June 29th   Leave a comment

Although we have had non-breeding curlews and oystercatchers on the rocky shore all month, I have been waiting for the first migrant shorebird of the season to reappear after the sanderlings and dunlins left us three weeks ago. It was a grey plover today. An individual with no sign of breeding plumage so probably a non-breeding adult. It was sat out with the moulting eiders on the rocks at Balcomie. And also at Balcomie, the shelduck chicks were still about. They are now much bigger and quite likely to survive to fledging now. But only 5 left out of the original 10. Not too bad for a bird that can live for 25 years at least: a pair only has to get two chicks to adulthood in a lifetime for the population to remain stable. The same thing applies to the eiders. A good thing because there are few chicks remaining now. Some are nearly fledged but I saw a mixed age creche this morning with two quite young chicks with a third at least a week older. It makes sense for any age eider chicks to gang together for safety in numbers.

The surviving shelduck chicks at Balcomie – see May 25th (WC)
Mixed age creche of eiders (there were only three left in this one – a third young one is following out of shot) (WC)
Grey Plover (JA)

There was a spectacular thunderstorm over Crail this evening. We hardly ever get thunderstorms on the East Neuk. Once or twice a summer. It was right overhead today, with hail and heavy rain – 3 millimeters in three minutes. That doesn’t sound much but it usually takes a good few hours of rain here to get three millimetres recorded on my rain gauge. The frogs in my garden were loving it – 23 degrees and maximum humidity – proper amphibian weather.

Common frog – this one is probably two years old

Posted June 29, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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