October 26th   Leave a comment

First light – now back to 7 am – and a flock of nine whooper swans flew past Crail heading along the coast towards Anstruther. They were as low as possible, below the level of the houses as beat relentlessly into the wind.

The winds this weekend have been the strongest of the winter so far. It was very easy getting out to Fife Ness on my bike, somewhat harder coming back. When it’s this way round the trip is almost guaranteed to be business as usual. Only when I have to struggle into the wind to get out to Kilminning can I really expect to find something unusual. At least it’s the right way round. On a westerly my motivation to get out there is much less and so the wind assistance is a necessity; on the return the urge for a cup of coffee and to get out of the wind gets me back to Crail. On an easterly, nothing will stop me getting out there so fighting into the wind just seems like earning whatever birds I might find out there. And inevitably I will stay out too long so the wind assistance back to Crail can be a life saver.

Today I wasn’t hoping for much. Kilminning still has a lot of blackbirds, redwings and goldcrests but many fewer than last week. Down at the bottom I found a lesser whitethroat and a chiff-chaff among the goldcrests. As the autumn progresses the chance of a lesser whitethroat from further east increases so I looked at this one carefully. It was not very contrasty than usual and had a warmer sandy brown tinge to the wings so could well have been a “Siberian” Lesser whitethroat. As I cycled (slowly) back into Crail I enjoyed the flock of several hundred starling by Pinkerton. Flocks of starling swirling in a gale above a stubble field is iconic late autumn for me.

One of the migrant blackbirds still in temporary residence at Kilminning - at least until the berries run out

One of the migrant blackbirds still in temporary residence at Kilminning – at least until the berries run out

Posted October 26, 2014 by wildcrail in Sightings

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