On an overcast, cold and rainy winter afternoon we met at the wicket gate for a tour around the Bawsinch Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) Reserve. I love going to Bawsinch as it's one of my favourite places in Edinburgh, a hidden gem of quiet, trees, birds and otters with the magical backdrop of Arthur's Seat. While waiting in the bird hide for everyone to arrive I had a good look out over Duddingston Loch to see if I could spot the otters which are apparently living there: no luck this time, unfortunately, but no doubt I will be back to try again.
Meanwhile, as I was mammal-hunting, fellow-walker David Long made a note of the following birds from the hide: five goldeneye, four mute swans, one moorhen, two magpies, five herons, ten tufted ducks, two greylag geese and lots of coots and mallard.
Next, our guide, SWT volunteer John Knox led us around the reserve giving us all an update on the ongoing practical conservation work as well as answering questions about the site's history and future plans for the reserve.
We heard about the plan to transform Goose Green into a wildflower meadow and about the ongoing removal of dogwood from the reed beds, a task which LCV is particularly familiar with at present!
Towards the end of our walk we were joined by Ken Knowles, the current Bawsinch convenor, who was also available to answer our questions. We then made for Duddingston Kirk Hall for the next event of the day.
Many thanks to John Knox and Ken for organising this lovely walk. I look forward to returning to Bawsinch with LCV in the future.