November 5th   Leave a comment

I chose the wrong time to go out today – it started raining almost the moment I left at lunchtime to do a quick circuit of Balcomie and Fife Ness in the vague hope of a late rarity after the easterlies and rain of the last two days. This time of year is the best for pied or desert wheatears, both of which have turned up in Crail. But not recently, and not today. The patch at Fife Ness can be a dismal place in a drizzle: even the blackbirds of last week had moved on. I was just about to go home when I noticed a goldcrest with a huge white stripe over its eye – a firecrest. I followed it and tracked it down to a hawthorn for a better view for a few seconds. It was gone again when I looked away. It took another ten minutes to find it again with the goldcrest and tit flock that was moving speedily around the patch. It was visible for less than a minute before disappearing again. It makes me realise, again, how many good birds must be overlooked. And firecrests, despite being everywhere in Europe, are good Crail birds, and even if they were more common they would still be a favourite. They are almost tropical in their bold patterning, especially on a dull day. Perhaps I did go out at the right time today.

A firecrest - John would call this a record shot but it captures well the glimpses I had today through the rain

A  late autumn firecrest – John would call this a record shot but it captures well the glimpses I had today

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Posted November 5, 2015 by aboutcrail in Sightings

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