Trip reports

Local outing report

Adult female blackbird on garden lawn

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Four of us arrived at John Muir CP in poor weather with a forecast promising deterioration. Looking through a wet windscreen we saw mute swan, magpie, carrion crow and black-headed gull, but wondered if we would be intrepid or insane to battle the wind and walk out to the shore. Deciding that the best solution was to head for the shelter of Belhaven Bay we were rewarded with a selection of waders including oystercatcher, ringed, grey and green plovers, dunlin, redshank and curlew, with a whiff of brewing in the air! Groups of teal and wigeon were on the shore and long tailed ducks on the sea. Walking round to Seafield Pond we added bar-tailed godwit, herring gull and wood pigeon. Sadly the little egret that had been reported, was not about, but we did see a miserable looking grey heron, some coot, moorhen and mallard. Walking to the other end of Shore Road, blackbird, starling, chaffinch and meadow pipit were seen and seawards we noted eider, goldeneye, cormorant and shag. By now we were all feeling the cold and decided a quick warm-up drive to Dunbar would be a good idea. Looking over the rocks to the North of the harbour we were delighted to spot a whimbrel and spent some time watching its feeding behaviour in the rock crevices. A female common scoter, kestrel and turnstone were also in this area, as was a cormorant struggling with a fish far too big for it to swallow and two attendant great black-backed gulls waiting for a chance to grab its meal. By now we were cold and wet again so after a quick walk round the harbour watching the house sparrows investigating the lobster pots we decided that, as Mike would say, it was time for "tea and medals" and that 35 species seen wasn't bad in the conditions.
Val Donaldson