June 2nd   Leave a comment

A great tit nest (the dark triangular hole) in a wall in the Kirkyard

A great tit nest (the dark triangular hole) in a wall in the Kirkyard

This weekend has been beautiful with temperatures finally in the high teens and not much wind. Spring is beginning to give way to summer, although the ash trees still have to gain most of their leaves. I watched a flock of 30 or so swifts feeding over the rape field just to the east of Crail this morning. They looked like they might be enjoying themselves for the first time this year, in the warm sunshine, surrounded by insects rather than just getting by. Young birds are popping up everywhere. The tits will fledge in a week or so. They are at least two weeks behind. I found a great tit feeding chicks in a hole in a stone wall in the Kirkyard. Tree holes are always in short supply, which is why things like tits readily take to nest boxes. This hole didn’t look second best to a tree hole – hard to get at by a weasel and certainly secure from any passing woodpecker.

At Fife Ness this morning there were lots of sandwich, arctic and common terns. The arctic terns were courting. One bird – the male I think – catching sandeels and bringing them to a second bird waiting on the rocks or the water. Thus the male gets to show his worth and also invests in the clutch of eggs that will be developing shortly. There was a flock of 9 turnstone roosting on the rocks, taking a rest on their way north. They were in beautiful, bright breeding plumage. Like the dunlin of last week, just a day or so’s flight from the Arctic where even now the last of the snow will be melting.

Turnstone in breeding plumage - on its way to the Arctic

Turnstone in breeding plumage – on its way to the Arctic

Posted June 2, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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