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Common Gull Larus canus ©Ray Wilson Website

Birding Midlothian

Midlothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders council areas.

Visitors constantly say that its scenery and landscape are among the main reasons for visiting Midlothian. To many it is considered to have one the most beautiful countrysides in the whole world, especially in the area surrounding the limits with the Scottish Borders. Located in close proximity to Scotland’s capital city, it offers a beautiful rural landscape of countryside, parklands and rolling hills to enjoy. The rolling uplands of the Pentland Hills are Edinburgh’s southern backdrop and are easily accessible, especially Pentland Hills Regional Park and Dalkeith Country Park where you will find not one river here, but two. If you are lucky you will spot the otters larking about in the shallows. There are enough woodland paths to keep you wandering happily for hours. There are also Vogrie Country Park and Roslin Glen Park to enjoy.

County Recorder

Stephen Welch

25 Douglas Road, Longniddry EH32 0LQ

01875 852802 or 07931 524963


Useful Reading

Fieldguides & Other Birding Books
For a full list of fieldguides and other books see the general UK page

Where to Watch Birds in Scotland

by Mike Madders & Julia Welstead | Christopher Helm | 2002 | Paperback | 297 pages, b/w illus, maps |

ISBN: 071365693X

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Scottish Ornithologists Club - Lothian Branch


Venue: The Guide Hall, 33 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7JF (click here for a map of the venue and surrounding area). Two meetings a year are held at Waterston House, Aberlady (these will be marked with an asterisk). Contact: Morag King, 7 Durham Terrace, Edinburgh, EH15 1QJ, tel 0131 258 4638, mobile 078104 15941


Abbreviations Key

CP Dalkeith


Satellite View

The Country Park is a working estate owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. There are many activities for visitors including woodland walks. Roe deer, otters, buzzards, foxes, badgers, hares and rabbits – they all call Dalkeith Country Park their home.

CP Gore Glen Woodland Park


Satellite View

Enjoy panoramic views of the Pentland Hills; take a 2 mile walk woodland walk or enjoy the peace and tranquility of former 'Gunpowder Glen'. Lots of wildlife (orchids, siskins & damselflies) too.

CP Hillend


Satellite View

Hillend Country Park has challenging walks and excellent views from the Pentland Hills.

CP Vogrie


Satellite View

There are 11.5 miles of signed countryside paths through woodlands and the Tyne Valley.

LNR Straiton Pond


Satellite View

Straiton Pond Local Nature Reserve is a small wildlife haven, set amid rolling farmland, and close to Loanhead and the Straiton Retail Park.

RP The Pentlands


Satellite View

Across the Pentlands, drystane dykes not only frame the views but are apartment blocks to a whole community of wildlife inhabitants such as stoats, voles, mosses and lichens.

SWT Erraid Wood


Satellite View

Erraid Wood is situated on the north east edge of the Pentland Hills, and offers stunning views across East Lothian and the Firth of Forth. Mature broadleaved woodland covering the steep slopes attracts woodland birds, such as spotted flycatcher and treecreeper.

SWT Linn Dean


Satellite View

Linn Dean is a steep-sided glen with an area of flower-rich grassland. During the summer, the yellow common rock-rose brightens the bank and attracts a colony of northern brown argus butterfly. Juniper and unusual mosses and liverworts can also be found.

SWT Milkhall Pond


Satellite View

Milkhall Pond consists of an old reservoir and a network of smaller ponds. This open water provides important habitat for aquatic plants, waterfowl and breeding amphibians and insects, including dragonflies. There is also an area of rough grassland, marsh and a shelterbelt of trees.

SWT Roslin Glen


Satellite View

Situated a short distance from Roslin, this reserve is a semi-natural ancient woodland of oak, ash, hazel, cherry and hawthorn growing along the steep-sided banks of the River North Esk. It is good for woodland flowers, fungi and birds. The woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells and other wildflowers in the spring and the trees offer food and shelter for breeding birds, such as chiffchaff, blackcap and bullfinch.

Forums & Mailing Lists

Birding Lothian

Sightings & News

All the Recent Bird News & Images from Lothian. Regular updates. Locals please add @birdinglothian to your tweets.

Lothian Bird News

Sightings & News

Bird news from Lothians and adjacent areas of south-east Scotland

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Eastside Cottages


Our webcam updates every minute and gives a good idea about the current weather on the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh. The image refreshes itself every minute. If the image hasn’t loaded properly just try reloading your browser...


Lothian Young Birder


...formerly 'Aberdeenshire Young Birder'. The exploits of a Scottish young birder in Lothian, Clyde, Norfolk and wherever else he finds himself - I'm Joseph Nichols, an avid 19 year old Scottish birder and patcher that formerly lived in Aberdeen but now has bases in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I also bird in Norfolk as I have family stationed down there, where my local patch is Costessey House Private Estate. This is an area of private land around the cottage I stay in between Costessey and Drayton on the outskirts of Norwich.