February 8th   Leave a comment

The temperature climbed up to a balmy 8 degrees this afternoon and I went out today in search of signs of spring to cheer me up. Still few and far between. One of a flock of twenty golden plover had its summer black belly already and a lot of the skylarks were singing. First thing in the morning there was also a lot of robin song and even the occasional song thrush. It is a good time to learn robin song – anything wistful and tuneful is almost certainly robin; if it is loud, boisterous and with repetitive double phrases and pauses then it is a song thrush. In another month everything will be singing and it will get much harder to pick out the individual species. As I circuited around Crail I saw magpies everywhere: two at West Quarry Braes, one at Wormiston, a couple at Fife Ness and more at Kilminning. They are surviving the winter fine and so I expect a big breeding season again if they are left alone. Crail may well be like Edinburgh for magpies in a couple of years. If you can forgive them (or perhaps even celebrate) their tendency to thrive in the environmental chaos we create, then they are really handsome and interesting birds to have around.

A handsome Crail magpie

A handsome Crail magpie

Posted February 8, 2015 by wildcrail in Sightings

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