May 10th   Leave a comment


It always seems a bit quiet after a migrant fall clears and today I only found one garden warbler and a few willow warblers and chiff-chaffs remaining between Kilminning and the Patch at Fife Ness. The whimbrels are still going strong though and a brave swift finally made it over Crail as if it means to stay – enjoying the balmy temperature rise of 5 degrees up to 12 this afternoon. There are still no sedge warblers back which is very late for them indeed.

One of the remaining willow warblers  at Kilminning today

One of the remaining willow warblers at Kilminning today

The sea was very busy today in contrast to inland. It will be reliably full of birds through until October now, with the peak season running from now until late July. The wind was a brisk southerly so everything was pushed close in to Crail. I had a steady stream of gannets, razorbills, guillemots, puffins, kittiwakes and fulmars past with occasional sandwich terns and the first arctic terns and manx shearwater of the summer. A good few of the gannets were carrying seaweed for their nests. Fair enough, but the bizarre thing is I see almost all of the gannets carrying nesting material flying out of the Forth, not back into it to the Bass Rock. Competition for seaweed must be so high that they grab and hold onto any bit of seaweed they find, even if they then head off further out to sea to look for more. Gannets tend to return to the Bass much further out to sea so I can’t see whether they are carrying much larger loads on the way back. It does seem a waste of time and energy but if 80,000 gannets are all looking for seaweed at the same time then it must be a very valuable resource.

Gannet carrying seaweed for its nest

Gannet carrying seaweed for its nest


Posted May 10, 2015 by wildcrail in Sightings

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