July 30th   Leave a comment

I was cycling along the edge of Crail golf course on my way to Fife Ness this afternoon when something small flew up by my wheel from the longer grass behind the beach. A quail. It flew off, with distinctive whirring wings, straight across the golf course, where of course there was no cover so it kept going, staying visible for long enough for me to get my binoculars up to see the stripes on its back. It dropped down into some bracken by the club house as soon as it could and disappeared. But at least I have seen one of the 6 quail I have heard around Crail this summer. I suspect this will have been another bird just coming in from further south – if you are a quail there is still plenty of time to get another brood in this summer.

Otherwise it was fairly quiet at Fife Ness apart from the many painted lady butterflies still everywhere. Almost no puffins passing today even though the visibility was perfect and the sea very calm. There was a whimbrel on the rocks and a single manx shearwater passing in the twenty minutes I was there. I had a brief start as a small grey bird with rufous flanks flew up by the caravans. It was one of local juvenile stonechats starting to moult into adult male plumage.

The moulting stonechat (WC). What’s really unusual about this photo is that I have managed to photograph a buddleja today without a painted lady on it

Posted July 30, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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