December 10th   Leave a comment

It was below freezing all day today, although with little wind it barely felt cold in the afternoon sunshine. The ground stayed frozen though and every bit of fresh water was also frozen making it a difficult day for birds. Even the edge of the stinky pool – the muddy tidal pool on the left after crossing the golf course just before Fife Ness – was partly frozen, with thin jumbled panes of frozen seawater left at the edges after the water below had drained out at low tide. Crail ducks are always to be found on the shore but there were many more about today as our birds were joined by ducks from further inland where everything must be frozen even harder. There were about 50 wigeon on the shore just north of Balcomie and probably the same number of mallards; there were also a lot of teal but they are much harder to count. Out at sea there were goldeneyes: they are now back for the winter, with a few also in Roome Bay.

Drake goldeneye

Meadow pipit

The stubble fields between Wormiston and Balcomie also are benefitting from the cold weather with hundreds of meadow pipits added to the usual tens there. Right down by the shore where the fields must be the warmest there was a flock of maybe 300 linnets with the meadow pipits. Other things were scattered through this huge flock – skylarks, tree sparrows, corn bunting, reed buntings, yellowhammers and probably a few twite. The flock was too noisy to be able to pick out twite calls for sure. It was a great spectacle when they all flew up onto the overhead wires.

Posted December 10, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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