April 16th   Leave a comment

Things have been on the move this week, with sandwich terns passing by in small numbers from about Wednesday. I caught up with first two of the year yesterday at Balcomie Beach despite the wind shifting northerly: my last were fishing in the much warmer surf of Senegal in October. The two at Balcomie will likely have spent the winter on the coast of West Africa and will now spend the next six months with us in the North Sea. There was a chiff-chaff singing incongruously from brambles at Saucehope on my way back from Balcomie: although they are early migrants, the majority will pass through well after the first birds through Crail.

One of this week’s sandwich terns passing Fife Ness

Today there was a handsome male northern wheatear at Balcomie, feeding on the rocky shore and a bit further on my first whimbrel of the year, launching itself up with its lovely seven note whistle to tell me instantly that this wasn’t just another curlew. Despite these two today I think it is safe to say that this spring has not turned into an early one, and most migrants are still to come. There should be much more of an influx of swallows this week though and the first house martins and willow warblers.

A spring whimbrel, stopping off on the rocks at Fife Ness on its way north

Posted April 16, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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