I have to say Musselburgh is becoming my favourite place for birdwatching in the winter! In my last two visits I've seen five lifers as well as numerous species that I have only occasionally seen before.
Today the weather was breathtakingly freezing, but it was so dry that there was no ice and very little frost on the paths (though puddles were frozen and grass was frosty). The sun was shining and the sky was clear so once I'd been walking for a while I barely noticed how cold it was!
I've found the best route to walk is to start by the main road bridge over the River Esk, walk downstream to the estuary then turn right onto the John Muir Way along to the Lagoons.
On a good day there are brilliant birds all along this route. Today I saw a lot of wigeon (such pretty ducks!) at the mouth of the Esk; a fair number of eider and more goldeneye than I've ever seen before in one place. There was a small group of red breasted mergansers, the males looking resplendent. Both mergansers and goldeneye were starting their courtship displays, well worth stopping to get a closer look! From the John Muir Way, I saw my first ever Slavonian grebes (not as spectacular in winter plumage as they will be in the summer, but still very impressive birds!), a shag (looking a bit like a greenish cormorant having a bad hair day!) a little auk (an adorable relative to the puffin) and five velvet scoters. Flying around the grass by the path was a small flock of twites. Today the lagoons were empty except for a small flock of curlew (beautiful waders with a wonderful haunting call), but really I was already more than happy with the birds I'd seen so far (and I've only mentioned the highlights!)
Once you get to the John Muir Way, there are generally very few people (or dogs!) around and most of the people who are around are birdwatchers. Most of them are more than happy to share their sightings (that's how I found out about the Slavonian grebe and the shag!).
Foolishly I had forgotten my camera, otherwise there would be photos.....
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