April 1st   Leave a comment

Northern wheatear – to start the migrant ball rolling

Today felt like the real first day of spring. And a much better day to find birds. My first northern wheatear of the spring was on the rocks just to the north of Balcomie Beach. A beautiful male that was probably in Senegal or Mali just a couple of weeks’ ago. I met John Anderson at Fife Ness who had just seen a black redstart around the pink cottage. I walked around the area for half an hour but only found tens of migrant robins – all getting the heart going for brief moment before their real identity became clear. Then I went around to the south side of the Ness reasoning that on such a sunny day this would be the warmest place and where the insects would be the most active. Within a minute I picked up a female feeding (just like a robin) on the coastal path and then directly behind it a male. Two black redstarts together to make up for their absence from my Crail list last year. Ever since I saw my first black redstart at the age of 14 on a school German exchange they have been one of my favourite birds. It’s that turn up anywhere thing, and particularly in those man-made places where unusual birds don’t turn up – busy city centres, railway stations and nuclear power stations. Concrete and brick are just another type of rock to black redstarts. But the pair today were enjoying some real rocks on the strandline and the seaweed flies brought forth by the real warmth in the sun.

Male black redstart – a true rock fan

Posted April 1, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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