October 7th   Leave a comment

I only had an hour this morning at Kilminning on my way to work today but it was well spent. A gale blowing and redwings blowing with it like leaves. Every tree gave off a puff of departing redwings, with good numbers of blackbirds and song thrushes, and one fieldfare. All in overnight from Scandinavia and now setting off again inland for their wintering sites. The top of Kilminning had a couple of yellow-browed warblers and bramblings, lots of goldcrests, a lesser whitethroat, a few chiffchaffs and a woodcock zooming off ahead of me among the sycamores. At the bottom of Kilminning I found what I was really looking for – a male ring ouzel flying up from the rowans giving its distinctive angry, deep chacking call. It looked huge amongst a flock of the much smaller redwings and showed the white breast band of an adult male. This is my 161st species for the Crail year list putting me equal with the current record. I am optimistic about beating it spectacularly this year! There were lots of ring ouzels coming in yesterday on the east coast but we somehow missed them: they are always best found first thing in the morning at Kilminning, usually in the teeth of a gale. Look out for big blackbirds with pale fringes to their feathers and big paler bands across their breast – there will be some in Crail gardens this afternoon. I also saw the barred warbler down at Kilminning in its usual bush this morning. I wasn’t looking for it, so it of course popped up right in front of me. There is a lesson there somewhere.

Male ring ouzel (JA)

Posted October 7, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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