May 10th   Leave a comment

There was a stunning male pied flycatcher in Denburn today. A good migrant for the year and I think probably the first male in proper breeding plumage I have ever seen in Crail. We tend to get pied flycatchers on passage in August or September when all birds are in brownish non-breeding plumage. The pied flycatchers I see in Africa during the winter are also brownish. But not this male. It was beautifully black and white, with a white forehead and wing bar contrasting with its black cap and wings. It was flycatching from the very tops of the big sycamores by the rope swing so was hard to find initially. Other migrants in Denburn today were a willow warbler, a chiff-chaff and a couple of blackcaps.

Male pied flycatcher similar to the one in Denburn today (this one from the West coast where they breed in oak woods)

Male pied flycatcher similar to the one in Denburn today (this one is from the West coast where they breed in oak woods)

Swallows are now everywhere and I think most are back in Crail now. I helped a neighbour to let a swallow out of their house at lunchtime. It was a male that had undoubtedly flown in through an open door looking for a nest site. Leave a window open and a room unoccupied for the spring and you will pretty much get a swallow in. We opened a window, covered up the other windows and the swallow flew straight out. Generally a bird trapped in a room heads for the brightest point. It did look good perched on a central lampshade though. Almost worth putting up with the mess for a summer. I’ll see if I can persuade my family to let out the spare room to a swallow this year.

But it is still fairly quiet in terms of other migrants. At Kilminning today there was my first whitethroat of the year singing. They should be everywhere by now, and only a couple of willow warblers.

The ratio of male eiders to female eiders has gone right up. There are only a few pairs to be seen and the males are on their own. Most females are now on the May Island on their nests.

Eider on its nest on the May Island two days ago

Eider on its nest on the May Island two days ago

Posted May 10, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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