October 10th   Leave a comment

Dunlin on Balcomie Beach

Dunlin on Balcomie Beach

The wind is now from the north so it was cold at Balcomie Beach today and it felt like winter for the first time. I was down there to look for a little stint that John found there yesterday. As the name suggests, little stints are small and it’s a big beach on a windy day when most things were trying to keep out of the way of it. So I scanned through a flock of about 15 dunlin about 15 times but I couldn’t find the tell-tale even smaller wader. It was lively on the beach the beach though with ringed and grey plovers, turnstones and a bar-tailed godwit. On the way back I scanned the newly harrowed field on the north side of the road to Fife Ness just outside Crail. It was full of birds: starlings, linnets, gulls, lapwings and hundreds of golden plover. The black-headed gulls were spread through the plovers watching intently for one to find a worm and then a chase would ensue. After a short flight the plover would drop the worm and resume feeding: it was really too cold for it to waste energy trying to seriously evade the thief. There were about 25 or more golden plover to each gull (the technical term is kleptoparasite) so the odds were in favour of both the plovers – with a low chance of being targeted – and the gulls – with plenty of potential victims.

Posted October 10, 2013 by wildcrail in Sightings

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