September 25th   Leave a comment

Easterly winds the last two days, rain showers today and reports from the May Island of lots of migrants on the way. An autumn recipe for happiness despite the grey and damp start to the day. First thing I was off to Kilminning and Balcomie Castle. There were redwings passing overhead – the first of the winter – and chiff-chaffs and willow warblers all confirming that, indeed, there were birds about. And then I heard a yellow-browed warbler, making a brief but distinctive call from a dense sycamore – a special autumn bird. Although we are spoilt in Crail with yellow-browed warblers, with several each autumn, these little gems of warblers are always a thrill. The population that appears in small numbers each autumn breeds far away in the Ural Mountains in Siberia and only ever appears during special migrant conditions when other more extreme rarities occur. Yellow-brows are forever associated with good birding days.

I continued on to Fife Ness Muir as the rain resumed. Despite the weather I found another yellow-brow straight away. This time a bird that was calling non-stop and so easy to locate. I had several minutes of it feeding just meters away from me. And then I heard another, and then possibly another. I was beginning to lose track of how many yellow brows there were – certainly three and maybe five. Somewhat less than the 20 reported from the May Island yesterday but not too bad. As I left Fife Ness reluctantly to head to work I had a couple of bramblings flying overhead – again like the redwings, the first of the winter and indicative of migrants on the move.

This evening it brightened up and I could check the sea for birds: this morning and yesterday I couldn’t even see the sea. Lots of kittiwakes passing and a few little gulls but no obvious movements in response to the winds. I may have missed it all in the fog yesterday.

The winds are forecast easterly until at least Sunday. I’ll be out first thing tomorrow as well.

A young northern wheatear brought in by the easterly winds of the last two days.

A young northern wheatear brought in by the easterly winds of the last two days.

Posted September 25, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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