August 8th   Leave a comment

It’s still all happening out in the sheep field next to the ruined doocote at Caiplie. The harvested brassica field and the newly planted one is full of birds. There were about 70 pied wagtails and the same number of meadow pipits and starlings, and amongst them like bits of treasure, at least five young yellow wagtails – 3 newly fledged juveniles from the nest in the field and two older birds that have moulted into their first winter plumage, perhaps from the early nests at Thirdpart or Barnsmuir. There are a couple of adults in the area as well. The very young yellow wagtails look more like brownish pied wagtails, with no hint of yellow except maybe on their vent – they have a black gorget as well. The fist winters are quite yellow underneath and stand out much more. And even more precious, a couple of tree pipits among the meadow pipits. They barely called so they were hard to pick out, until suddenly a bright white bellied and finely flank streaked pipit strode through my telescope field of view. But even so it was confusing with plenty of juvenile meadow pipits without flank streaks, and nice bright adults, covering their fat flank streaks with their wings. Mid-August is peak passage time for tree pipits through Crail. We have quite a few but if you are not looking hard and they don’t call then they are easily overlooked.

One of the juvenile yellow wagtails at Caiplie this morning (WC)

Balcomie Beach had a ruff yesterday but I missed it. Instead today there were four nicely summer plumaged knot first thing which were joined by another two at the high tide roost last thing. High tide at sunset tonight was great: it was a lovely evening so there were a few walkers on the beach. The waders responded by moving into the big harvested potato field behind the golf course. There were hundreds of waders spread out in the last of the sunlight. Golden plover, curlews, dunlin, ringed plover, redshank, oystercatchers, and among them the knot, a whimbrel (it called – I didn’t check all the curlews) and a sanderling. August wader flocks are always worth checking – like a field full of pied wagtails and meadow pipits – there will probably be something special there.

Returning summer plumaged knot (JA)

Posted August 8, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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