January 27th   Leave a comment

The temperature was up to 11 degrees this afternoon making a big contrast with last weekend. I did a circuit of Crail rather than heading down to Balcomie. I was trying to see if any of my colour-ringed redshanks were still about. I found two at Harbour Beach and another at Roome Bay. In total I have seen five individuals back again in Crail this winter. The oldest, GGYY (green green yellow yellow) was roosting today on the rocks at Harbour Beach, about 25 meters from where I caught it on the 24th of February 2009. It was an adult so was born at least in 2007 making it now 11 or more years old. Still a while to go before it takes the longevity record of 27 years, although I may have caught it at age 16 or older – you can’t tell how old redshanks are after their first year. The others still around range from at least 6 to at least 9 years old. I should probably catch a new cohort to keep up the survival study. I gave up because the redshanks became very hard to catch. All the birds I hadn’t caught had got wise to my traps and nets. There will be many now in Crail who have arrived since last time I caught about 4 years ago so I may now have better luck.

Redshank – some have been coming back to Crail each winter for over a decade

I finally tracked down a greenfinch for the year list. Four flew out of a garden in Pinkerton in front of me: I don’t think they are becoming really scarce, I have just been unlucky. Nevertheless, where greenfinches once were common it is now goldfinches. Like the bullfinch, long tailed tits are not regular in Crail but I saw a flock flying over the back gardens of the High Street and Nethergate today.

The elusive greenfinch at last


Posted January 27, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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