Trip reports

Musselburgh

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

Sunday, 27 November 2016

15 members met at Goose Green for a 10 am start. Conditions for this time of year were remarkably good, with virtually no wind, and a calm sea. High water at 1 pm meant that we should have good views of waders and seabirds and so it turned out. In fact our expectations were exceeded.

As we waited for everybody to arrive, there was much to see, including waders and gulls in good numbers, great crested and Slavonian grebes, long-tailed duck and goldeneye. We then made our way along the coast path, towards the lagoons - with plenty of stops to view the ducks, including velvet, common and surf scoter. There were also two pairs of red-breasted mergansers, a couple of guillemots and a distant red-throated diver.

Before we headed up to the hides, we had seen pipits, and then watched reed buntings in the bushes. At the lagoons we spread ourselves over the three hides and had good views of the waders as we munched our packed lunches. Black-tailed godwits, grey plovers, greenshank and snipe were the star waders, together with bullfinches (eight of them!) and long-tailed tits in the woods, and a lovely stock dove which landed by one of the lagoons.

Making our way back to the cars, there was little new for most of the way until we watched a grey wagtail on the shore and a flock of goldfinches - and to cap off an excellent day, a flock of pink-footed geese flew overhead. All in all, an excellent day, with 11 species of duck, 13 waders and a grand total of 65 species!
Lawrence Mitchell

Bird list:
red throated diver; great crested grebe; slavonian grebe; cormorant; shag; grey heron; mute swan; greylag goose; canada goose; wigeon; teal; mallard; eider; long-tailed duck; common scoter; velvet scoter; surf scoter; goldeneye; red-breasted merganser; goosander; pheasant; moorhen; oystercatcher; ringed plover; grey plover; lapwing; dunlin; snipe; black-tailed godwit; bar-tailed godwit; curlew; redshank; greenshank; turnstone; black-headed gull; common gull; herring gull; great black-backed gull; guillemot; stock dove; woodpigeon; meadow pipit; rock pipit; grey wagtail; pied wagtail; wren; dunnock; blackbird; redwing; goldcrest; long-tailed tit; coal tit; blue tit; great tit; magpie; jackdaw; carrion crow; starling; house sparrow; goldfinch; linnet; twite; bullfinch; reed bunting; pink-footed goose.