June 5th   Leave a comment

The first eider chicks have appeared in Roome Bay. Some days this week have been calm so the crossing from the May Island might have been easy. Other days have been much choppier so that many chicks might not have made it. I suspect the eiders run the risk of bringing their chicks over the 8 km of sea between us to avoid the concentration of gulls breeding on the May. They don’t escape the attention of the gulls completely in Roome Bay however. Maybe it’s because the sea is usually much rougher on the eastern side of the May making it harder for the chicks to forage. Roome Bay is certainly a very benign environment in that respect in the summer.

Eider chicks braving the waves

Eider chicks braving the waves

Goosander

Goosander

I walked from Kingsbarns back to Crail this morning. The beach was busy with sandwich and arctic terns, and sand martins scooting along almost at sand height. There were a few signs, even now, of the end of the summer. A couple of curlews and some black-headed gulls – probably failed breeders – back already on the rocky shore for the winter. I saw my first goosander of the summer. One or possibly two birds fishing in the bay at the north end of Balcomie golf course. They come here to moult after breeding, although most come in July. I also saw the local pair of shelducks there but no sign of chicks. They have a hard time breeding successfully each year. There were a few newly fledged skylark chicks in the wheat fields at Wormiston Farm. They seemed very vulnerable, barely flying away in time on weak fluttery wings as I approached. Just out of the nest I should think. Another two weeks and they will be much more capable and likely to survive.

Posted June 5, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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