October 28th   Leave a comment

This morning was a classic, misty, Fife Ness thrush fest with every tree and bush shedding flocks of redwings, fieldfares and blackbirds – what with the occasional mistle and song thrush among them, and now two ring ouzels in the garden at Balcomie, it was a complete thrush extravaganza. I love the way you see a few redwings in a tiny sycamore, but as you approach more and more fly out of the tree until 30 or 40 have flown away. It seems impossible that you didn’t see more than a couple to start with and impossible that the tiny tree could have sheltered so many. Walking around Kilminning and Balcomie this morning was wave after wave of these magically exploding thrush flocks. There were many more bramblings around too.

One of the migrant blackbirds passing through Crail today

One of the migrant blackbirds passing through Crail today

I caught up with the black redstart at Balcomie first thing in the morning. A female feeding on the roof slates and old walls of the farm buidings – either a Continental bird fully at home amongst buildings anyway (they are as common as robins in German towns) or one finding a good substitute for the cliffs and rocky slopes they like in their other more mountainous habitat. Black redstarts are as endearing and perky as robins with an added dash of excitement as they flycatch, flashing their red tails against the grey of the stones.

Again this morning there was a real feeling that the next bird I saw was going to be the big rarity. There were several chiff-chaffs and a yellow-browed warbler at Kilminning and both were occasionally making odd calls a bit like much rarer Pallas’s or the ridiculously rare Hume’s warbler to keep me on my toes. And with woodcocks also exploding up at my feet as I craned to see the warblers above me it was all very exciting.

Posted October 28, 2015 by wildcrail in Sightings

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