December 14th   Leave a comment

I only had an hour this morning, so I walked along the shore in Crail: this time of year it’s as good as anywhere. The redshanks were in the harbour as usual – only two of my colour-ringed birds left this winter. A male goosander flew over heading inland – they are fairly unusual now and will be until next July. The fulmars are hanging round their nests again at Castle Walk. There were four pairs this morning, sitting on their nest ledges and preening each other. They live a long time – 50 or more years – and invest a lot of time in pair formation. Our own mini albatross, taking years to get a successful breeding season in. I wish our Crail birds were colour-ringed. I expect I am seeing the same birds that have been on the cliffs all the time I have been in Crail. Not that I am volunteering to catch them – you need a long-handled net to get them as they glide by, and when this near impossible task works after hours of trying, they then cover you with projectile vomit. But it would be brilliant to know just how old our birds are. It changes your perspective when you realise that birds have been resident in a place longer than you.

One of our Castle Walk fulmar pairs this morning (WC)

I continued on to Roome Bay. There was a pair of red-breasted mergansers feeding close in with the goldeneyes. And a lovely grey wagtail among the rock pipits on the rocky shore below the cliffs.

Grey Wagtail (JA)

Posted December 14, 2019 by wildcrail in Sightings

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