Linlithgow’s Nuthatch – is this a first?

On retiring in 2002 it was a great delight to linger over dishes when really watching birds at our feeders in the back garden. I wrote then for LT about the joy of watching a tree creeper on our splendid Betula albo-sinensis.

In September 2015 these delights were surpassed by what became almost daily sightings of a Nuthatch. It made frequent visits at different times of day and was last seen in late October.

Checking out with the Scottish Ornithologists Club reveals that the recently published 2013 Lothian Bird Report says there were only six Nuthatch reported for West Lothian that year, five of which were at Hopetoun House. In East and Midlothian it is widespread. But in West Lothian, Allan Finlayson of Lothian Bird News confirms the Nuthatch is still a rarity, although he heard one calling in Wester Shore Wood, Blackness, on 24 August. Gavin Stewart also heard one at Abercorn on 1 October.

Please keep your eyes open for this delightful little bird with slate back and buff belly, sharp beak and eye-stripe. Be enchanted by the way it hangs upside down when feeding, and do note that sunflower hearts seem to be irresistible.

Averil Stewart

Entertaining and Educational Evening in Linlithgow

There was a good turnout for the lecture at Linlithgow Burgh Halls on Tuesday evening. The two speakers gave an insight into the issues faced in reviving waterways; recovering from our industrial past while not ignoring current pollution causes, with particular focus on invasive species.

Alison Baker from the River Forth Fisheries Trust gave us an informative talk on the issues seen in the Forth area. Harry Millar from the River Avon Federation focused on waterways local to Linlithgow, presenting inspiring images of the recovery of the River Avon.

This was a fundraising event run jointly with Linlithgow’s Burgh Beautiful – Linlithgow won a silver gilt in Britain in Bloom last year when representing Scotland in the ‘town’ category. The sum of £167.32 was raised in total when divided between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Burgh Beautiful, means that both organisations are the better of by £83.66.

Thanks to all involved in the organisation and delivery of an excellent lecture in an ideal venue.

Chris Davidson

Latest on Can Collections

Two days 26/27 June raised the goodly sum of £909.64 at Sainsbury’s Cameron Toll. This will help buy brush-cutting equipment for the management of reserves. Funds will be needed to support the lecture programme and other activities in 2016 so more volunteers are sought. A 2-hour stint in a superstore near you need not be too onerous so please let Averil know if you would like to join the willing band of SWT enthusiasts. Perhaps more important is the search for someone to work alongside Averil over the next year, prior to her retiring in her mid-seventies! This too need not be too onerous. If interested in knowing more, please give her a ring: 01506 842676

Wild Food and Medicine Courses

Anna Canning who has delivered a couple of excellent lectures to Lothians Group over the years, is running two wild food and medicine courses this autumn in Edinburgh, on Sat 29 August, and Sat 24 October. Both courses will be based at the Water of Leith Conservation Trust visitor centre, Lanark Road.

These courses are always very lively and hands-on. The charge (on a sliding scale depending on your income) includes a full day’s tuition, food and refreshments, course notes/recipes and links for following up particular areas of interest.
Please see attached flyer for more information Wild&WonderfulDAYcourses_2015