October 9th   Leave a comment

The sea was very busy first thing this morning. Great and arctic skuas, long-tailed ducks and scoters, auks and red-throated divers all passing. I watched both a merlin and a peregrine coming in off the sea. I was watching an arctic skua stealing a large fish from a lesser black-backed gull well out to sea when I noticed what looked like a tiny all dark shearwater – less than half the size of the skua – banking in to have a look. Very likely a leach’s petrel. But it was gone in seconds and the view was not good enough to be sure. Sea watching is always to some degree frustrating. There were more barnacle geese past and later in the day a flock of greylag geese that were easier to identify.

Yesterday there were swallows all over Crail including, I think, most of our local birds. There is one swallow around my garden that has been missing some of its wing feathers for the last month so I can recognise it individually, and it was still part of the flock over the High Street yesterday. But not today. I haven’t seen a swallow all day. It is easy to see when a migrant first arrives, harder to say when it finally leaves. But the contrast between yesterday and today is striking. The house martins also seem to have left as well.

This afternoon I had a walk around Kilrenny common. The tawny owls that are resident in the strip of wood immediately north of the playground were visible as usual. A pair were cuddled up together in the top of a spruce tree, trying their best to look like part of the trunk. There were no swallows at Kilrenny either, although surprisingly there was a singing chiff-chaff.

On harbour beach there is a well rotted angler fish. It looks like something out of a nightmare and not as gentle as its commercial name of monkfish implies.

Angler fish skeleton rotting on harbour beach

Posted October 9, 2011 by wildcrail in Sightings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: