March 5th   Leave a comment

Every so often today the herring gulls started making a fuss and whenever I looked up there was a buzzard soaring over Crail. The gulls really don’t like buzzards. I am sure they take quite a few chicks later on the summer. At the moment the buzzards are just feeling springy and soaring over their territories (2-3 pairs include Crail within their territories) to advertise themselves and their ownership of the area. They also do a display flight at this time of year with exaggerated slow wing beats up and then rapid dives down in a saw-tooth progression across the sky. It’s a common bird of prey display – simple and obvious. A sparrowhawk was doing the same over Denburn this week as well.

A buzzard displaying

A buzzard displaying

There have been quite a lot of geese flying over Crail well after dark this week. Heading out towards the Lothians (or back again). They have all been pink-footed geese, easily identifiable because their honks are broken by squeaky bits that sound like their voices are breaking – “honk- onk – wink – wink”.

There is a carrion crow (or perhaps more than one) out at Fife Ness that regularly fishes in the rock pools. It strides around like a black egret, freezing and stabbing at tiny fish (or maybe shrimp) like a pro. Crows are among the smartest of birds. They are flexible generalists that make their living out of exploiting new situations and the misfortunes of others. Very like us in fact, which goes some way to explaining why, perhaps, they are mistrusted and often hated. Animals that might just be appraising you, as you judge them.

The fishing crow of Fife Ness

The fishing crow of Fife Ness

Posted March 5, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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