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Musselburgh Success 02/09/2017
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Post Musselburgh Success 02/09/2017 
 
Green Sand's usual indecision about what to do and where to go was settled by the Lothianbirds news of a pec sand and curlew sand at Musselburgh. To be fair, the Ruff would be a year tick and the fingkisher hanging about the Esk Mouth too, so the 2 vagrant sands were just icing on the cake, really.

Got there quite early for me, 11.30.  Tide was out- ish, with plenty of mute swan and eider.  Mallard and goosander also hanging about near the Eskmouth.  No kingfisher, mind.  A walk along the path got an audible reed bunting, plus usual gulls over he water.  One screaming tern, and 3 gannets flying SE.  I was in kind of a hurry to get to the scrapes, but luckily still glanced out onto the water.  Got a shag quite far out, then a glimpse of white caught my eye.  Didn't get a great look, even on a calm, flat, windless sea (I really, really don't like seawatching) but was certain it was a red- necked grebe.  Spoke to a fellow wesern migrant, who noted I was the second person to get it, so felt better about my I.D skills.  A handful of velvet scoter topped off the sea list.

Bloody cyclists everywhere, so it was a health hazard to stop and look at anything.

Onward to the scrapes.  A pair of swallow flew low over the mown lawn dug- walking bit near the pond.  Unfortunately (and I try to be tolerant, really i do) there were hunners of dugs, including one whose own had a nerf gun thing to shoot balls.  Height of laziness, you can't even chuck a tennis ball for yer dug.  Like I said, tolerant...)  Middle scrape is where I normally start, and this was no different.  Quite busy, with a half dozen or so felow birders.  Mostly local, judging by the dodgy East coast accents (sorry Eagle...) Loads of oycs and curlew.  redshank everywhere, and quite a few ruff showing decently.  Young piedwags were very busy, and finally, on the far bank, go the curlew sandpiper.  Year tick 2 for the day.  General chitchat was that the pec sand hadn't been seen in a while.  A few dunlin here and there, but no sign of any litle stint (you never know your luck)

To the right hand scrape, and got more of the same.  Better views of thr ruff (less foliage) and a family of roe deer coming out of the woods into the grass.  A young, inquisitive buck decided to have a paddle in the water, which was fairly unusual (!)  The Oycs weeren't happy.  

To the left hand hide, and finally got the pec sand, very easily lost among the mud and grass patches.  Snipe, common sand as well.  No sign of the feathered type of Green Sand, though.  Best part of the day, other than the year ticks, was watching a paereginre hunt over the scrape fora good 10 minutes.  

Back along the sea wall, nothing extra to add.  Back o where I aprked, and I saw a pair of birders who I'd seen at the scrapes.  They were staring across the river to the far bank, and I was successfully put onto a kingfisher (one of a couple in the area)  watched it for a while, including a hunt) and got some absolutely atrocious photographs in good light.  The birders/ photographers encoraching on the far being should be ashamed of themselves.

5 year ticks all told (including one I was panicking about, a good selection of birds in sunny weather, one of my best birding days this year.
 



 
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Post Re: Musselburgh Success 02/09/2017 
 
Hi GS a good report and the lifers make for a good day.
i gave south of the Forth a body swerve due to the new bridge opening/closing , not sure  if i would get across and back hassle free, had friends who sat on the bridge for 2 hours.
i therefore decided to have a look along the north side of the Forth a fair bit about but nothing to raise the blood pressure, with rain and mist incoming decided to make for  Guardbridge again  the weather conditions put paid to  visit and on the way home  as a last resort.  Visited Letham pools, again not a lot about. both pools showing signs of weed/algae covering  large areas of the pools. i am unsure what these conditions will leave the pools in, could be weed covered  with little or know free water areas.
i did manage to spot , mute swans, heron, teal, mallard, widgeon, tufted duck, moorhen, water rail, snipe, coot, gadwall, little grebe, lesser black backed gull, herring gull and common gull.
i did notice many of the water fowl are coming out of eclipse.
Of  next week for a few days to Yorkshire, back to some of my old stamping grounds, lived in the area for 4 years, first in the case birding kit.

the eagle
 



 
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Post Re: Musselburgh Success 02/09/2017 
 
cheers Eagle.  Enjoy your birding foray into yon foreign lands in yawrksheer.
 



 
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Post Re: Musselburgh Success 02/09/2017 
 
Green Sand, the Green Sand was on the right hand scrape tight into the far bank. Awkward in those horrendous hides at Musselburgh. i only got it by standing on the shelf and looking from there. You couldn't get on it from the windows!

There was a Greenshank on the small (second from west scrape as well).

We can't have missed each  other by much because I left about 11.15 ish and slowly walked up the Esk.

The only other thing I got was 1 distant Bonxie and 3 distant Arctic Skuas. But I really, really like sea watching!
 



 
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