Our perception of the seasons is subjective. It may sound odd to talk of autumn when in August, surely that’s summer?
Not if you’re a wader breeding in the arctic! Many adults whose breeding attempts have failed will start to make the long and arduous return journey to their wintering grounds in the height of our summer.
When juvenile wading birds start to appear on our shores and at our wetlands we really are seeing the onset of autumn for these birds. The fairly brief abundance of daylight and food gives way quickly at these Northern latitudes allowing the birds a limited window of opportunity to establish a territory, find a mate, and raise young.
Even more remarkable are the distances involved putting the UK in a vital position as a ‘motorway services’ for millions of waders who need to rest and refuel on their annual return journeys.
This small area of purpose-built lagoons near Musselburgh, just to the East of Edinburgh, has proved very productive for roosting waders and passage migrants including many scarce and rare species.
All of the accompanying photographs were taken from the hides at Levenhall over the past few years.