June 16th   Leave a comment

I have been away in the Netherlands for a few days. I was lucky enough to spend two evenings in a flooded polder close to Groningen – a flood plain that has been allowed to rewild as insurance against the city flooding. It was a truly fantastic place, full of birds and more like a bit of central Asia than urbanised Western Europe. I had things like Baillon’s crake and whiskered terns, as well as many Crail rarities like marsh warbler, icterine warbler and black tern. And lots of bluethroats. After so many hours searching for them three weeks ago it was nice to see some at last.

A Dutch bluethroat – just so you know what one looks like, ready to let me know when one turns up in a Crail garden next spring (WC – taken through a borrowed telescope)

Back in Crail today there were lots of painted lady butterflies on a walk on the coast past West Braes. There has been a good influx this year, with individuals appearing in Crail a few weeks ago and with more coming in this week with the weak easterlies. They don’t survive as larvae well in Europe and don’t hibernate so any painted lady here is almost certainly a migrant, with most early ones coming from north Africa. There were several males by the gate down to the coastal path at the west of Crail, staking out territories on honesty plants (the ones with white or purple flowers). They were being very aggressive chasing each other and other species like whites and small tortoiseshells away from the flowers.

A painted lady at West Braes this afternoon – this one has been in the wars. Faded and with a beak mark on both wings, I can believe it has journeyed up from Morocco (WC)

Posted June 16, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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