September 5th   Leave a comment

I have been out to Balcomie Beach twice today. The first, a late lunch break to take the dog out and see something other than my computer screen, was fairly relaxed. I checked out the 75 or so dunlin on the beach looking for curlew sandpipers and little stints, and the 50 ringed plover for little ringed plover. No luck but pleasant enough. The three bar-tailed godwits were still on the beach too. My second visit wasn’t so relaxing. A text came through at 5 pm – a curlew sandpiper on Balcomie Beach. Not a major rarity, but a once every two year bird for Crail so well worth seeing. I had to do some family things so didn’t get cycling down there until after 6. There were still dunlins and ringed plovers on the beach, but I had just missed the curlew sandpiper. I spent an hour in the deepening gloaming and increasing wind scanning the line of small waders all along the beach, with only the occasional sanderling among the dunlin to get me briefly excited. A wader flew in last thing with a white rump, but it turned into one of the lingering knots as it landed. It was a shame – it wasn’t a bad bit of birding this evening, but it was coloured by the disappointment of not finding the curlew sandpiper. There were goosanders, house martins at touching distance over the beach and then the same for a swift that came in off the sea and started hawking very low in front of me, apparently very hungry. As I headed back to Crail I watched a kestrel hovering very high above the golf course. They are almost owls with their love of dusk and dawn and voles.


Posted September 5, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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