December 24th   Leave a comment

It is hard to get out during daylight at this time of year: it has been a week since I was out at Wormiston and Balcomie. It is much the same – the epicentre of birdy activity around Crail at the moment. The huge flocks of birds are still in the stubble fields between Wormiston and Cambo. There were probably a thousand gulls this morning – mostly herring and black-headed. Lots of starlings, linnets, and meadow pipits. And 8 lapland buntings in exactly the same part of the stubble field as last week – about 200 meters west of the coastal sheep field at the end of Balcomie golf course. If you are coming from the other way down the track past Wormiston farm and the yellow house they are to the north, 300 meters from the track in the last stubble field before you get to the shore. The flock is a good one to go and look at with the birds flying low around the area (and you) several times quite closely when flushed before pitching down again in the field. They flush at about 40 meters which makes them reasonably easy to locate initially. And if you continue onto the coastal path and head about 300 meters south towards Balcomie Beach you will find the twite. Now coalesced into a flock of 28, feeding on the upper shore vegetation and rocks right on the coastal path. They are a good flock to go and see too, not very shy and I was able to watch them lined up beautifully on the rocks twenty meters away as they waited for me to move on so they could get back to the path. Twite are very nice distinctive birds when you have a good view with their buff heads and throats and their neat yellow bills.

Twite

Balcomie Beach is also the same with 30 or so sanderling, a few dunlin and ringed plover, and a couple of grey plovers. They were very nervous and sure enough I saw a merlin hunting along the rocks like an arrow. It disappeared up the coast towards the north but I think it is resident at the moment considering the occasional kills I am finding around Balcomie.

Merlin

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Posted December 24, 2017 by aboutcrail in Sightings

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