May 3rd   Leave a comment


We had the first substantial rain in nearly a month on the 1st. 8mm and a shift in the wind back round to the south and west after easterlies for nearly a week. Because everything is about two weeks late there was not much of a migrant fall. Still, today there were more willow warblers about and the first blackcaps singing at Kilminning and in Denburn. Blackcaps are one of our best singers and its good to have their song back again. I also saw a common cuckoo labouring into the strong westerly at the south end of Kilminning as if it had just arrived in from the sea. Now is about peak time for spring cuckoos but they are fairly rare around Crail – and I have only ever heard one calling here once – at Cambo really early on a May morning. As I tried to track down today’s bird to where I thought it had come in to land I heard a faint reeling from a sea buckthorn bush closer to the sea. I followed this instead and found a grasshopper warbler. My first Crail grasshopper warbler in quite a few years. This one gave great views (they are often skulkers) as it sang in the fairly open bush, and then scuttling around close to the ground like a mouse and showing off the species’ strangely fat tail. I also had a sand martin flying over Kilminning making four firsts for the year today – although I must have just been unlucky not to see a sand martin until now. They are usually one of the first migrants in.

Grasshopper warbler

Posted May 3, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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