2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, we are looking for your top five natural things in East Lothian, it can be a place, something you hear, smell, feel to enter your choices visit 2013 is Year Of Natural Scotland and we want to hear of your top 5 Natural places in East Lothian, it can be a place, sound, feeling.... Give us your ideas here https://eastlothianconsultations.co.uk/communications/yourtop5/consult_view results will be announced in July 2013
There is so much wildlife to see in East Lothian, its hard to catch it all but here is a calendar of the key highlights during the year. For those of you who would like more information on the vast amount of flora and fauna in East Lothian, you can now buy a wildlife guide to the county priced £4.50. Available from East Lothian Council's Landscape and Countryside department email@example.com or 01620 827421 or locally in East Lothian in Kesley's bookshop, The Malt Kiln and Peter Potter Gallery in Haddington, The Seabird Centre in North Berwick, all Farm Shops throughout the county and the Tyninghame Coffee Shop.
- mad march hares boxing and chasing around arable fields early in the morning
- the frog chorus croaking away at a Linkfield pond, John Muir Country Park
- early birdsong/the arrival of spring migrants on the shore at Barns Ness
- first flowers: blackthorn, primroses and bluebells. Try Pencraig wood or the coast at North Berwick
- the first puffin of 2013 has landed on the Firth of Forth Islands
- the Bass by boat: gannet-tastic!
- butterflies around the dune grasslands at Yellowcraig
- summer flowers along the coast: bloody cranesbill, cowslip and clustered bellflower are three of the specialities found at Longniddry Bents
- orchids: four types growing in the grasslands around Gullane Bents
- rockpool beasties: all along the coast, but North Berwick and Longniddry shores are always good for a look
- damselflies and dragonflies: only a few species live in this part of Scotland, try any local pool/pond on a warm day
- seek out the night hunters:owls, badgers, hedgehogs, bats and moths are all active around the county, hunker down in a quiet spot and see what passes by
- mushrooms/fungi: Butterdean Wood is a great place to look, but no picking please!
- berries and other fruits rowan trees throw up livid red berries now; other things to look for are crab apples, raspberries and bilberries on the hills. The heather on the Lammermuirs will be turning purple too
- bring on the Pink Feet: up to 30,000 pink-foot geese may use Aberlady Bay as a stop-off point as they migrate south; stand on the footbridge near sunset and watch wave after wave fly in
- turning leaves: late October is the time to get out into a wood near you and enjoy the myriad of autumnal colours put on as the trees start to drop their leaves. Binning Wood is a good example
- winter storms: when it gets bad it gets really bad, wrap up, take care but see how wild it can get on a winter's day. Dunbar's cliff top trail is for the brave, otherwise try North Berwick's beaches or Belhaven Bay and watch the surf roll in
- snow fun: since it's becoming a rarity, enjoy the snow when it comes. Animal tracks are easy to spot, even during a snowball fight. Try the slopes of the Lammermuirs
- the midwinter sky: if it's cold and clear, take a trip up the hills and marvel at the stars. Who knows you could see an aurora too?
- winter coats: look out for stoats and weasels now, some go white, some do not and some do a bit of both!
- winter ducks and waders: keeping warm but looking good in shiny new plumage, many ducks and waders can be seen close-up at Levenhall bird reserve
- waxwings: if they come these wonderfully coloured birds are likely to feed in small flocks on Cotoneaster bushes. North Berwick and Haddington have both had recent sightings