May 5th   Leave a comment

One of the good things about the lockdown – and there are one or two positive things – is the repetition of the same walk (cycle) every day so I can see the daily change. I have been doing the same route, more or less, for 43 days now, from the end of winter, right through spring. Watching the summer migrants come back is usually a stuttering affair for me, connecting the dots between weekends. You can go from the first migrant back, to having them everywhere in seven days: this has been happening this week with the sedge warblers. The first back, for me, on the 29th at Kilminning, and now this morning there are five territories with exuberant, singing males in them. Common whitethroats the same, except a bit further along. Each year there seem to be more and more, and there are still new territories popping up even 15 days after I saw my first. The swallows have been here for a month now and many will have built nests and started to lay eggs: I watched a pair flying into one of the ruined pill boxes today – a perfect cave substitute for them to nest in. There are a lot of pairs nesting at the airfield and using the old buildings this year. The last regular migrants to arrive are the swifts – now on day 3 in Crail. I counted 7 over my garden this evening. The rest will be around, but it is cold so they will be feeding over wetlands further inland most of the day. The last regular migrants of all to arrive are the arctic terns. They should be here any day now. We can forgive them their late arrival considering they have come back all the way from Antarctica.

A male barn swallow at the airfield this morning
One of the new sedge warblers singing this morning at Kilminning

I had an orange tip butterfly in my garden this afternoon. These fast flying butterflies are easy to identify, despite their never staying still, because of their very conspicuous orange tips to their white wings (they are well named). When we first moved to Crail we were surprised to see them – they are very rare this far north. But over the years they have become more common as one of the beneficiaries of global warming. They are still a good sighting in Fife though.

The orange tip butterfly in my garden this afternoon

Posted May 5, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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