Frosted orange

On the second leg of my journey up to Scotland today I picked up my son Chris from Leeds station and we headed north. We had a stop at Musselburgh and went out to view the Firth of Forth from the Musselburgh Lagoons area near the racecourse. I’ve stopped here a couple of times before and have always been surprised at just how many birds are on the sea here.

Today was no exception, though sadly I couldn’t find the two rare scoters that have been seen here in recent days – a surf scoter and a very rare Stejneger’s scoter. They can be hard to identify as the ducks can be quite a long way out from the shore and if they have their heads down identification is even trickier, but all the scoter I saw today were velvet scoter, which are great to see anyway. Plus I saw gannets, sandwich terns, guillemots, razorbills, common eider, greenshank and a red-throated diver – so a pretty good haul for a 45 minute stop!

A magpie on the path at Musselburgh Lagoons

Brenda writes: “The moth trap continues to have similar proportions of moth numbers to recent days, although it is lovely to see more common wainscots, 20 last night. By contrast the straw underwing count was just one. Two moths of interest were the dark form of orange swift and a new one for this year the gorgeous frosted orange. It wasn’t in the trap and I only saw it later in the day on the side of a plant pot!”

The dark form of the orange swift
frosted orange

New species for August 23rd:
Moths: frosted orange

Birds = 215
Moths = 216
Wildflowers = 271