April 22nd   Leave a comment

I have been in Cyprus for the last two weeks where they haven’t had a winter and went straight into thirty degrees at the start of April. Their season is ahead by 2-3 weeks. Back in Crail, despite the warm weather of the last couple of days, our season is now 2-3 weeks behind. But the summer migrants are finally making it through. I watched four house martins coming in off the sea at Kilrenny this afternoon as if they had just made landfall. Most small birds migrate at night but swallows – probably because they can feed as they go – migrate during the day. There were three northern wheatears and a male white wagtail feeding close together on the shore below them.

In Crail, a male yellow wagtail is back in the same fields where one bred last year. This may be the third year running. If a bird breeds successfully they tend to come back again to the same place the following year, though yellow wagtails are notorious for moving a few kilometres regardless. Birds are individuals and vary in these kind of traits, so we luckily seem to have sedentary male. Yellow wagtails can live 8 years or so, although most won’t. So we are getting even luckier with a good survivor, able to come back again, as well as a stay at home individual. Like last year the male is very inconspicuous, only obvious as a ridiculously bright lemon flash when it flies between tram lines in the wheat field.

The male yellow wagtail back hopefully to breed again in Crail

Posted April 22, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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