Trip reports

Local birdwatching outing

Local birdwatching outing
Mike Betts

Sunday, 7 October 2012

It was a warm, dry, calm evening, and a large number of members came along to Aberlady for the Goose Watch. We first walked to the Marl Loch where a Bearded Tit had been seen and heard the previous day, but no luck for us. Dave did however point out a Moorhen in the bushes eating Buckthorn berries. Back to the wooden bridge from where we could see that a number of Pink-footed Geese had already started to gather on the mud and sand. We watched Shelducks, Curlew, Lapwings and Redshanks in the mud and water's edge, with the light making their colouring almost fluorescent at times. We were also on the lookout for a Spotted Redshank seen here, but despite careful examination, we did not find it. Walking along the road towards Aberlady we saw a Grey Heron, Widgeon, Oystercatchers and a small group of Teal. Further along, we saw a small flotilla of Eider ducks, distinguished a Bar Tailed Godwit from the surrounding Curlew and saw Mallard, a Mute Swan and Common, Herring, Black - headed and Lesser and Great Black-backed Gulls. A passing Peregrine had put up a flock of Geese and it later settled on a post to give us good sightings. By this time we had reached the grassy area near Aberlady and the Geese were starting to come in. Wave after wave of groups of Geese from four or five to perhaps a hundred flew overhead from right and left, circled and then wiffled down to land on the sand bars or in the water. Their barking or honking filled the evening air and we could see that the majority were Pink-footed Geese, but were also able to distinguish a few Barnacle geese as well

With the light fading and a beautiful sunset we walked back to the cars and saw a female kestrel, which hovered and dived in the fields to our right. A great end to a splendid evening.