December 31st   1 comment

Time to take stock of the year. 151 species for the year list – a respectable total but somewhat shy of the record 161 of last year. A very quiet autumn is to blame (only one pied flycatcher!) – nothing remotely unusual turned up from August onwards. Highlights included the long staying little ringed plover and barred warbler, on Balcomie Beach and at Kilminning respectively, yellow wagtails breeding just outside of Crail for the first time, the return of a ring-necked parakeet to Crail, both Iceland and glaucous gulls after a few years absence, a family of roseate terns stopping by at Balcomie for a few days, and the twite and Lapand buntings at the year end (still going strong today with 7+ Lapland buntings and 30+ twite at Wormiston Farm). July was good with lots of waders on Balcomie, and a good cuckoo and whinchat passage. But no new birds for the Crail list at all this year, and the “rarest” being the little ringed plover, which was only my second here. Still some years are better than others and birders mustn’t fall into the farmers’ trap of benchmarking everything against the best year. Instead better to set standards by the worst – then next year will certainly be much better than this (and this year was fun). Happy New Year.

The 2017 year list (in order of appearance):

Eiders – no. 20 and Pintail – no. 37 on the 2017 Crail year list

Herring Gull

Blackbird

Robin

Grey Partridge

Skylark

Reed Bunting

Water Rail

Wren

Pink-footed Goose

Redshank

Oystercatcher

Great Black-backed Gull

Shag

Long-tailed tit – no. 48

Meadow Pipit

Dunnock

Pheasant

Chaffinch

Curlew

Carrion Crow

Eider

Glaucous Gull

Black-headed Gull

Linnet

Guillemot

Red-breasted Merganser

Great Cormorant

Red-throated Diver

Gannet

Yellowhammer

Goldcrest

Fulmar

Kittiwake

Blue Tit

Song Thrush

Mallard

Sanderling – no. 78

Wigeon

Pintail

Common Scoter

Woodpigeon

Grey Heron

Great Tit

Rook

Starling

Jackdaw

Bullfinch

Dipper

Treecreeper

Long-tailed tit

Coal Tit

Common Buzzard

Ringed Plover – no. 80

Feral Pigeon

Corn Bunting

Greenfinch

Tree Sparrow

House Sparrow

Collared Dove

Grey Plover

Turnstone

Purple Sandpiper

Common Gull

Stock Dove

Pied Wagtail

Sparrowhawk

Northern wheatear – no. 105

Mute Swan

Whooper Swan

Teal

Goldeneye

Kestrel

Goldfinch

Moorhen

Tufted Duck

Greylag Goose

Fieldfare

Little Grebe

Grey Wagtail

Woodcock

Common Snipe

Jack Snipe

Sanderling

Dunlin

Ringed Plover

Goosander – no. 124

Stonechat

Peregrine

Long-tailed Duck

Magpie

Golden Plover

Great Northern Diver

Velvet Scoter

Razorbill

Mistle Thrush

Redwing

Lapwing

Lapland Bunting

Redpoll

Coot

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Shelduck

Arctic skua – no. 142

Canada Goose

Merlin

Black-throated Diver

Chiff-chaff

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Iceland Gull

Barn Swallow

Northern Wheatear

Sandwich Tern

Whimbrel

Tawny Owl

Puffin

Willow Warbler

House Martin

Blackcap

Sand Martin

Manx Shearwater

Jay

Gadwall

Sedge Warbler

Yellow-browed warbler – no. 143

Common Whitethroat

Common Sandpiper

Garden Warbler

Lesser Whitethroat

Bar-tailed Godwit

Marsh Harrier

Goosander

Arctic Tern

Common Swift

Common Tern

Knot

Spotted Flycatcher

Yellow Wagtail

Great Skua

Cuckoo

Little Gull

Mediterranean Gull

Whinchat

Black-tailed Godwit

Barred Warbler – no. 145

Ring-necked Parakeet

Little Ringed Plover

Greenshank

Roseate Tern

Arctic Skua

Yellow-browed warbler

Sooty Shearwater

Barred Warbler

Siskin

Ruff

Brambling

Pied Flycatcher

Barnacle Goose

Twite

Twite – no. 151

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Posted December 31, 2017 by aboutcrail in Sightings

One response to “December 31st

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  1. Two of the four lifers I got this year were around Crail – Lapland Bunting (thanks), and a Cory’s Shearwater north past the Ness. Crail always delivers up something for me. Another highlight was a male Kestrel hovering virtually within touching distance at, and below, eye level by the beach wall path in Roome Bay for a few minutes. Good birding in 2018, Will.

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