The woodland is one of the few areas of ancient woodland in West Lothian and covers an area that was previously used as a shale mine (or so we were told by a cyclist who stopped to chat with us for a while). Large parts of the area are covered in very old birch trees like the one below.
The paths through the woodland were very muddy! We saw lots of birds, including a group of redwings flying about, a couple of bullfinches, a crow mobbing a buzzard then later four buzzards circling overhead with a possible fifth calling off to the side. Also a flock of around 30 lesser redpolls flying from birch tree to birch tree to hang in the branches to feed. On the way back into Edinburgh we saw a young swan sitting on a grass verge by the main road, with a police officer making notes by its side. That would have made a fun photo..... (Crafty Green Boyfriend took the photos in this post as my camera batteries ran out!)