March 18th   Leave a comment

The end of the week was a massive contrast to the start. We had 15mm or so of rain during Tuesday; the Brandyburn sounded like a jet engine on Wednesday and the delta of soil washed from the many just ploughed fields extended out from Crail a kilometre. But the second half of the week was sunny with some perfect Crail weather particularly on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Still unseasonably cold though. Although many birds are singing up a storm I don’t think any blackbirds or song thrushes, which are usually the earliest to get going, have started building nests yet. The exceptions are the rooks (and of course the herons which started rebuilding weeks ago). There is a huge rookery at Wormiston and a much smaller one in Beech Walk Park. Rooks have been busily carrying sticks to rebuild their nests all week since it stopped raining. They may have been building in the rain too but I wasn’t out to check…


There has been a bit of early spring passage this week. There was a teal, atypically roosting on the rocks by the harbour at mid tide with the redshanks on Thursday, and at least 6 in the flooded field corners up at Ragfield (the start of the old railway track just north of Crail) on Saturday. There have been a few meadow pipits over but their main passage hasn’t started yet. Further south the first few summer migrants have arrived in England, but it will still be a week or so for us before the first wheatear or sand martin shows up.


Denburn Wood has had a pair of treecreepers for most of the week. Hopefully they will stay and breed. They are relatively easy to spot at the moment, feeding on the smaller tree trunks at about eye level. The frog spawn clump in the Denburn hasn’t hatched yet, perhaps not surprising considering how cold it has been. It is forecast to be much warmer next week though.

The old paddling pool down at Roome Bay had 10 purple sandpipers feeding on the sloping rock plates on the shoreward side on Wednesday. They were unusually very close in and relatively easy to see. I think this is always a good place to check for purps as you walk along the shore path. But even here they scurry around more like mice than birds so you need to look out for them.

Posted March 19, 2011 by wildcrail in Sightings

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