September 24th   Leave a comment

There was a reasonably strong south-south easterly today but sea watching actually got worse compared to yesterday. In fact, it was really quiet – no terns, barely any kittiwakes – and only the gannets to save it, and a flock of teal passing close by Fife Ness. I didn’t see any summer migrants today apart from swallows and they were few and far between. One paced me and my dog Nutmeg as I cycled through a stubble field, picking up the flies we were disturbing by our passage. At one point Nutmeg started chasing the swallow and it just kept flying along with her in a zigzag fashion, the dogs increasing excitement and speed adding to its value as a fly producer. I have seen swallows following running antelopes in Africa like this, although they always seem oblivious to the swallows. Nutmeg would have chased this swallow, generating flies all day, terrier fashion, if the swallow hadn’t eventually decided to keep heading south.

Teal migrating past Fife Ness, heading south

Teal migrating past Fife Ness, heading south

I have been waiting for the geese all week – they should certainly be here any day now: pink-feet sounding like their voices are breaking and barnacles yapping like dogs overhead. Another sign of winter, I saw two purple sandpipers around the rocks at Balcomie today, flying away like dark dunlins with their distinctive, swallow like “zwick” call.

Purple sandpiper - arriving at Fife Ness for the winter

Purple sandpiper – arriving at Fife Ness for the winter

 

Posted September 24, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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