horns of wilmington's cow

By anth


Happy Birthday to my mum
Happy Birthday to my mum
Happy Birthday to my muuuu-uuuu-uuum
Happy Birthday to my mum

Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday - as you can see, I was an early present for my mum. I'm sure she saw it that way...

So. Day off. Mel at work. There was nothing else for it but to jump on the bike and spend the day in the sun. And I can confirm that headwinds are easier when you're on an out and back route so you know the second half will have you flying. North Berwick was the destination, a 40 odd mile round trip, so nothing too extravagant, giving plenty time to stop and look at things en route.

North Berwick was actually the planned lunch stop - but getting there a lot earlier than expected (11am), even after stopping at a surprisingly empty Falko Konditormeister in Gullane, and there not being an abundance of wildlife about (save a sunning Cormorant, a Common Tern with a catch, and a multitude of gulls and gannets off a surreal looking Bass Rock, and an over-abundance of people, I turned tail with the wind and set myself back to Aberlady Bay for lunch and a couple of hours wandering. Hence the Whitethroat - my first. A boring little brown bird according to Mel. I beg to differ, but there you go.

The reserve also gave me a Meadow Pipit (after much online deliberating over whether it was a Skylark or not), a Red Deer, and a Reed Bunting.

Oh, and the funniest sign I've seen in a while... Whih was almost blipped.

Fun coming back was passing a Lycra road warrior on a carbon fibre bike with tri-bars on a cheap steel bike with a heavily loaded Carradice and a rider with the aero of a brick.

Okay, so she had a number on her bike, so was clearly competing in something, might have had a lot of miles in her legs and was probably pacing herself but I'd done 30 miles as well so... I stopped to take a photo of a classic Ferrari (in Prestonpans!) and she went past (probably gained about a minute over 5 miles). I flashed a friendly smile - under the helmet and shades I don't know if the stare back was convivial or not.

I turned off around the coast at Musselburgh, seeing (second last link!) Golden Plovers (if you squint you might just see them as well), finishing off the ride at my regular Figgate Park haunt and a submarining Coot.

I had pondered going into the Scottish Ornithologists' Club house near Aberlady, and the Seabird Centre in North Berwick, but I was loving being outside and rather than looking at pictures (and stuffed toys) of birds and wildlife I could look at the real thing. And I was generally feeling an unsociable sod, looking for some quality time on my own.

Certainly found that. Good good day.

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