September 5th   Leave a comment

Balcomie Beach was much quieter today with only 15 dunlins, a handful of ringed plover and sanderling and just one ruff left splashing among the washing up seaweed. Still a nice spectacle and enough birds to make you check carefully in case something else was there too hiding further up the beach as with the midweek curlew sandpiper.

There was a big passage of fulmars today. Because there are almost always some resident birds around it is hard to tell when there is a passage. Not today. There was a steady stream of fulmars heading north all day past Crail, with 10 passing every minute in the morning. There was a good number of manx shearwaters and the occasional sooty shearwater as well. This afternoon at Fife Ness the passage continued. I also saw my first arctic skuas of the year harassing kittiwakes far off shore and best of all a juvenile black tern passing north. They are annual but unless you put the time in at Fife Ness with a telescope you don’t see them. Black terns draw attention to themselves by their dipping flight as they swoop down to the water to pick food from the surface even as they fly steadily along.

Fulmar - just as much a passage migrant past Crail as the manx shearwater

Fulmar – just as much a passage migrant past Crail as the manx shearwaters

Posted September 5, 2015 by wildcrail in Sightings

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