Aberlady Bay

A local one for us, on an absurdly sunny Monday in February.  Beach, sand dunes, bird life, calm seas and no wind, a quiet and chilly return on a little chunk of the John Muir Way and Saltcoats Castle via a blazing sunset and a nigh on full moon.  But then again, just the sound of this place was a complete tonic - the chattering, quipping, parping wildlife - curlews and crows, shags and shanks, oyster catchers and others we don't know yet, lapping waves and the crunch of frozen sand underfoot (that's a new one).  A sensory land of wonder, full of life even in winter.  In a few months we'll return for the start of the migration season, and next time remember both the bird book and the mini telescope.  Thankfully, a good amount of information is provided on site by the reserve and east lothian council/SNH about sea buckthorn (used in the 70's to control erosion, now a problem on its own), and roe deer management (albeit written in a very anthropocentric manner).  Maram grasses are being encouraged in order to protect the dunes.

The walk: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/lothian/aberlady-gullane.shtml
The nature reserve, founded in 1952, is the oldest in the UK: http://www.aberlady.org/Nature%20reserve.html
More info including midget submarines: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/aberlady/aberladybay/index.html