May 25th   Leave a comment

Quite a contrast to last Saturday. Prevailing westerly winds for most of this week meant that there was only a small chance of anything unusual turning up. And so it was. Kilminning was very quiet, with only the now resident whitethroats and sedge warblers about. Balcomie Beach continues to have a large flock of sanderling, dunlin and ringed plover, all now in nice summer plumage and ready for their final flight up to the high Arctic to start breeding in a week or two. But best thing today was the appearance of a 10 shelduck chicks with the pair just to the north of the beach. The pair further north at the end of the golf course, and the pair at the east end of Saucehope caravan park haven’t got anywhere this year – either lost their eggs to a fox or didn’t even get started for lack of a suitable burrow. But at least one of our local pairs has made it to the chick stage. Once shelduck chicks get out onto the shore they are much safer. A pair of shelducks make formidable guardians, so as long as the chicks stay close to their parents most will probably make it. And further down the coast, my first eider chicks of the year. A creche of 12 with a couple of females, surrounded by a flotilla of males that were still trying their luck.

The shelduck chicks… (WC)
And the eider chicks at Balcomie this morning (WC)

This afternoon, I checked on the yellow wagtails at Barnsmuir Farm. I didn’t find any sign of them in their usual fields even though that was there the male was singing a month ago. But I did find a male and two females behaving in that agitated manner of birds with an active nest nearby about 2 kilometers away. Still breeding in Fife, but probably for the best a little bit more out of the way.

One of the local yellow wagtails (JA)
Thrift at Fife Ness

Posted May 25, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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