Wednesday, 18 March 2015


An excellent trip over the border today. An early start got us past Edinburgh before the worst of the rush hour and onto Largo Bay in Fife. Half an hour of scanning produced 8 Velvet Scoter, a Puffin, 3 Long-tailed Duck, a Red-necked Grebe and eventually the target female King Eider. Showing well not far off the rocks, constantly displaying to male Eider. Just a shame the overcast murk didn't make for great photos.

King Eider

Displaying to male Eider
Despite much scanning we were unable to find the Surf Scoter and were pushed from the point by the rising tide, so headed for Dunfermline.

We pulled up at Townhill Country Park and immediately had the adult Ring-billed Gull flying around the lake. It then perched up distantly before settling on the water.

Ring-billed Gull

A spot of lunch and then off to the Esk mouth at Musselburgh. The drake Surf Scoter was quickly picked up giving excellent scope views. Plenty of good birds on the sea with 3 Slavonian Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebe, a Red Necked Grebe, a Long-tailed Duck and 22 Velvet Scoter. 4 Gadwall on the sea were unusual.

The final stop of the day was Barns Ness where unfortunately the Water Pipit was a no-show. A littoralis Rock Pipit showed well on the beach with a couple of Skylark and several Stonechat. Also a fly-over Greenshank and a Barn Owl by the approach road.

Male Stonechat
Female Stonechat
Thanks to Andy for driving and an excellent day out.


  1. Good day out indeed, and that gull is another cracking individual. :-)

    1. Aye, a two tick day and my first Ring-billed Gull since the mid 80s. :-)