November 3rd   Leave a comment

It wasn’t really a day for birding and I don’t think many people were out. The wind was just a bit too strong to find anything and even if you did you couldn’t really enjoy it. Kilminning was almost devoid of birds this afternoon – I had been hoping for a waxwing going over because there has been quite a good influx along the east coast this week. We may be in for a waxwing invasion this winter, but not quite here yet. I tried Balcomie Beach but there was nothing apart from the usual redshank, oystercatcher, ringed plover and a single dunlin. At sea there was a large flock of common scoters, diving and chasing each other. This is unusual for Balcomie – plenty of common scoters but they are usually passing rather than down on the sea feeding like in St Andrews Bay. I checked them for anything unusual. Sooner or later one of the surf scoters will make it past Fife ness. There was also a flock of about 10 long-tailed ducks a bit closer in. I watched them diving in synchrony. They spend so much time underwater that if I wasn’t looking exactly at the right place at the right time, it was if they weren’t there. A male red-breasted merganser fishing among the rocks like the goosanders of a couple of months ago completed the nice set of sea duck. Sea watching from Fife Ness was very quiet despite the strong southerly wind. Barely any gannets or kittiwakes this week. A couple of purple sandpipers on the rocks and some close guillemots were the only real highlights. I checked for the red-breasted flycatcher in the Patch at Fife Ness but it hadn’t been reported yesterday so I wasn’t hopeful. No sign of it so I suspect it left on Thursday night after a three day stay with us – about typical for a migrant this late in the year. It will have been in a hurry to get back on track to East Africa I cycled home feeling definitely like autumn has gone – my last summer migrant apart from the red-breasted flycatcher was a barn swallow over the old course last Monday. Another very late bird, although my latest Crail swallow was one over harbour beach on December 1st!

Male common scoter

Posted November 3, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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