Yesterday was an Scottish Ornithologist Club (SOC) outing run by the Clyde SOC group. This was at Aberlady Bay which is amazing for waders, sea birds and many other species! When the tide is out, the mud expanse is very extensive. The waders all turn up to feed at this point and as the tide comes in, the waders are brought closer.
As my dad and I live in Glasgow this meant an hour and 10 mins drive so we thought we might as well spend most of the day there. We left at 7:30am and headed to Musselbourgh Lagoons. Unfortunately not much was showing. Later on definitely made up though! We arrived in Aberlady Bay carpark at 10am to see others with spotting scopes and binoculars watching over the bay. Everyone who was supposed to be on he trip had arrived by 10:40am and by then we had already found grey plover, bar tailed Godwit, little egret and many other birds.
By 10:50am we had started to head along the walkway and along the way we picked up some common birds. Then all of a sudden when we approached the golf course, a man called suddenly spotted 12 grey partridge on the golf course! They couldn’t care less about the flying golf balls (they stood so still). We watched them for about 1min until a short eared owl flew over, surprising us all and drawing our attention towards it! Since we were a big group with a mixture of photographers, four of us decided to separate from the group and photograph the owl hunting. The others wanted to head along the beach to try pick up more species. My group included David Palmer, My dad (Kevin Sinclair) and another photographer. We managed to find a second owl and we all got some shots! We then headed to meet the group who were lucky enough to have seen Slavonian Grebe, Arctic Skua and Kittiwake.
When we joined back with the others, we all gladly stoped at a point and looked out onto sea. This was a good rest and pain relief after I had been hiding in thorns to try get a decent owl shot. We all scanned the scene and managed to find Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed duck and some other small birds at the edge like Rock Pipit, Sanderling, Wheatear and Turnstone. By now it was time to head back to the car park. We saw some fungi on the way (i’m unsure what species, can anyone help?) It took a while but we got there and I had my food which I had been craving for ages as I didn’t think to bring it with me on the walk.
We got into the car, we went to the next car park (nearby) and managed to find Golden Plover, Tree Sparrows, Greenshank and a Peregrine which were some new species to add to the list for the day. After that we stopped at the SOC HQ. I said goodbye to everyone and I hope to see them again as everyone was very friendly! Someone even asked about helping at Linn Park (where I volunteer) which was really nice. Everyone was very supportive and we all had an absolutely fantastical time!
To finish, my dad and I decided to go to the nuclear power station to try and see a Yellow-browed Warbler which had been seen at the car park. Sure enough it was there. As soon as I stepped out the car it was right in front of me!!!