January 31st   Leave a comment

The last day of January already and my mission to get my year list up to 100 for the end of January has been stalled at 98 for the last two weeks. Last chance today with a nice flat grey light and barely any wind. The view heading out of Crail towards Anstuther was fantastic. Snow on the hills over the Forth with the old volcanos of the Bass and North Berwick contrasting dark in the foreground, and the Pentlands in the distance speckled with white like a proper live Japanese volcano. I headed up to Carnbee reservoir: snowy weather brings smew and they like small lochs. If I am ever to get one on the Crail list it will be on a day like today up there. But it was business as usual – 40 or so tufted duck and the same number of wigeon, a handful of goldeneye and teal, and a pair of little grebe. I saw a distant pair of grey geese flying above Pittenweem – through my telescope greylag geese – number 99. Even at that distance, their white forewing shows up clearly enough to identify them. I checked through the still resident pink-footed geese flock behind Anstruther on my way back to Crail but nothing new.

I spent half an hour in the hide at Fife Ness in the hope of a velvet scoter. This is usually a 1st of January bird but scoters have been thin on the ground this winter. There were few things passing: guillemots, a couple of gannets, eiders, red-throated divers, one common scoter and the resident flock of five or so purple sandpipers on the rocks in the foreground.

Greylag geese - no. 99 for the year list - so close!

Greylag geese – no. 99 for the year list – so close!

Posted January 31, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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