Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Friday 25th August 2017, 21:18   #1
Andrea-Bologna
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Italia
Posts: 52
Question Ideas for autumn birding, maybe near Edinburgh

Hi there. I’m from Italy and I wonder if birding in autumn in Scotland (October, November?) could be interesting for someone like me, who never visited north Europe on the whole. I guess the reply is YES. As you can imagine, I miss a lot of species….
Anyway, I’d have some limitations:
  • Cheap flight to Edinburgh
  • No rented car because I can’t imagine to drive on the wrong side of the road
  • Nice birding spot which can be reached by public transport or taxi (I guess this ‘d not be cheap)
  • 4 or 5 days and no more
I have (and never used) “Where to watch birds in Britain and Ireland” (D.Tipling) and “Bill Oddie’s Birding Map of Britain and Ireland”.
Some ideas?? Thank you, very appreciated…
PS: I’ll post also on the Ireland thread
__________________
Andrea
Andrea-Bologna is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 25th August 2017, 21:47   #2
delia todd
Moderator but....... If I say the wrong thing put it down to Senior Moments
 
delia todd's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Perthshire
Posts: 212,394
Hi Andrea

You won't go wrong by getting a bus to Musselburgh, which you can read about in that Opus article.

It's a wonderful place.
__________________
In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed

2006 63, 2007 52, 2008 46, 2009 32, 2010 31, 2011 27 Total 81

Latest Patch tick: Magpie

The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing - Socrates
delia todd is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 25th August 2017, 22:23   #3
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,044
As Delia says Musselburgh would be a good option. Aberlady Bay and John Muir Country Park are accessible by bus. North Berwick and the Scottish Seabird Centre are accessible by bus or train. For these and other sites look at the Scottish Ornithologists Club website.

David
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 26th August 2017, 02:33   #4
Kathi Hutton
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 24
I leave for Edinburgh (from the USA) in 5 days and have been researching birding options. Here are some things I have been considering:

Train to North Berwick for the seabird centre
Bus to Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh
Train and bus to Scone Palace near Perth (Hawfinches)
Train to Inverness - Merkinch Local Nature Reserve, Ness Isles, Longman Rd
Train to Aviemore, Cairngorm National Park and a hired bird guide for Scottish endemics (Crested Tit, Scottish Crossbill, etc)

And don't completely rule out a rental car. You don't be afraid of driving on the left. It's not as hard as you might think, and you will really appreciate the freedom to go where you want and spend as much time as you like at each place. Hint: Pay extra for an automatic transmission.
Kathi Hutton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 26th August 2017, 09:11   #5
delia todd
Moderator but....... If I say the wrong thing put it down to Senior Moments
 
delia todd's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Perthshire
Posts: 212,394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathi
Train and bus to Scone Palace near Perth (Hawfinches)
The Hawfinches are really only visible in the winter time.... usually January/February. But you could always stay on the bus for another few miles and come to see me instead
__________________
In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed

2006 63, 2007 52, 2008 46, 2009 32, 2010 31, 2011 27 Total 81

Latest Patch tick: Magpie

The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing - Socrates
delia todd is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 27th August 2017, 20:22   #6
Stonefaction
Yes!
 
Stonefaction's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Dundee
Posts: 1,513
An hours train journey north from Edinburgh to Leuchars gives you the option of the Eden estuary (buses are regular to St Andrews from the railway station and go through Guardbridge, or you can walk). At Guardbridge, roughly a mile down the road, there is the Eden estuary centre hide, which can be quite busy at times - 4 windows overlook the estuary, where waders, gulls, ducks, raptors (including White Tailed Eagle if you are lucky) etc can be seen quite well (scope is probably best if you have one though, but you can still see a lot with just binoculars). There is a muddy path to the south of the Guardbridge Inn pub where you can view a different part of the river, and where waders sometimes congregate. You can also walk out along the road to St Andrews where you can walk down to Coble Shore, where there you can view over a large expanse of the estuary. Continuing eastwards along the cycle path/footpath you will eventually come to the golf course (there is a hide overlooking Balgove Bay at the western end which is accessible over the golf course - more detailed directions can be given if required, including code for combination lock).

At St Andrews you can walk out to Out Head along the West Sands (Chariots of Fife was filmed here) or look out across St Andrews Bay where there is often a large mixed Scoter flock usually offshore in winter as well as Divers and Grebes, and sometimes Scaup. The harbour at the eastern end of town gives a different view out over the sea, and the East Sands. Buses are regular back to Leuchars station, or you can do the route in reverse, though depending how late in the year, and weather conditions, the light begins to fade around 3pm and it can get dark around 4-5pm.
Stonefaction is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 27th August 2017, 21:22   #7
Andrea-Bologna
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Italia
Posts: 52
Thanx a lot for the replies so far
__________________
Andrea
Andrea-Bologna is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 27th August 2017, 22:00   #8
Stonefaction
Yes!
 
Stonefaction's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Dundee
Posts: 1,513
Another thought. From Leuchars itself, it is possible to walk out along the back of the Army base to the beach where the birds offshore are less disturbed by walkers, and depending on the tides, you can walk along the beach. There is a chance of White Tailed Eagles and some of the other species like Slavonian Grebes, Common & Velvet (possibly Surf) Scoter, Red Throated Diver, as well as mixture of waders. Crossbill is possible, though requires a lot of luck, Stonechat is likely as are Redwings and Fieldfares the later in the year that you visit. If there are any birds in particular that you are hoping to see, then it might be possible to suggest which option (or other locations) might be best.
Stonefaction is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 28th August 2017, 23:00   #9
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,044
Bear in mind, that past September daylight is very limited, so planning an itinerary is important. Especially so if you want to use public transport rather than hire a car.

So Musselburgh is easily accessible by bus from Edinburgh (26, 44, 113 from Jenners Department Store in Princes Street to Musselburgh Police Station, then walk down the river and follow the sea wall). It has really close views of sea ducks, including easy Velvet Scoter and possibly Long-tailed Duck (the later the better for this species), divers and grebes ( including Slavonian and Red-necked) along the sea wall. Short-eared Owls are present in vole years and there may be Snow Bunting or Twite. Peregrine is regular. Grey Partridge and Stock Dove are also probable at this site. More tomorrow.

David
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 22:02   #10
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,044
A trip down the East Lothian coast on public transport would take up at least a day, much quicker in a car. Head furthest away first to Dunbar and Belhaven Bay,bus route 107, it's difficult to go further south by bus. This is a huge area. There are sometimes interesting gulls in Dunbar Harbour, usually after the New Year so you maybe a wee bit too early. The salt marsh in Belhaven Bay can have Twite and sometimes Shore Lark, as well as a good variety of waders and wildfowl. The pine woods here can be good for Crossbill.

North Berwick next, now there are links between Dunbar and North Berwick but I don't know the details, the Seabirds Centre is at the Harbour. The cameras overlook the islands but the main attraction here is Purple Sandpiper on the rocks with Rock Pipits too.

Get the 124 from North Berwick and get off at Aberlady Bay, ask the driver for the nature reserve. There is a path from the Peffer Burn out along the inland edge of the saltmarsh and through the buckthorn to Gullane Point, a good spot to see sea ducks, grebes and divers. The Bay is full of waders and ducks and Long-eared Owls may roost among the buckthorn, look online closer to the time if information is public. If conditions are right thousands of Pink-footed Geese will fly into the Bay to roost at dusk. Get the 124 back to Edinburgh from the village of Aberlady, unless you either have a car or have decided to book local accommodation.

David
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong

Last edited by david kelly : Tuesday 29th August 2017 at 22:06.
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 22:24   #11
Andrea-Bologna
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Italia
Posts: 52
Thanx again for the replies. About which species I'd like more to see: it'd be pretty simple as I never birded norther than Czech republic. Actually, I already saw a lot of birds wintering in Italy, such as Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, white tailed Eagles, all the Grebes, 3 species of Divers.
I lack local birds like Scottish Crossbill, Eurasian Rock Pipit, Willow Ptarmigan and many N Europe sea birds suck as Kittiwake, Great Black-backed Gull, Long-tailed Jaeger, Great Skua, all Guillemot / Murres, Puffin. Not to mention scarce or vagrant birds, who knows.
__________________
Andrea
Andrea-Bologna is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 22:32   #12
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,044
Another option is to go to Kinross by bus from Edinburgh and stay locally, there is a footpath around Loch Leven which goes through lots of habitats and past a few hides but which would take all day. Aim to spend most time at RSPB Loch Leven to see a good variety of birds. White-tailed Eagle is an outside possibility but the numbers and variety of species is possible.
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 22:51   #13
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea-Bologna View Post
Thanx again for the replies. About which species I'd like more to see: it'd be pretty simple as I never birded norther than Czech republic. Actually, I already saw a lot of birds wintering in Italy, such as Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, white tailed Eagles, all the Grebes, 3 species of Divers.
I lack local birds like Scottish Crossbill, Eurasian Rock Pipit, Willow Ptarmigan and many N Europe sea birds suck as Kittiwake, Great Black-backed Gull, Long-tailed Jaeger, Great Skua, all Guillemot / Murres, Puffin. Not to mention scarce or vagrant birds, who knows.
Scottish Crossbill-almost impossible to identify
Rock Pipit -common on rocky coastlines
Willow Ptarmigan upland areas, top of the hill at Loch Leven RSPB, in East Lothian abundant in the Lammermuirs but difficult by public transport.
Kittiwake -easier in Spring and Summer
Great Black-backed Gull -easy, Musselburgh should have up to 30. Not common but present along most coasts in small numbers.
Skuas - mostly gone but Hound Point west of Edinburgh underneath the Forth Bridges is the best place. Bus 43 to South Queensferry.
Auks mostly out at sea
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 22nd October 2017, 22:23   #14
Andrea-Bologna
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Italia
Posts: 52
thanx....

Hello, I forgot to thank all those replied this topic. Anyway, I finally decided to go to.... Nederland! It'll be easier due to better flights and no hassle having to drive the car on the opposite side we are used. I saved into a PDF the infos you all provided me in this forum, for future uses.
__________________
Andrea
Andrea-Bologna is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Birding near Glasgow or Edinburgh Maffong Information Wanted 6 Monday 13th March 2017 11:08
UK Birding Autumn 2016 Himalaya Birds & Birding 1 Friday 14th October 2016 00:47
Birding in Autumn Ramps Tips For New Birders 4 Sunday 7th September 2014 15:59
Edinburgh birding this summer? BrentEades Scotland 1 Friday 8th February 2013 23:21
Birding in Edinburgh? Bill A Information Wanted 9 Thursday 9th March 2006 20:09



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.18373799 seconds with 24 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:09.