March 6th   Leave a comment

There was a great crested grebe flying past Crail this morning – like an arrow with distinctive really flickering wings flashing white. Just like the pintail yesterday a common bird but not for Crail. They like freshwater lochs or the inner Forth in the winter. I am lucky to see one in a year and they are always a brief flyby on their way in or out of the Forth. Number 102 for the Crail year list and definitely one I wasn’t banking on for the total this year.

Great-crested grebe: 102 for the Crail year list

Great-crested grebe: 102 for the Crail year list

Grey heron collecting branches at Crail for its nest in Cambo

Grey heron collecting branches at Crail for its nest in Cambo

At Cambo the rooks were noisily fine-tuning their nests and generally looking like they are all ready to start breeding with the first bit of slightly milder weather. It suits them to get their chicks fledged as early as possible because they feed in short grass pasture or low crops. Mid-late summer is a lean time for them as the vegetation grows up. The herons are still doing a bit of nest building as well, occasionally carrying sticks from as far away as Crail back to Cambo.

I’ve been noticing a roost of pied wagtails around the Golf Hotel at dusk for the last two weeks. About 25 birds gather on the rooftops before joining together in a dense flock on a tucked away ledge. They may well have been doing this for much longer but I have only just started to notice it with dusk now exactly coinciding with my return home from St Andrews every day. With the changing day length it is easy to think animals are suddenly appearing when in fact it is just the timing of the routines that are changing. Kestrels are like this – they suddenly seem to be everywhere when my daily commute matches with the period of gloaming that they love to hunt in.

Kestrel - much more noticeable at dusk

Kestrel – much more noticeable at dusk

 

Posted March 6, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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