Saturday, 25 September 2010
We went to Musselburgh today, and walked along the Esk river and
round the shore to the Musselburgh Lagoons. The Lagoons, were created in 1964 by the South of Scotland Electricity Board. Three hundred acres of land have been reclaimed from the sea with pulverised fuel ash from Cockenzie Power Station. The area has become an important area for wading birds and sea ducks and has nice tree lined paths that lead to concrete bird hides. The hides are basic and open to the elements so I guess it's an uncomfortable experience in winter, which is one of the best times for birdwatching here! When we were there the tide was well out and there was a strong wind, which meant that birdwatching on the mudflats was difficult with the birds being far away and the binoculars difficult to hold steady. A low tide also means that the birds don't flock in huge numbers to the lagoons. However we did see lots of curlews (both on the mudflats and the lagoons), oystercatchers, redshank, goosanders and eider on the mudflats and wigeon (one of my favourite ducks!) and lapwings on the lagoons. I love watching lapwings and it was wonderful to see them in good number as they have become so rare these days. We also saw a shelduck and a heron on the lagoons; greylag geese and Canada geese further upriver. Also a few last swallows flying over the lagoons!
A few years ago the lagoons were threatened by the development of an extension to the nearby racecourse, but the development was not given planning permission so at least for now the birds can all enjoy this wonderful area and we can enjoy the birds!