This is one of my most southerly locations for velvet scoter. It’s also good for common scoters and reliable for little gull. All three were in evidence last week, and a common sandpiper gave me a nice bonus as my 96th species for the site. It’s one of my top spots. I got an even bigger surprise with the sandpiper being new for Lothian – number 150 there. Just to round off the stats, the year list now stands at 184.
At the end of my Edinburgh residence I used to catch the 26 bus to get to Musselburgh – about once a month, although I also once walked there from Joppa. The city’s bus system is so good that I rate it equal to a train service.
This is probably why I never did go by rail but it is quite possible. You just don’t get off at Musselburgh station, no siree, Bob. One stop beyond, Wallyford, puts you about half a mile from the racecourse, which is where the birding can begin. Another half mile gets you to the hides overlooking the wader scrapes.
Actually the hides are a bit industrial – no cover and constructed of concrete and bricks. This is probably a sensible precaution against the less savoury of Musselburgh’s residents. Perhaps RSPB Sandwell Valley should take note!