October 8th   Leave a comment

After the storm cleared yesterday afternoon there were a few reports from Kilminning of things blown in: a barred warbler, a ring ouzel, redwings, bramblings and a few yellow-browed warblers. There was even a pair of ravens on the airfield. I would have been gutted if it hadn’t been for seeing one there earlier in the year and so adding it to my Crail list. I should think the storm and the ravens were a coincidence. I’m hopeful that these ravens represent them finally moving back into this bit of Fife. They should be a common species all along the East coast of Scotland and if left alone they should thrive around Crail.

The mighty and angry barred warbler

The mighty and angry barred warbler

I went out to Kilminning just after sunrise this morning to try and track down the barred warbler. I feel very unlucky when it comes to barred warblers – I almost always never manage to connect with them – so I wasn’t very hopeful. I was expecting yellow-browed warblers and I wasn’t disappointed. One was whistling away at the top of Kilminning as I arrived and through the morning I saw or heard 4 or 5 different individuals. The storm has removed many of the leaves so they were visible for the first time this year. I had some lovely views of these irrepressibly cheerful little birds. I was watching one scurrying around in an elder bush when I noticed a warbler behind it. My first thought was – yellow-brows really are tiny, it’s about half the size of that garden warbler – when the penny dropped. A barred warbler – looking suitable huge and chunky in comparison. And so began a series of great views for about an hour finally dispelling my feeling of never really getting to see a barred warbler properly, if at all. The barred warbler was moving around the tops of the elder bushes, sea buckthorns and even the sycamores and popping out in clear view every few minutes. It’s true they are fairly grey and non-descript but on close view there is a lot going on subtly – barring under the tail, faint wing bars and an angry shaggy look to them. It may have looked angry just because of the robins. It was being chased constantly. The storm must have brought in even more of them because every bush seems to have a couple of scrapping robins – chasing each other and anything else roughly their size. As well as robins everywhere, so there were song thrushes. They seem to get along with each other though, exploding out of every bush in small flocks as I walked past. Some final storm birds of note today were bramblings giving out their grumpy wheezing call from every other sycamore along the road down to Kilminning.

Posted October 8, 2014 by wildcrail in Sightings

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