February 11th   Leave a comment

A sparrowhawk waiting for an opportunity in Roome Bay

A sparrowhawk waiting for an opportunity in Roome Bay

Another fantastic sea thanks to the strong easterlies and a high tide. Roome Bay was very short of beach and the redshanks were having a job roosting anywhere away from the waves. They were resorting to sitting at the base of the grassy bank above the beach. And as I watched them a female sparrowhawk shot past me just above the surf at the back of the beach. The redshanks had almost no visibility of it as they were tucked so far in to the bank. Luckily for them the oystercatchers were further out and flew off calling in alarm with the redshanks following immediately behind. The sparrowhawk passed through where they were roosting about a quarter of a second later. A very narrow escape. The sparrowhawk then flew on about 50m and perched on the rocks below the cliffs at the far end of Roome Bay. The redshanks meanwhile circled round and came almost straight back to the only bit of land available, the same spot where they had been trying to roost. A minute later the sparrowhawk was back with another rapid low attack and another near miss. The odds are really against the redshank on a very high tide when there is nowhere safe for them to go, and there is a professional sparrowhawk that knows this. I followed the sparrowhawk along the shore in the direction of the harbour. It was the same story there – no beach at all, but no redshanks. I don’t know where they had gone, but sensibly it was away from the harbour where there was definitely nowhere safe to roost.

The strong winds brought my first gannets of the year. A few were passing by Crail, moving out of the Forth where they will have been pushed. There is nothing better to see on a wild seascape than a big seabird like a gannet – albatrosses are perhaps the best, but gannets are not a bad second.

A gnnet and a big sea - perfect

A gannet and a big sea – perfect


Posted February 11, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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