January 1st   Leave a comment

The elusive greenfinch – should have gone to John’s garden today

I like to start the New Year with an all day bird race around Crail to see how many species I can get. Today’s total was 84 – one less than last year. I missed a few “easy” species like greenfinch, fulmar and ringed plover, but had two rare species – the long staying Lapland buntings and twite. Other highlights were unexpected large numbers of fieldfares and redwings – probably hundreds through the day. I started at Boarhills to get water rail and dipper, as well as a good range of species with its nice mix of woodland, shore, fields and damp corners. Boarhills is a reliable place for bullfinch and long-tailed tit too. Then Kingsbarns for shore and seabirds, Kippo wood, with an unexpected flock of 25 mistle thrush alongside it, Carnbee for lake species, including coot, moorhen, little grebe, tufted duck, whooper and mute swan and greylag goose, and then Fife Ness and Balcomie for shorebirds and randoms. It was high tide at Balcomie: spectacular for the gulls congregating to feed on the seaweed flies as the waves lapped right up to the marram grass, but less good for finding shorebirds. I finished up at dusk in Denburn – still looking for the elusive greenfinch and a great spotted woodpecker – and then Roome Bay to finish the list with no. 84, a grey wagtail. A good start to the New Year, and there is always tomorrow for a greenfinch.

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Posted January 1, 2018 by aboutcrail in Sightings

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