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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Lothian, 30th March-11th April

I managed to fit in a little birding while staying at Ingrid's for a while. There was quite a bit around her garden, including regular Bullfinches, redpolls and Siskins, plus a migrant flock of 40 Pink-footed Geese overhead on 31st. I set up a net in the garden, a fairly productive enterprise over the first couple of days but soon burning out, a smart Bullfinch and a couple of Coal Tits being the best catches. After the earlier Tawny Owl surprise, the woods just around the corner came up with two Crossbills on April 9th.

Birding trips out were limited to visits to John Muir Country Park on 1st April, Musselburgh two days later and the Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick on 6th. The first two sites provided a nice array of coastal species, including 11 Velvet Scoters, a Greenshank and a showy drake Red-breasted Merganser at Musselburgh. I was mightily impressed with the centre at North Berwick and how well it engages the public with the wonder of our seabirds, with impressive displays and easy viewing of the seabird colonies on Bass Rock and Craighleith. Managing to connect with Puffin and Purple Sandpiper at the Seabird Centre, Bass Rock and its Gannets provided the most spectacular presence.

Bullfinch in Edinburgh
A friendly drake Red-breasted Merganser at Musselburgh on 3rd April
Curlew at John Muir CP on 1st April
The beautiful dunes and flats of Tyninghame Bay on 1st April
Skylark at John Muir CP on 1st April
Peregrine at John Muir CP on 1st April
North Berwick's main attraction
Scottish Seabird Centre display
Purple Sandpiper at North Berwick on 6th April
Bass Rock, smattered in Gannets on 6th April
Eiders at North Berwick on 6th April
juvenile Crossbill at Ravelston Woods on 9th April
Nuthatch at Ravelston Woods on 9th April