The aim of this guide is to provide birdwatchers, whether locals, new arrivals or visitors with some basic information on where to birdwatch in Lothian Region. Most sections are written by someone familiar with the site, except for a few for which I have provided a few notes! ‘The Birds of the Lothians’ and the Lothian Bird Reports give some idea of where most people go birdwatching, but this guide provides useful information not only on where to go, but also details of site access (supplemented with maps) and also the species likely to be seen during the year. The best known sites are mainly coastal and are covered in some detail, but a variety of inland sites complete the whole range of habitats from which Lothian benefits.
Around 550 different species of plants have been identified at the reserve including a number of rarities in Scotland and the Lothian’s. It has been advised that visitors can only appreciate the sheer variety of plants here by visiting monthly between April and September.
The reserve arguably renowned for its ornithological interest also has a thriving community of other Animals and Invertebrates. Roe Deer live on the reserve year round and small mammals such as shrews, voles, stoats, weasels, rabbits and brown hares are very common sights. In wet springs, frogs and toads are abundant and offshore, grey and common seals are regularly seen and occasional sightings of Porpoises. Although not as commonly studied as birds and plants at the Reserve, recent studies have found around 15 species of butterflies are seen in an average year, along with a number of dragonflies.
At low tide, the remains of two miniature submarines from the Second World War can be seen. They were used for target-practice by the Royal Air Force in 1946.
Due to the abundance of wildlife, no dogs are allowed on the Reserve between April and July and must be kept on a lead at all other times.
Summer is often a quiet time for birds, but the returning winter birds as well as passage waders may begin to appear in late July. By the autumn, up to 10,000 waders may be present, with Lapwing and Golden Plover the most numerous. Several hundred Widgeon feed in the bay, while one or two Short-eared Owls may be hunting over the marsh.
Aberlady Bay has a reputation for attracting rare birds, like Ospreys in the spring and a female King Eider which has been attracted to the bay for the past seven summers. Other rare birds that have made flying visits over the years are the Caspian Plower and the Western Sandpiper (a small American wader).
At Duck’s you enjoy the experience of delicious food(eat in and takeaway) partnered with extremely comfortable lodgings whilst in Aberlady; one of Scotland’s and Britain’s finest birding sites and home to The Scottish Ornithological Club.
Duck’s at Kilspindie House is located less than 2 miles from Aberlady Bay which is particularly popular with birders in October, when thousands of pink-footed geese return to roost. It is also a great place to view ducks (and we don’t mean just Malcolm) and waders like golden plover and sanderling.
Here at Duck’s we work closely with the Aberlady Bay Nature Reserve , the Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick and the SOC to ensure that your birdwatching holiday is a fantastic adventure.
At Duck’s we offer:
- Package birdwatching deals
- Packed lunch available on request
- 8 seater mini bus available for transport
At Duck’s at Kilspindie House we tailor your packages to suit your unique needs. We organise guided walks; lectures for parties (min 4 people) and birdwatching events.