Trip reports

Easter Inch Moss

Drake teal profile
Teal - RSPB Images

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A gloriously sunny, clear blue sky greeted us on Wednesday as nine hardy souls braved the cool morning to wend their way along the tarmac path adjacent to Seafield bing - a relic of the oil shale industry. Easter Inch Moss being the first West Lothian Nature Reserve and is currently managed by WL Council and Friends in conjunction with SNH. In its' life the 200 acre site has been used for peat extraction, shale, landfill and currently as a wildlife site.

We got off to a good start from the carpark with House Sparrow, Starling, Swallow, Kestrel, Jackdaw, Coal tit and Black-headed gull. Progressing along the marsh and scrub edge path Willow warbler serenaded us. Wood pigeon and Magpie flew over as we studied the male Bullfinch perched on a branch over the path. Debate ensued regarding a LBJ which, after consulting our books, was deemed a female reed bunting, adult summer but with very brown ear coverts. Further on Chiffchaff called and a Greenfinch flew across the path. Moving onto a moss we crossed this rather quiet area back onto the central path continuing over a second, scrubbier moss where a Meadow pipit sang from a bush and Dave heard a distant Skylark. We lunched in the shade of the shrubs with Willow warbler singing all around. The ubiquitous Chaffinch kept popping up as we 'jogged' our way up the bing from which we saw Teal on a far off pond and Herring and Lesser Black-backed gull following a tractor. Descending and moving left along the side of the bing Redpoll were found on the larch. We then turned down a rough path to watch a pair of Coot forage amongst the reeds in a fenced off pool. Returning to the car park by the main road a 'sparel' sparked debate as wing shape, no tail bars, just a black tip to the tail, pale underneath. Was it a Sparrowhawk, no, it hovered occasionally, must be a Kestrel was the conclusion and the end to our outing.

Winnie Thomson