June 16th   1 comment

At Balcomie this morning I disturbed two shelduck from the beach. They were very agitated and then I saw why. Five newly hatched ducklings were with them. There have been at least two and maybe three pairs of shelduck between Cambo and Fife Ness this year, which is probably one more than usual. But they rarely get to even the duckling stage so it was a really nice surprise. The weather is continuing to be good and certainly the eider chicks seem to be doing OK so I’m hopeful for the shelduck too.

Shelduck with newly hatched chicks (although this is a Balcomie brood from 2010)

Shelduck with newly hatched chicks (although this is a Balcomie brood from 2010)

Further along on Balcomie beach there are now 25 sanderling and a single dunlin. I’m beginning to think these are probably non-breeding birds now. They should be getting scarcer not commoner. At Fife Ness the whitethroats are feeding chicks now and some of the guillemots flying by were carrying fish. It will be midsummer next week and everything is now moving towards the end of the breeding season, although this year I think it will go on for another 4 weeks even for the small birds, and the gannets won’t be done of course until September. A big factor for the breeding season continuing for the smaller birds, which can have two or three broods in a summer, will be whether it stays dry. Dry weather is great for fledgling survival but not so good for there being enough food to sustain a new breeding attempt.

A male whitethroat - most are feeding chicks now after their late start

A male whitethroat – most are feeding chicks now after their late start

Posted June 16, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

One response to “June 16th

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I saw a pair of Shelducks hanging around Boarhills a few days ago aswell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s