March 23rd   1 comment

Today was a beautiful day, the warmest of the year so far with fifteen degrees. It was also the best day so far for rare birds in Crail with Ben Woolf seeing a hoopoe briefly in his garden on Marketgate first thing in the morning. I heard the news a couple of hours later and despite talking my way into as many gardens as I could around Marketgate I couldn’t relocate it. Hoopoes are the spectacular birds you see in Southern Europe, like huge butterflies with outrageous crests and long curved bills. They are early migrants and late March is one of the best times for them. The last hoopoe in Crail was seven years ago, seen by my neighbour Bill Alexander down in the caravan park at Sauchope: I didn’t see that one either. I’ll just have to wait another seven years. Even so it was very exciting searching Crail in hope.

A consolation were the ducks in Roome Bay. Both goldeneyes and red-breasted mergansers are displaying at the moment, the mergansers outrageously so. The pictures below taken a few days ago at Balcomie show a male red-breasted merganser trying to impress a female out of shot. They look fairly reptile-like anyway, but when they extend their neck in display they look like some heraldic dragon.

Red-breasted merganser starting to display to a nearby female

The full display
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Posted March 24, 2011 by wildcrail in Sightings

One response to “March 23rd

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  1. I happened to come across a reference to Crail and in seeking a little more information about it, came across your photographs and blog.

    Your bird photographs are absolutely amazing! I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed viewing them. And, the wildlife, as well.

    This simply served as a reminder of how I want to one day get to Scotland. It looks to be a lovely place to live.

    Thank you for sharing your photographs and notes.

    Lynne

    PS-Wishing you a wonderful Spring and Summer ahead.

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