Trip reports

Aberlady Bay

Flock of pink-footed geese at dawn over Loch of Strathbeg
Pink-footed geese (RSPB Images)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

We met at 5pm on a dry but rather cloudy evening to watch the geese returning from foraging in the nearby fields to roost on the mud flats at Aberlady bay. The pink-footed geese had arrived at Aberlady about 1 week later than normal according to the reserve Ranger, but had in the subsequent week already reached about 5,000 birds.

We first walked across the bridge towards the Marl loch. From the bridge looking upstream we saw 2 little egrets, a greenshank, redshanks, some mallards and a few dunlin. Looking over the bay we saw a large flock of lapwings with some golden plovers and one grey plover mixed in and shelducks over towards the Kilspindie side. Already a couple of thousand geese could be seen on the water and on the sand.

Walking towards the loch we saw a flock of linnets, a charm of goldfinch, 2 grey herons and heard robins in the bushes at the loch. Returning we saw a couple of pheasants, a male stonechat posing beautifully, and then first a blue tit followed by a family of nine long-tailed tits.

We then drove over to the green at the Kilspindie turn-off and watched the skeins of geese fly in as the sky darkened. One large flock numbered at least 500 birds. We calculated we had seen about 3,000 birds fly in before the midges drove us away. Brian finished off the evening by spotting a ruff.

Margaret Harrison