May 6th   Leave a comment

I went west today to the Lomonds. Fife is now full of swallows and the cleuchs between the Lomonds were full of willow warblers. Highlight was a pair of ravens on West Lomond. It is brilliant to see ravens coming back into Fife. They like buzzards were persecuted out of existence on the east coast and are gradually coming back, with the ravens maybe a decade or two behind the buzzards. They are easier to persecute and still have a bad name. A farmer at lambing will find a couple of dead lambs  and a pair of ravens feeding on the corpses and put two and two together. But the answer is not four: the raven is predominantly a scavenger and the lambs were going to die for any number of reasons, if they were not already long dead by the time the raven arrived. It’s a shame because Crail should have a pair of ravens croaking over it. But they are getting closer with a pair at Tentsmuir now and the occasional sighting from the Eden estuary.

Raven - sadly not in Crail just yet but on their way

Raven – sadly not in Crail just yet but on their way

On the way back I had a bizarre sighting of a pair of shelduck by the roadside pool at Toldrie. They do breed occasionally inland but not in ponds in field corners. Possibly these were migrants?

This evening as I came out into my back garden I got quite excited because there was a yellowhammer singing, and I have not seen one in (or flying by) my garden. They are not big users of typical gardens so it was a surprise. Excitement was soon punctured as I saw the singer – a starling on a nearby rooftop. I should have known. This starling (probably it is the same bird) is a brilliant mimic – last year it was lapwings and greenfinches and this year it is a perfect yellowhammer song.

I had my first common tern of the year past Crail this morning. Arctic terns should be here soon too.

Common tern

Common tern

Posted May 6, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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