April 30th   Leave a comment

The easterly wind was strong enough today to make looking for birds inland difficult. I headed out to Fife Ness again to enjoy the gannets passing just tens of meters out. I spotted a couple of small birds well out to sea heading to the Ness and watched them turn into two wheatears. They landed on the rocks looking a bit shell shocked before heading further inland. As I looked at them I noticed a common sandpiper creeping about on the rocks just behind – usually they don’t stop on the shore in the spring and head straight inland when they get here. But come late July until September we always have one or two on the rocky shore around Crail: almost all of them juveniles, taking the slow route to Africa. There were also a couple of migrant sanderling moulting into summer plumage on Balcomie beach – they won’t be breeding until June somewhere near the north pole. They were accompanied by a fully summer plumaged dunlin ready to breed right now and much closer to home, maybe even on one of the Grampians just visible to the north from Balcomie, and only an hour’s flight away as the dunlin flies.

Sanderling just starting to get its moss and lichen summer plumage to hide it when sitting on its high Arctic nest in 6 weeks time


Posted April 30, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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