People have enjoyed walking in the Borders and around the Whiteadder River for centuries. Wildlife is abundant. Writer Arthur Granville Bradley (1850-1943) describes a special moment on the river, in the early 20th century:

‘A kingfisher flashes by, a streak of glory, and a heron beats his slow way over the trees where the cushats stir and rustle.’

He spots both a kingfisher and a heron and refers to cushats, or wood pigeons in the trees. A cushat is a traditional word for a wood pigeon in the area, derived from Old English.

Arthur Granville Bradley’s book The Gateway of Scotland or East Lothian, Lammermoor and the Merse, published in 1912, is a culturally important resource. Bradley was a British historian who from 1897 to 1926 wrote a number of books about the places, people and history of Britain and North America. He walked widely around this area of the Borders and captured many vivid moments.

Kingfisher Fishing. Released on Facebook
Wood pigeon in tree. Public Domain.
Grey herron flying over water. Public Domain.

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