June 28th   Leave a comment

Today and tomorrow are good for looking at seabirds passing Crail. There is a north-easterly wind which will strengthen into a gale tomorrow. This has been pushing seabirds right against the Crail coast as they fly in and out of the Forth to feed their chicks. Saucehope Caravan Park was great this afternoon, with puffins passing just a few tens of meters out. At Fife Ness I watched a feast of razorbills, guillemots, puffins, gannets, arctic, common and sandwich terns and kittiwakes passing just beyond the low tide rocks. This morning it was manx shearwaters as well passing Crail, coming past at a rate of 25 every 10 minutes; some goosanders and surprisingly, quite a few large flocks of common scoters.

A close flyby by a razorbill

Balcomie Beach is at its quietest. Only a few oystercatchers and immature common gulls this afternoon. The eider chicks along the shore just to the north have got much fewer, but the survivors are now much bigger and should make it now.

Some of the surviving eider chicks

This evening I did a circuit up to Troustie to look for barn owls. The rain last night will have made hunting poor so I was hopeful they would be out before dark to catch up with feeding their chicks. My run of bad luck with barn owls continued, still it was good to be out in the wind and the gloaming – not very summery in feel perhaps – but bracing. At dusk you realise just how many hares there are. They were popping up everywhere, suddenly racing away across the tracks to disappear just as quickly into the potatoes or wheat.

A brown hare in the gloaming

Posted June 28, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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