May 16th   Leave a comment

The lure of such good weather was too strong today and I had to work at home so I could sit outside listening to the swifts and swallows and tree sparrows passing over. And rather surprisingly a red-throated diver going directly overhead making its quacking call that I more often associate with their passage to and from west coast lochans (where they nest) to the sea (where they often feed).

A red-throated diver – they have a deep slow quacking call in flight during the breeding season

And by the afternoon I just had to go out for a bit to see what was about. I staked out the yellow wagtail breeding field again. There may have been as many as 7 about this year so I am keen to confirm just how many pairs are breeding. I found a male quite quickly but it was moving a lot, all the way from Kirkmay to the horse fields in front of the Stockwell’s farm. That was it for 30 minutes but as I left it in the horse field and headed back to Crail, 3 more yellow wagtails came up from Kirkmay and flew over towards the field with the first bird. So, 4 yellow wagtails at least, suggesting more than one breeding pair. They should hatch chicks any day now so it should get easier to pin down just how many when they start going backwards and forwards to the nest(s) every few minutes.

Four yellow wagtails just outside Crail today including this male

Later I was passing through the Logan’s farm (immediately north west of Crail) looking for corn buntings when I flushed a flock of 14 feeding in a field corner. These birds were still behaving as a winter flock and certainly were not breeding yet. So, more territories are likely to appear around Crail. Good news for corn buntings but every field will need checking again…

Posted May 16, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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