Trip reports

Innocent Railway and Duddingston Loch

Male blackcap in hawthorn bush
Blackcap - RSPB Images

Saturday, 7 May 2016

On a fine morning, a group of 18 members met at the car park at Duddingston Loch for an early morning start. Already the reeling sound of a Grasshopper Warbler had been heard up the hill behind the car park but the bird was not showing itself. Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch and Blackbird could be heard singing in the woodland. We took a brief walk down to the edge of the loch to look at Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, Greylag geese, Canada geese and Tufted duck. A bird singing beautifully on a branch caught the group's attention - a male Blackcap - nothing shy about that bird!

We then made our way towards the main road and along the edge of the loch where we picked up on Song Thrush, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Some of our group saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker and one was heard drumming further on in the woodlands. The whistles and chattering of the Sedge Warblers could be heard from the reed beds. We saw a pair of Great Crested Grebes on the loch behind the reeds and Little Grebes were heard 'whinnying'. Walking along the Innocent Railway track, we saw Great Tit. Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Bullfinch. A Jay made a dash for it across the track and a distant Yellowhammer was seen by some. We finally heard the descending song of the Willow Warbler whilst a Goldcrest was flitting about in a nearby bush. A Buzzard flew overhead and when we walked back up the hill on to the road a Kestrel was spotted.

Making our way back to the cars, we all had good views of the heronry with several Grey Herons in residence. Several Swallows were skimming over the loch and some Cormorants were seen resting. On approaching the car park we saw another summer visitor the Whitethroat singing its scratchy song in the gorse bushes. A total of 41 species were seen (including corvids and gulls) - a good total for a brief early morning walk.

Anne Sinclair