July 9th   Leave a comment

This evening I heard the shrill repeated whistle of a distant whimbrel flying high over Crail, heading west along the coast. It was too high up to see – but I whistled back. Maybe it was a coincidence but the whimbrel called again as if answering me. It was almost certainly a failed breeder heading back to Africa. It will have been looking down at Crail from 500 meters or so, the coastline and fields spread out below it in the fading evening sunlight, unable to see me but knowing I was there whistling too. Whimbrels can fly for days non-stop when they want and this one might be in Africa tomorrow. Whimbrels are absolutely brilliant because of this casual globe-trotting. Everything that makes birds interesting and exciting is captured by a whimbrel. One flying over my garden at the end of a perfect summer day, whistling to me as it goes, links me to the Arctic and to the tropics, and everything in between.

Whimbrel - already passing over Crail on their way back to Africa

Whimbrel – already passing over Crail on their way back to Africa

Posted July 9, 2014 by wildcrail in Sightings

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