January 2nd   Leave a comment

Male blackcap - my first wintering blackcap in Crail for a couple of years

Male blackcap – my first wintering blackcap in Crail for a couple of years

The weather hasn’t been brilliant for the New Year until this afternoon. My New Year’s list got off to a slow start on the 1st: it was raining for much of the day and today has been a gale. I spent most of yesterday morning looking out of my back window at the sea and the rain, slowly accumulating the common birds that at least on New Year’s day are as worthy as the rare ones. I was lucky though and had a male blackcap in the garden as my 18th species of the day. I clocked up 23 species (including velvet and common scoter, and quite a few gannets) before the rain stopped and I headed off to Denburn. I was rained off after lunch as well so my day total was only 49, with the last new species of the day being one of the Castle Walk fulmars. There is a whole year ahead of course but it is good to get off to a good start.

There were a couple of sanderling unusually in Roome Bay on the high tide at lunchtime. They are well worth looking out for –tiny waders that run along the line of the surf ceaselessly and so pale that they glow almost white. They are hard to miss when they are on a beach although Balcomie Beach is a much more reliable place to see them.

Sanderling - two on Roome Bay beach today

Sanderling – two on Roome Bay beach today

This afternoon at Kingsbarns it was relatively quiet. The woods seemed deserted apart from a flock of long-tailed and blue tits, and a couple of song thrushes grubbing about quietly on the ground. Everything in the stubble fields was keeping their heads down out of the wind and I only saw the skylarks, reed buntings and meadow pipits that flushed directly in front of me as I walked through them. It was a bitter wind and I sympathised with their reluctance to get up into it. Even the sea was relatively quiet apart from the large roost of common gulls gathering at the mouth of the Cambo Burn and a single beautiful male long-tailed duck positively sparkling in the sunset.

Posted January 2, 2015 by wildcrail in Sightings

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