January 6th   Leave a comment

I walked down to the sea from the entrance of Cambo and back this morning, down through the stubble fields and back through the wood. It was fairly quiet, particularly in the fields. Just a flock of curlew and the ubiquitous pigeons and gulls. No skylarks at all – they are very scarce this winter, probably reflecting generally milder weather this winter keeping birds on the continent or further inland. I did see a buzzard coming back to Cambo from the fields carrying the wing of a black-headed gull and with a very full crop. You can tell if a bird of prey has had a meal recently because their lower throat bulges out very obviously, and this buzzard had a huge bulge. Although buzzards eat small prey and even things like earthworms and voles, they can occasionally go for larger stuff like gulls. They are proper birds of prey when they want to be. It may have scavenged the gull of course: they are proper mini-vultures on occasions too. Diversity in their diet and hunting style is one of the keys to their success.

Common buzzard

Common buzzard

It was much busier down at the shore at Cambo. 60 or so wigeon at the mouth of the burn and over 20 red-throated divers spread out along the shore about 100 meters or so out. I also saw a common scoter and a great spotted woodpecker to add to the year list. It felt very un new year like though because it was so mild. The last few days we have had day and night temperatures of around 10 degrees. There are blackbirds and robins starting to sing and the snowdrops are appearing in Denburn.

Red-throated diver - probably hundreds offshore between Kingsbarns and Anstruther just now

Red-throated diver – probably hundreds offshore between Kingsbarns and Anstruther just now

Posted January 6, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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