May 5th   Leave a comment

The best place to be today was again down at Balcomie Beach. The seaweed flies were coming out in droves attracting a flock of pied wagtail and among them, one or two yellow wagtails and up to four white wagtails. I was checking the flock for white wagtails when one flew up making the ‘tsip’ call of a yellow wagtail – a male yellow wagtail. It headed off towards Fife Ness. Five minutes later I picked it up, or a second yellow wagtail, in the same flock. Yellow wagtails turn up in odd habitats like most migrants: if there is food anywhere along the migration route then the habitat is suitable. Predation risk might then put a bird off from a novel habitat, but if there are lots of other birds of the same or similar species around then any risk will be diluted. The seaweed piles at Balcomie were obviously working for a lot of migrants: the wagtails, a few northern wheatear, a flock of turnstone, starlings, meadow pipits and a small flock of swallows, hawking low enough that they could have been snatching the flies directly off the seaweed. Some of the whimbrels of yesterday were still about on the rocky shore: I probably saw only about 15 around today. A black-tailed godwit was with one group – perhaps the same bird as last week.

The yellow wagtail at Balcomie today (WC)
One of the swallows taking a break from hawking seaweed flies (WC)
Native bluebells at Kilminning (WC)

Posted May 5, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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