March 12th   Leave a comment

I walked from St Monans back to Crail along the coastal path today. It’s almost always the best to catch the 95 out and to walk back: the wind will almost always be behind you and the sun definitely so. The temperature is climbing back up again and out of the wind it felt mild. The tide was coming in and by the end of the walk all the shorebirds were close in – at the start they were harder to see among the rocks. There were some nice roosts between Anstruther and Crail, including a couple of purple sandpipers close enough in to actually see their backs shining purple. I counted over 60 mallards on the walk with the usual concentration at Cellardyke; they were with the wigeons there and the same female pintail from last week. I really do hope it is the regular it is supposed to be. A flock of over 200 pink-footed geese flew over from the other side of the Forth in a very long v stretching from Pittenweem to Anstruther. They will be heading north soon if they are not already on their way. A long straggling v of geese flying overhead is perfect: I could check each goose easily strung out in their long line. I was hoping for a barnacle goose or a whitefront. Geese flock together in their own species by choice but the ones that get lost will settle for the next best thing and attach themselves to any goose flock. It’s never wise just to identify one or two geese in a big flock and then assume that they will all then be the same. A final highlight of the walk was an overflying siskin – number 103 for the Crail year list. A reminder that the early migrants are on their way already. This week and the next are the best to see one of these: there are always one or two black redstarts passing through Crail in late March (although you have to get lucky to see one) – look for a blackish or dark brown robin on a roof top with a red tail that it often shivers.

Purple sandpiper - well named if you get a close view

Purple sandpiper – well named if you get a close view

Posted March 13, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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