East Lothian, with its varied landscape, is a fantastic place to enjoy wildlife all through the year Spring sees the first wild flowers put on a great show of colour, including blackthorn, primroses, and bluebells. Later on, bloody cranesbill, cowslip and clustered bellflower are three coastal specialities that you can find with a bit of searching.
East Lothian is home to a wide variety of birds, whose populations change throughout the year. The most famous is the largest gannet colony in the world on the Bass Rock. At peak times, 150,000 birds have been counted. Other seabirds that can be seen in summer include puffin, terns and eider.. Enjoy a boat trip out to get a closer look.
In autumn up to 30,000 pink-footed geese migrate to East Lothian. This species arrives from their breeding grounds in Iceland. The pinkish grey birds with a dark head and neck, a pink bill and pink feet and legs are not to be missed. Other geese are also present at this time, together with more exotic looking winter visitors...you may also be lucky to spot waxwings at this time of year. These wonderfully coloured birds are likely to feed in small flocks on Cotoneaster bushes.
Other wildlife to be spotted in East Lothian includes brown hares sprinting across fields, roe deer feeding in and around woodlands to grey seals and shore crabsback on the coast. You will find frogs croaking away at John Muir County Park in April , butterflies around the dune grasslands at Yellowcraig in summer, whislt warm evenings attractowls, badgers, hedgehogs, bats and moths.
East Lothian Countryside Rangers run a series of events throughout the year to help people of all ages to discover more about the natural world that surrounds us. We have something on offer to suit all taste & abilities.
Wildlife experiences for adults
Would you like to learn more about the wildfowl and wading birds that visit our coasts, find out about our geological past or learn about the folklore of our wild flowers?
Our family activities range from rock-pool rambles to night time explorations, and run in the Easter and Summer holidays.
Junior explorers is a ranger-led programme aimed at 8-12 year olds with a keen interest in East Lothian's varied wildlife and countryside. Participants will take part in outdoor activities such as exploring rockpools, bushcraft skills, fossil hunting, river and hill walks, wildlife identification skills and much more!
For All Events
- You should always dress appropriately for our events. Warm clothing, waterproofs and stout footwear are the normal requirements
- You will need to bring your own food and drink for the longer events
- Dogs are not permitted