Trip reports

East coast hop

East coast hop
Tea and chat at the Goth - Winnie Thomson

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Fortunately the weather for this outing was a big improvement on the preceding days. A good number of people turned up for our first outing of the year at Morrison's Haven. We started the day by spotting the usual gulls on the rocks, including both lesser and great black-backed, while a turnstone teased us by playing hide and seek. Various seabirds were seen, including rafts of wigeon, scoter and goldeneye, while a Slavonian grebe and long-tailed ducks showed well in the reflected light on the water despite the clouds. Further along the beach a pair of stonechats flitted between shrubs.

At Prestongrange an area of woodland behind the mine workings revealed a number of small birds which held our attention for some time. Long-tailed tits moved quickly between trees, and a pair of goldcrest chased each other between the branches giving us a brief glimpse before they were off again. Some of us caught sight of a treecreeper before it disappeared and a pair of bullfinches, whilst a great spotted woodpecker was heard but disappointingly not seen. At Port Seton, a pair of mute swans on the rocks were seen near a large flock of golden plover, which seemed happy to ignore a dog playing nearby. We had lunch here before moving on to our next stop at Kilspindie, where we added wren, greenfinch, coal tit, twite and tree sparrow to our list, along with shelduck, lapwing and some winter thrushes en route. One particular male red breasted merganser was showing beautifully and was quite magnificent, with a beautiful crest. The peregrine falcon spotted sitting on a post for a long time posing was, unfortunately, just too far away for a good photo. We had a brief stop at Longniddry Bents as a male smew had been reported, but we were out of luck as it hadn't been seen that day. We finished the day at the Goth pub with tea and a chat. Total for the day: 58 birds seen and one heard.

Linda Norrie