October 15th   2 comments

Kilminning has settled down into a quieter period. There were a couple of bramblings among the newly arrived redwing flocks and a single fieldfare. There are still plenty of goldcrests but no obvious chiff-chaffs. Unusually though was a flock of long-tailed tits at the top, and then a second flock down at the bottom of Kilminning. It seems too much of a coincidence that these should be just appearing now if they were resident. They seem much more likely to be migrants like the goldcrests but they are not a species known for their migration. Perhaps they are dispersing Scottish birds that are working their way down the coast. There were a few bullfinches in among them as well – another ususual Crail species that has suddenly reappeared. The best birds today were two merlins over the field between the two Kilminning blocks. I saw a female merling making a stoop down into the field and then coming up with a skylark. It continued to fly rapidly in a strange zig-zag fashion low over the field. The reason became clear, a second female merlin suddenly came into my view, and stooped at the first. It responded by landing in the field and mantling its prey, the second flew back to the airfield. Raptors stealing prey from each other is fairly common – usually the larger species prevailing. These two merlins were equally matched and the first didn’t give way. It was probably worth the second bird having a go. If the stoop had been a surprise the first merlin may well have dropped its prey on the precautionary principle.

If you were reincarnated as a merlin, you would know you had led a good life last time (JA)

Posted October 15, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

2 responses to “October 15th

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. We had a large family of long tailed tits today too in North Fife – first we’ve had for ages.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s