February 24th   Leave a comment

Fulmars getting readyfor spring  on the cliffs at Castle Walk this week

Fulmars getting readyfor spring on the cliffs at Castle Walk this week

The gannets are back. I had hundreds today passing Fife Ness and Crail in small groups. Most a long way out, but some heading into the Forth. There were kittiwakes as well. I heard that the cliffs on the May Island have now started to fill up with kittiwakes, fulmars and razorbills. Our own mini seabird cliff at Castle Walk was busy too, with six or seven pairs of fulmars. So despite the return of the cold weather, spring is still on its way.

I went to visit my best snipe patch this morning. There is a pond and an adjacent very damp field corner just at the start of the old railway line by Ragfield. I flushed a record seven snipe. They sit very tight relying on their camouflage and only fly up when you are a few meters away. When one loses its nerve and goes up, often the rest do, so suddenly an apparently empty bit of pond is full of snipe as happened this morning.

I had four magpies flying over the high street yesterday, their dry rattle giving them away as the shuttled over. They are becoming more common around Crail. We are still not in Edinburgh’s league but I think we now have as many as three pairs in Crail with three pairs at Fife Ness and Kilmining and another at Wormiston.

A highlight today was a weasel running across my path behind the golf course at Kingsbarns. It was carrying something as big as itself. I couldn’t see what it was – it was white and fluffy and could have been a mouse or a small bird. They live at super speed and I barely had enough time to take in its distinctive tiny weasel/stoat shape and the lack of a black tail tip to its tail (that identified it best as a weasel – sometimes stoats seem tiny too) before it was gone into the grass.

This is a stoat but it could just as easily be a weasel without any size reference or sight of its tail.

This is a stoat but it could just as easily be a weasel without any size reference or sight of its tail.

Posted February 24, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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