August 10th   1 comment

The haar was in this morning so although Balcomie and Fife Ness were atmospheric, with invisible seal song drifting through the fog, it wasn’t great for finding that August special wader. That said I made out the six knots still in residence and a smattering of dunlin and sanderling. In thirty minutes seawatching in a small gap in the mist I had a bonxie and an arctic skua – the latter have been scarce so far this summer. Far out there were arctic terns dipping down to pick off the water looking beguilingly like black terns in the gloom, but the golden rule of – if the rare bird is always the one that you can’t see properly, then it probably isn’t a rare bird – applied. As I headed back between the golf courses I saw a harrier soaring low – a juvenile marsh harrier. I could just make out that it had a flappy tag on each wing but no details before it disappeared into the low cloud. It was probably one of the young from the nests that are being monitored in the Tay reedbeds. Marsh harriers are always a good Crail bird with one or two a year passing through in spring or autumn, and every few years a juvenile hanging around the stubble fields for a few days or weeks at this time of year. So worth looking out for – they are as big as buzzards, but look all blackish with longer thinner wings and a longer tail. I came back as usual though Sauchope where there were some sandwich terns and a single common tern roosting on the rocks at high tide close in, in front of the caravans. 

Marsh harrier – this one is an adult female but juveniles are very similar except darker (JA)
A sandwich tern juvenile being fed by an adult in the foreground, and a common tern in the background – more sandwich terns out of sight on the right, roosting at Sauchope this morning (WC)

Posted August 10, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

One response to “August 10th

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  1. Great image… Went out on my first official bird spotting/scoping trip today, Fifeness, saw three Goosander to the left of the pillbox, on the rocks out at sea, in front of the caravan site and stinky pool… Thought you might want to check them out, just saw your blog… Bill (Crail)… Would be great if they hang around and you can get a photograph of them, I had never seen this bird before… A first!!

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