April 29th   1 comment

The wind shifted to the south on Friday and with increasing amounts of easterly during today – it is set to be easterly all week which is hopeful for some interesting migrants reaching Crail. I found willow warblers and swallows everywhere today, from along the road past the secret bunker, over the Anstruther road to Carnbee and then back to Crail via Kilrenny. I had my first sedge warbler of the year singing from a rape field near the cheese shop and my first common whitethroat from some scrub just north of Kilrenny. I covered a lot of ground this morning and these were the only sedge warbler and whitethroat I found so I suspect they had just arrived. As I passed the woodland next to the secret bunker I heard a jay calling: a rare bird for Crail, although when I told John Anderson about this he nodded wisely and said, “yes, that’s where I always find jays”. Still at least I know where to find them: I hardly ever cycle along that bit of road but I will more frequently now. Up at Carnbee I found a male gadwall – another rare bird for Crail and only my second. They are common at Kilconquhar and common pretty much anywhere, but you need freshwater wetlands which Crail lacks. Carnbee also had the usual mute swan, coot, little grebe, tufted duck and teal, with the wintering wigeon, goldeneye and whooper swans already gone further north for the summer.

Southerly winds – and by this afternoon they were very strong – always push seabirds close to the Crail shore. Consequently it was very busy at Fife Ness in the afternoon with gannets, kittiwakes, fulmars and auks streaming by. There were several wheatears and at least one white wagtail further on at Balcomie Beach.

One of the white wagtails at Balcomie during the last week

There is a pair of shelduck between Caiplie and Crail, and another two bays north of Balcomie Beach. They nest in rabbit burrows, often well above the shore. The pairs are still commuting about together so I don’t think they are on eggs yet. Every year at least one pair gets some chicks hatched, usually the Balcomie pair.

Pair of shelduck at Fife Ness


Posted April 30, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

One response to “April 29th

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  1. Great photos and lovely text. What a treat for Crail folks!

    richard and andrea smith

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