July 6th   Leave a comment

The waders are coming back. A flock of lapwings at Fairmont, a summer plumage sanderling and 6 dunlin on Balcomie Beach and two redshank in Roome Bay. All probably failed breeders, although up at Fairmont I am fairly sure the returning lapwing flock joined the two to three pairs that were breeding in the field there (opposite the main entrance), and I think at least one pair still has chicks.

A dunlin returning to Balcomie Bay after breeding

I saw lots more black-headed gulls today and as I scanned a flock in the small bay at the east end of Saucehope caravan park I noticed one had a black hood rather than a chocolate brown one. A Mediterranean gull. A rare late summer and autumn visitor to Crail and I feel lucky to see one; they are commoner in the inner Forth and becoming commoner this end of Fife. This one was slightly odd – coming into its second summer (born last year) so still in its young plumage of black wing tips and a brown bar along the front of the wing, and a matching black bar along the back, but with a full black adult summer hood and contrasting bright white crescents around the eye. Advanced in one respect, or delayed in the other. Anyway, unlikely to have been a successful breeder (they take 2 full years to become adults) but probably full of hormones anyway.

I haven’t been updating the Crail year list score regularly, but the Mediterranean gull takes me up to 134 and a month ahead of the total for this time last year when I broke the record. Bring on those easterly winds and rain showers.

Posted July 6, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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