June 6th   Leave a comment

There were 14 or so eider ducklings with three females in Roome Bay this evening. The chicks are still small but just getting a bit too big for the gulls so fingers crossed that they will now make it. It’s been nice and calm over the last few days so any more crossing from the May Island would have had an easy journey. Yesterday evening was almost flat calm with an uninterrupted view of the hundreds of puffins also coming from the island. They seem to mostly head out past Crail but only a few come back that way. They must return much further out. If you look at the east slope of the island through a telescope on a clear evening it looks like there is a cloud of bees as the puffins make the last part of their flight back to their burrows to take their turn at incubation.

As I passed Pinkerton this evening I heard the familiar, but unusual for Crail, deep honking call of some Canada geese passing over. A group of 12 heading low towards Balcomie. A flock using the fields between Fife Ness and Boarhills is becoming a bit of a summer feature for us.

There are a couple of whitethroats in Crail that are now busy feeding chicks. More southerly birds can manage to fit in two broods, but up here any whitethroat will be lucky to get their chicks fledged and fully independent by the end of June, not leaving much time for another brood. A migrant is really up against it because they must fit in a change of feathers before their migrations starts – for many birds even by the end of August. It seems like a good insect year with lots of food available and not too much cool wet weather, so I hope it will be a good breeding season.

A male common whitethroat busy feeding chicks

A male common whitethroat busy feeding chicks

Posted June 6, 2014 by wildcrail in Sightings

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