August 14th   Leave a comment

My predictions of the weekend came true. Things have developed into a minor fall of migrants. First thing this morning there was a ruff and a couple of dunlin on the pool at Troustie. On the field margins I saw a couple of whinchats and wheatears. Both are indicative of good migrant conditions at this time of year, particularly whinchats. Just earlier there had been a yellow wagtail in the area – this is a very scarce migrant for Crail and I was sorry to have missed it.

The whinchats were still in the area in the evening but there was only a sleeping golden plover around the pool. The whole Troustie House area was alive with birds. It acts as an oasis in the intensive fields. There were tens of tree sparrows there chirping away in the evening sunlight.

I walked around the yellow house down at Wormiston Farm in the last hour before sunset. It was a beautiful evening, still warm and with no wind at all. It was so still I could hear the guillemots in the sea down at Fife Ness. There were a few signs of migrants. A yellow juvenile willow warbler in the garden of the sea house, and a pair of whimbrels flying high overhead occasionally giving their fantastic whistles – next stop Spain. Bizarrely there was a very early fieldfare flying over being chased persistently by a swallow. An unusual pairing and perhaps the swallow was reacting to a species it had never seen before.

I’m writing this with the doors to my house wide open as it finally gets dark. Sadly now as soon as nine thirty. It’s rarely warm enough to do this in Crail because of the wind. There is a bat hawking outside, occasionally nearly flying into the house. It is there most summer evenings although I am rarely outside to see it. Probably a pipistrelle but I really have no idea in the gloaming.

A ruff – one of today’s migrant highlights. They have very distinctively undersized heads for their body and this is their best identification feature.

Posted August 14, 2012 by wildcrail in Sightings

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