April 20th   Leave a comment

More great migration weather and more great migrants coming in today. A flock of sand martin over Kilminning, my first house martins over Crail, lots of northern wheatears in the bare earth fields around Crail (one at Balcomie had at least 5 in it), barn swallows now everywhere and more willow warblers. No sign of the yellow wagtails back at Barnsmuir this afternoon though – the fields are better habitat than last year, although not so damp, so I’m reasonably hopeful for them breeding again this year, if they return. There was an influx of yellow wagtails in the Lothians today so I think our yellow wagtails will be back tomorrow. Another black redstart was found out at the cottages at Balcomie and I managed to connect with this one in the afternoon. It was feeding in a recently irrigated bit of potato field, using a low stone wall on the edge to fly down for insects on the ground. It was fairly shy and I had to sit in the adjacent sheep field for about an hour before it came relatively close. It was a female type – pretty much all sooty grey apart from its dark red tail. This might be an adult female, or it might be a young male. Some males stay looking like first years even when they breed for the first time. There was also a common redstart found at Kilminning, atypically out in the open, on the wire fence by the SWT sign. I got there too late – I suspect it had retreated into some more typical wooded habitat. Still there is always tomorrow to find it again. The wind is now south westerly for a couple of days but is back easterly on Monday for the rest of the week, with rain showers forecast for Thursday and Friday. So all lining up well for next weekend. But I think there is more to be found this weekend though…

Today’s black redstart at Balcomie cottages
Finally getting a bit closer

Posted April 20, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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