May 26th   Leave a comment

I was surveying corn buntings just north of Kingsbarns this morning. It was very rainy but it didn’t keep the corn buntings down. There were at least 5-6 territories in the fields adjacent to the golf course – last year it was 7. It is one of the highest density areas for corn bunting in the East Neuk. There were lots of whitethroats, yellowhammers and reed buntings wherever there was a bush or gorse patch left between the fields. I watched a pair of oystercatchers making a scrape in a newly sown bare earth field. At this time of year you see oystercatchers apparently just sitting out in the middle of bare earth fields – they might look too conspicuous to be actually on a nest but they probably are. Oystercatchers are aggressive nest defenders so rely less on having a hidden nest.

Male reed bunting on a sunnier day (JA)

This evening I came across what I thought initially was a really small bumble bee. On a closer look it turned out to be a fly mimicking a bumblebee – a narcissus fly. It is a really good mimic and I expect I have overlooked it in the past. Its larvae are major pests on daffodil and bluebell bulbs so I suspect it will be pretty common around Crail. Once you learn to recognise a new species you suddenly see it everywhere so I expect this will be the first of many this summer.

Narcissus fly (WC)

Posted May 26, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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