October 31st   Leave a comment

The wind went back round to the south-west and this afternoon the temperature was up to 15 degrees. A nice day between the showers. The birds from the fall mid-week are trickling away. There are still a couple of ring ouzels at Balcomie, a few redwings and lots of chiff-chaffs everywhere. I had four passing through my garden in an hour this afternoon, with three feeding on the insects on our dead fennel heads. I was seawatching and swung the telescope to focus on a few meters away rather than a few hundred for a change and enjoyed the subtle details of the chiff-chaffs’ plumage in extreme closeup. There are lots of things that make chiff-chaff distinctive despite them being nearly identical to willow warblers, but I think the best feature is they have a much less intense expression than a willow warbler, which along with their tail wagging makes them seem a much less serious bird.

Chiff-chaff - a "little brown job" but worth looking at closely

Chiff-chaff – a “little brown job” but worth looking at closely

Hibernating snails at the burn mouth at Cambo

Hibernating snails at the burn mouth at Cambo

I walked through Cambo to Kingsbarns beach this morning. The rooks that nest down at the burn mouth were making a huge racket around their nests. The sycamore trees that they nest in are now covered with bunches of snails sleeping the winter away. Once you spot one cluster you realise that there are snails everywhere glued into bark crevices. It can’t be a quiet place to sleep for a snail underneath the rookery although I expect the lack of frost and the humidity right next to the sea might be the major reason for them clustering there.

Posted October 31, 2015 by wildcrail in Sightings

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