February 17th   Leave a comment

Things are changing at Balcomie at last. Today there were over 60 sanderling on the beach with 25 dunlin. The locals were made much shyer by the immigrants and all left the beach when someone walked along it, instead of just running away or flying a little way along. It is hard to keep your nerve when everyone else is bailing out, and a lone sanderling can’t afford to be the only target if it isn’t a false alarm. As I watched the sanderling a swan flew over – an adult mute swan – only about my third or fourth Crail record away from Carnbee Reservoir.

A Fife Ness rarity – a mute swan

I had a walk this afternoon along the shore from Cellardyke to Caiplie at high tide. The usual lesser black-backed gull was in the harbour. Most will arrive back from North Africa or southern Europe in a month or so but a few winter here. I suspect the lesser black-back in Cellardyke harbour is the same individual every winter. There was a good roost of redshanks and turnstones at the sewage outflow, along with 30 or so wigeons and mallards. No female pintail among them. It is the first time I have looked for the regular wintering bird this winter – like the lesser black-backed gull the pintail was out of place, but sticking to its successful wintering site year after year. It has probably now died and I will have to rely on lucky sightings at Fife Ness to get pintail on my year list again.

Lesser black-backed gull

Posted February 17, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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