Week ending June 24th   1 comment

I had a walk down at Cambo on Sunday. It is much quieter in the woods now with only blackbirds and chaffinches singing, joined briefly by a late robin. Robins have a skulking and songless time in July and August while they moult. They burst back into song in September, and are pretty much the only birds singing then. The burn through the woods was also quiet. No sign of grey wagtails. They have been scarce in Crail this summer too. I don’t know if their numbers were affected by the two very cold winters in the same way as the stonechats, but they have certainly passed from being a daily bird in Crail to once every few weeks.

There were three goosanders down at the burn mouth. The first I have seen this summer. We eventually get tens of goosanders spending the late summer with us between Kingsbarns and Crail. The males arrive from Scandinavia after breeding quite early. Like most ducks, their contribution to breeding is only to get it started. They can then afford to spend the rest of the summer fishing amongst the rocks here while the females are still raising their chicks in Norwegian rivers and fjords.

Goosander – they fish on the rocky shores around Crail in late summer while they moult

Otherwise the shore was quiet like the woods. The ever present oystercatchers, a curlew probably having the summer off from breeding, and lots of young, but independent and capable starlings. There were a few well grown eider chicks but really barely any considering the number of pairs of eiders we have breeding in the area. From St Monans to Kingsbarns, I am still seeing hardly any eider chicks, so I think my earlier idea that they are having a bad season is unfortunately true.

The highlights of the walk, down on the shore just to the south of the burn, were the sand martins. The colony probably has over 40 birds and most were feeding over the rocky shore, picking up the seaweed flies only centimeters above the ground. Often they were in pairs, one closely following the other. This suggests that they are laying second clutches of eggs, or having to renest after failing. Sand martins are famous for their infidelity and a male can only hope to be the father of the chicks he looks after if he keeps an eye on his female. Every so often I saw a trio, with a third bird following a pair and probably looking out for his chance.

There was a dead fox cub on the side of the road at the entrance to Cambo. It’s always a shame to see a road kill fox, but at least we know there are cubs about at the moment. It looked about half size, so probably killed just as it started to get independent and to wander further afield.

Local fox cub

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Posted June 24, 2012 by aboutcrail in Sightings

One response to “Week ending June 24th

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  1. There were two adult femail Eiders and five ducklings about two or three days old in the old bathing pool at Roome Bay this evening.

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