August 28th   Leave a comment

And another tale of virtue bringing rewards. I was chafing to get back out to add to the year list this morning but ended up doing chores in the garden when a pair of greenshank flew over “tu-tu-tuing” away (no. 146 for the Crail year list). I had been wanting to get out to the mouth of the Kenly Burn to try to find a greenshank today but they came to me. Greenshanks are like whimbrel and call a lot when migrating which is always nice: you can hear greenshank passing over anywhere in Europe or Africa spring or autumn. Of course I wait for one all year and then three come at once. When I did finally get down to Balcomie another greenshank flew over calling (and a whimbrel!).

Sea watching at Fife Ness was not a patch on yesterday. The wind was pushing things further out and there were almost no terns and only a few small flocks of kittiwakes passing. The only skua was a great skua (very welcome though – first for the year making the list now 147 and well ahead – in all previous years I only get to this total late September or October). It looked massive compared to the long-tailed of yesterday even as it flew past with a gannet. There were also only two manx shearwaters past in an hour: I can’t believe the sooty shearwaters weren’t there, they must just have been passing too far out to see today.

Great skua with gannet

Great skua (no. 147 for the Crail year list) with gannet

It was a beautiful afternoon. Butterflies are finally appearing in numbers this year with red admirals and peacocks both sunning themselves in my garden. In the evening I heard a couple of late migrating swifts screaming high over the High Street – another reminder that summer is still with us even if many things are moving on.

Posted August 29, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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