Trip reports

East Coast Hop

Adult twite perched on branch in heather moorland
Twite - RSPB Images

Saturday, 30 January 2016

It was a cold, very windy day with frequent snow flurries as eight Group members met at Morrison's Haven. With a grey, choppy sea it was hard to find the birds on the water. However, we did see a group of velvet scoter, also mergansers, a shag, goldeneye, a turnstone flying by, a redshank, eider and long-tailed duck and oystercatchers. We saw a curlew on the rocks, spotted a rock pipit and a carrion crow trying to break into an oyster. It was a good day for gulls with black-headed, common, herring, lesser black-backed and greater black-backed gulls seen. On shore we heard a wren and saw some bluetits. Moving on to Port Seton we added starlings, house sparrows, two mute swans, a small flock of bar-tailed godwits and a cormorant.

Our next stop was Kilspindie where the weather was calmer and we were rewarded with a flock of twite. Large congregations of knot, sanderlings, grey plovers, golden plovers, ringed plovers were hunkered down on the sand & mud flats. Occasionally a flock was spooked and rose into the air with the golden plovers looking particularly beautiful. Other birds found were shelducks, mallard and dunlin running about. We saw wood pigeons, a robin and blackbirds in the surrounding grassland.

Our final visit was to the Lidl carpark at Prestonpans from where a black guillemot has often been seen. But not today! Our last bird was a small group of linnets. We then went to The Goth Inn at Prestonpans for a welcome cup of tea and a warm scone.


Margaret Harrison