April 27th   Leave a comment

It has been really nice in and around Crail this weekend because so many migrants have been about. At times today there were up to ten swallows hawking low over the shore at Roome Bay, there were newly arrived house martins over the centre, willow warblers and blackcaps passing through the gardens and my first common whitethroat of the year tuning up in the scrub at the bottom of the garden above the old paddling pool. There were three wheatears together in the lapwing field opposite West Quarry Braes nature reserve in the afternoon and a flock of 15 golden plover, all looking very handsome in summer plumage. Golden plovers are particularly striking with their gold spangled backs and their pure black underneath. Their summer plumage always takes me back to the highlands where their plaintive “peeuu” calls as they alarm at you for being near their chicks is an integral part of the bleak, upland summer soundscape. Our highland goldies will already be in residence so these birds were probably on their way to Scandinavia where the season is later.

A golden plover on its way north to breed

A golden plover on its way north to breed

At West Quarry Braes reserve itself I finally saw the little grebe that is usually resident there. Little grebes really are little and are great at hiding. Only after really scouring the pond did I see it frozen and half submerged in a clump of vegetation. It was with a moorhen. Both looked like they had been building the islands of vegetation that they nest on. As I left I saw a flock of four fieldfares dropping down into the trees. More migrants on their way further north.

Posted April 27, 2014 by wildcrail in Sightings

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