September 1st   Leave a comment

A goosander passing Fife Ness – probably one of the moulting birds that are usually at Balcomie

Virtue has its reward. As I was doing some recycling at Pittenweem tip this morning I heard a common redstart calling from the clump of trees behind the glass bins. It’s a lot easier to find a migrant at this time of year when they call: it was barely visible in the dense foliage. The conditions haven’t been good for migrants from the east for 10 days or so, but redstarts breed on the West Coast and in the Highlands so we can get passage birds with light westerly winds as well: the same applies to spotted flycatchers, whinchats and tree pipits, although apparently never for pied flycatchers, for some reason.

I walked from Kilminning to Fife Ness and back in a loop this afternoon. All very quiet except at sea where the gannets are working very hard getting their chicks ready for fledging. There were also a few younger birds –even birds just a year old – non-breeders that must be visiting Bass Rock and the area to get an idea of where and how to breed. A visit at the end of the summer at fledging time should give these young birds the most information: which bits of the colony are best for producing chicks and indeed if the colony is worth nesting in at all. Apart from the gannets and a lot of fulmars passing Fife Ness, in about an hour there were just a couple arctic skuas, a whimbrel and a goosander. No shearwaters and barely any kittiwakes at all – although one of the few passing was intercepted by one of the skuas and a lengthy chase ensued.

A one year old gannet

Posted September 1, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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