Saturday, 26 September 2015
When the dust settled
September is a great time to visit Musselburgh especially if you want Red Necked Grebes before they disperse. With this in mind we headed off with the dog early morning, on arriving at Levenhall Links there seemed to be a lot of people about and not just dog walkers, we began chatting to some people and found out the reason was at 12 o'clock they were going to blow up the chimneys at Cockenzie power station. As we headed off along the seawall there were 2 tides one was the sea, the other was a tide of humanity heading out of Edinburgh to watch the spectacle and it would be churlish not to do the same. At the appointed time there was an explosion of dust and the 2 huge towers sank slowly to the ground followed by a muffled thud, as the dust spread out a large flock of Feral Pigeons circled where their home had been. To our astonishment the large flocks of birds on the sea appeared to be un-affected, we counted 110 Goosander, 50+ Velvet Scoter and large numbers of Eiders, Wigeon and Grebes including 20+ Great Crested Grebes and 15+ Slavonian Grebes. On moving on to Gosford Bay the numbers were equally as impressive with more Great Crested and Slavs but also 7 Red Necked Grebes the birds we had hoped for, as well as several Red Throated Divers we also had terrific views of a Great Northern Diver now in full winter plumage, a great end to a great day in a fantastic birding area.