September 4th   Leave a comment

The rain overnight brought down some migrants from the west. There were meadow pipits everywhere this morning and even a tree pipit with them in a big flock feeding on the Crail golf course at Fife Ness. Tree and meadow pipits are more or less identical to look at unless you get a very good view but luckily have different flight calls which they give all the time and especially when disturbed. I was very pleased to hear a tree pipit at last today – they are early migrants and this weekend will be about the last chance for them this year. Anyway, by the skin of my teeth, number 148 for the year list. There were also quite a few willow warblers about in contrast to yesterday. Sea watching at Fife Ness was still quiet though. One arctic skua and a few red-throated divers being the highlight.

The first juvenile gannets of the year are now about. I saw my first one last weekend but now there is a regular passage of newly fledged birds coming out of the Forth. The numbers will build up in the next week or two. The calm weather and still seas will be very helpful to these inept birds that have to learn to fish over the next month, living on their fat reserves on the meantime. You can always tell a newly fledged gannet because they really labour to fly with all the extra emergency weight they are carrying – and they are brown rather than black and white of course.

A newly fledged juvenile gannet

A newly fledged juvenile gannet

Posted September 4, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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