September 7th   Leave a comment

Although the winds are wrong, it feels wrong not to check out Kilminning at this time of year. And there could be a barred warbler hiding out there after the mid-August easterlies. There were a few migrants this morning, although all probably from the west. There were juvenile willow warblers mixed in with a big mixed flock of tits and goldcrests. And there were blackcaps chacking everywhere, enjoying the elderberries. The most obvious were the swallows. It is hard now to tell the residents from the birds passing through. It was a lovely day today with little wind so the swallows weren’t in a hurry, congregating in flocks around the sycamore canopies. A sparrowhawk passing through on a hunt got short shrift as it was suddenly dive bombed by twenty mobbing swallows – no chance of surprise with that much aerial surveillance.

One the blackcaps feasting on elder berries at Kilminning today (WC)

I was back at Balcomie this afternoon watching the still present curlew sandpiper and the other waders dodging the walkers around the beach. I think it bothered me more than the birds, with only a few minutes lost over the hour I sat there because they settled back on another bit of the beach straight away. In the end all the waders finished up on the less attractive (to walkers) more rocky and algae covered south section– and this was the bit where I was sitting, so it all worked out in the end. There was a fourth bar-tailed godwit but otherwise the same waders as yesterday I think.

The curlew sandpiper, closer today (JA)
And also far… (WC)

At Fife Ness there was a steady skua passage going north but with most birds except for a dark phase arctic skua very far out. I identified about 6 great skuas in 30 minutes but there was the same number of unidentified ones in the distance. I was really looking for sooty shearwaters, which have been very scarce and I haven’t seen one this year: there were a lot of fulmars passing and about 8 manx shearwaters but still no sooty.

Fulmars (JA)

Posted September 7, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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