April 21st   Leave a comment

The wheatears and the black redstart had moved on overnight – the potato field at Balcomie just had a few skylarks in it today – but the common redstart was still at Kilminning. It was still using the fence as it main perch to feed from, but now in the south-west corner along the edge of the airfield. I hadn’t checked there yesterday. Once I was looking in the right corner it was obvious, a handsome male, flying down from the fence to pick up insects from the grassy tarmac below. Common redstarts are a bit hit and miss around Crail – there are one or two most springs and autumns but miss one at your peril – it might be the only one for the year. They are one of my favourite chats and seeing one in a mossy, west coast oak forest where its blues, reds and whites really contrast is always a highlight. And the redstart today transformed the decaying fence and crumbling tarmac of the airfield.

How to transform a decaying fence…the male common redstart at Kilminning this morning

Although some of the passage migrants had gone, there were more willow warblers in and more of them singing, and I heard my first sedge warbler at Kilminning. In the afternoon I checked the field outside of Crail where the yellow wagtails have been breeding for the last three years and, sure enough, there was a male perched on a telephone pole. Not quite singing but calling vigorously before disappearing down into a tramline in the low winter wheat quite close to where one of the nests was last year. I let the farmer know and although it is early days, it is a good sign of hopefully another breeding year for the only yellow wagtails in Fife. They breed in a very busy site, next to the main road to Anstruther and with lots of farm workers walking by on their way and back to the Crail co-op. I don’t think they are very susceptible to disturbance but they are probably best left to themselves for the next two weeks until nesting gets established.

One of the Crail yellow wagtails back today

Posted April 21, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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