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Musselburgh Lagoons

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Old Sunday 14th September 2003, 19:31   #1
david kelly
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Musselburgh Lagoons

Musselburgh Lagoons are probably the best watched birding site in mainland Scotland. The lagoons were created by Scottish Power as a place to dump fly ash from Cockenzie Power Station by reclaiming land from the sea. The power station is now nearing the end and the future of the lagoons is now a subject of debate.

The lagoons are a great site for waders, especially the wader scrape where clay lined pools have been created on an old ash lagoon. Many of the waders are common species but the scrapes have attracted rarities such as Little Plover, Red-necked Phalarope, Marsh Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Pectoral Sandpiper and Temminck's Stint. The number of observers here has meant that many other species have been seen on the scrapes including Northern Goshawk, White-winged Black Tern, Citrine Wagtail, Eurasian Spoonbill, Richard's Pipit and Ortolan Bunting.

Away from the scrapes the lagoons include a tern, gull and wader roost. It is the most regular site in Scotland for Mediterranean Gull. Rarity highlights on the rest of the site include King Eider, Surf Scoter, Brunnich's Guillemot, Wilson's Phalarope, Franklin's Gull, Laughing Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Forster's Tern, Lesser Crested Tern, Royal Tern, Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Desert Wheatear, Bluethroat and Golden Oriole. Just off site at Prestongrange a Black-throated Thrush was seen on Christmas Day 1989.

It's a great place to visit and get really good looks at birds. In winter the Long-tailed Ducks, Velvet Scoters and Slavonian Grebes sit just off the sea wall. Sometimes there may be the odd Red-necked Grebe and Black-throated Diver among them. In passage periods you have many different species from all four skuas to Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers.

If you visit the Edinburgh area then the lagoons are a place to visit. They are easily accessible from Musselburgh which is served by numerous buses from Princes Street. You can walk almost anywhere over the lagoons and the scrapes are overlooked by three hides. For the visitor winter is probably the best season as the sea ducks and grebes are present then.

Last edited by david kelly : Sunday 21st September 2003 at 10:54.
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Old Saturday 14th September 2019, 16:45   #2
jimmyjames
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How do I access in a van? Height restrictions everywhere!!
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Old Saturday 14th September 2019, 17:10   #3
Stonefaction
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Suspect the easiest option would probably be parking round by the river mouth and walking east to the Lagoons - either along northern edge of racecourse, or along seawall path (though there may be other options for parking closer that locals might be able to suggest).
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Old Saturday 14th September 2019, 20:21   #4
david kelly
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Park at Goosegreen at the Rivermouth and follow the sea wall.

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Old Saturday 14th September 2019, 23:10   #5
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Parking is available at the boating pond, which is only a stone's throw from the scrapes. I only recommend this as an option, as the axel breaker of a track into the car park has been repaired.
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Old Sunday 15th September 2019, 11:18   #6
david kelly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gander View Post
Parking is available at the boating pond, which is only a stone's throw from the scrapes. I only recommend this as an option, as the axel breaker of a track into the car park has been repaired.
But there is a height barrier at the entrance from Ravensheugh Road and the enquiry is about getting there in a van. The mouth of the Esk is a good place to start a walk. Theres a moulting flock of Goosander there and recently Black Tern and Long-tailed Skua have been reported there.

Its an easy walk around the sea wall to the Scrapes.

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