February 1st   Leave a comment

I picked the wrong time to go for a walk at Balcomie today. Initially it seemed like a good call: the dark sky and rainbow to the north made for a nice contrast against the sunlit beach. The sanderlings were intense bright sparks as they flew out towards the incoming cloud. But incoming it was and it soon set in to rain for the rest of the walk. There were still plenty of waders to see on the shore – dunlin, ringed plover, curlew, redshank, turnstone and purple sandpiper, with the two resident bar-tailed godwits and a grey plover a couple of bays along to the north by the end of the golf club. But even they looked soggy and like they were waiting for the rain to pass. I cut across the golf course to Balcomie Castle with puddles forming everywhere. The ground is saturated and there are a lot of pools still about (the big one between Caiplie and Cellardyke and another in front of Kingsbarns Distillery, for example). I hope some stay for the spring wader passage. If it was May now we could find wood sandpipers everywhere. A couple of grey partridges flushed from the now ploughed fields at Balcomie. Pairs of partridges are just starting to form now as the overwinter coveys break up for spring breeding. Despite the rain, it was mild today and spring doesn’t seem too far away.

Rain on the way at Balcomie
The two wintering resident bar-tailed godwits at Balcomie (JA)
Grey plover (JA)

Posted February 1, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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