Terns are beautiful, graceful birds closely related to gulls. They're summer visitors to Scotland and I don't see them that often. When I do see them, they tend to by flying at some distance away and it's hard to tell which species they are!
On Thursday, one of the rare days of good weather we've had over the past couple of months, I visited Musselburgh Lagoons. I was delighted to see 26 Sandwich terns, sitting nicely on one of the lagoons and keeping quite still so I could fully appreciate the little yellow tips to their black beaks!
I was also pleased to see four reed buntings in nearby fields. The males of this species are very handsome birds and have a nice little song.In the same fields meadow pipits were flying up from the fences singing their flight songs then falling back down again. Skylarks were singing overhead. Skylarks are an iconic species of British farmland and are declining hugely so it's exciting to know places near Edinburgh where they can still be regularly heard.
There were 100s of eider ducks in the estuary of the nearby River Esk and I saw three females with a creche of over twenty ducklings that were all diving into the water and then bobbing up again like corks, making a cute little sound as they did so.
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