September 11th   Leave a comment

More of the westerly migrant fall today. Meadow pipits are still everywhere in large flocks, popping up in front of you from every stubble field. I counted 27 northern wheatears between Wormiston and Fife Ness with at least 15 in a single recently planted wheat field by the Yellow House at Wormiston Farm. It’s nice to see one wheatear on my circuit but today they were one of the commonest species, and not just young ones, quite a few were adults. I saw one on the beach which had just caught a crane-fly (a daddy long-legs), its fat body and long legs dangling from the bird’s beak. A few of those, and they are becoming very common just now, will power a wheatear a few thousand kilometres further south.

Tree sparrow - look for the chestnut cap and the black earphones

Tree sparrow – look for the chestnut cap and the black earphones

The rape stubble field on the corner of the Wormiston turnoff (at Hammer Inn) is full of birds at the moment. Large flocks of greenfinches, chaffinches, linnets, starlings, rooks, meadow pipits and a spectacular 140 or so tree sparrows. Tree sparrows are much less common than they used to be and have disappeared from many parts of the UK. They still do well in the East Neuk and any sparrows you see away from towns are actually just as likely to be tree rather than house sparrows. Even so, today’s flock is one of the largest I have seen.

The butterflies are finally becoming common in my garden this summer. Mostly red admirals and painted ladies – the latter are also migrants, but they are still moving north with the summer.


Posted September 11, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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