May 10th   Leave a comment

Overnight the weather has regressed to early March, with a brisk northerly wind and five degrees first thing this morning. We even had some rain – 3.6 mm last night which is more than we had for the whole of April. The ground is so dry that there was barely a puddle this morning. I did a longer loop this morning to include the fields to the west of Crail. There were two male yellow wagtails at Oldbarns, easily visible as they fed along the main road. No sign of females but they should be on eggs now and sitting tight on a cold morning like today. Hopefully, we have at least two nests on the go (males can have more than one female and nest): I will be back at least in a couple of weeks to see if they are feeding chicks. Otherwise this morning it was hard work – just too eye-wateringly windy. There were a couple of northern wheatears on potato fields at Sypsies. No sign of the flycatchers at Kilminning although they will have been keeping to sheltered cover. I can’t imagine they left last night. On a very windy morning sometimes the only thing to do is seawatch so I had a look from Fife Ness. The Firth of Forth breeders were passing close in – gannets particularly as they sheltered from the wind before exiting the Forth. There were a lot of fulmars further out and puffins heading back in with the wind behind them. The puffins were more obvious than usual because they were flying high to get the maximum wind boost back to the May Island. I should think they were going faster than 60 kmh. Anything going north was doing the opposite, staying low to minimise the headwind, and the rough sea made most things only intermittently visible behind the waves. We sometimes get storm petrels past in May – they would have been hard to spot today it they were there.

One of the males feeding along the Anstruther – Crail road this morning – they really are incredibly yellow, particularly on a dull day
Male yellow wagtail at Oldbarns from a couple of years’ ago (JA)

Posted May 10, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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