October 3rd   Leave a comment

The strong south-easterlies have continued with heavy rain last night and this morning. Again that perfect recipe for good birds in Crail. Kilminning at lunchtime was still full of redwings. In one corner by the entrance there was a small flock of blackcaps that were obvious new migrants. With them were some goldcrests and among them at least two yellow-browed warblers. I then heard a firecrest. A great Crail bird – we might get one every 1 or 2 years (or at least that’s the frequency they are found – firecrests are very easy to overlook among the thousands of goldcrests we get through Crail in the autumn). It took about 20 minutes before I finally got a clear view of the firecrest. Their call is not totally distinctive and firecrests are stripy greenish birds like yellow-brows. Every time I thought I had spotted it turned out to be a yellow-brow so I was starting to doubt myself. And then it popped out into clear sight. A real beauty, much more striking and colourful than a goldcrest, bright greens and an orangeish shoulder. Firecrests are as small and fragile looking as goldcrests (equally our smallest UK bird species) but are always associated with bad weather when I see them in Crail so they must be much tougher than they look. There is better weather tomorrow so I am hopeful that more good birds will be found. The supply may be switched off as the winds go round to the south-west but we might be able to actually find those that are already here.

A firecrest

A firecrest

Posted October 3, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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