May 11th   Leave a comment

It was really cold this morning for May. Three degrees with a reasonable wind to make it feel even chillier. I took an exercise cycle to Kilrenny just after sunrise this morning in hope of a hooded crow reported there recently. Lots of carrion crows and jackdaws  in the fields by the common but no hooded crow, saving me from the issue of deciding whether it is actually a real species or not, and so suitable to add another one to the Crail list. Having not seen it, I’ll keep it as a sub-species. I was also hoping for lots of corn buntings, but they thought it was very cold as well and few were allocating any energy to sing. There was a lot of singing in the more sheltered woodland of the common – lots of blackcaps. My route took me past Barnsmuir so the highlight like yesterday was the yellow wagtails. There were two males and a third bird, probably a female, in the same place as yesterday. The males looked like they had too much time on their hands, with females safely on early nests so they could sing and strut around. Which they were doing a lot of this morning. Their choice of strutting place and song perches is the main road and the wooden posts on the verge. Even with the covid lack of traffic they spent a lot of their time flying up out of the way, or even getting blown off their song perches. But yellow wagtails are a resilient, people and disturbance adapted species – whether foraging among cattle and herdsmen in West Africa, or elephant’s feet in East Africa, or farm machinery in Fife. They just popped back up and started singing again, irrepressibly cheerful and so bright yellow. I was cheered even as I was borderline hypothermic, but it was a short trip back home to a hot cup of coffee.

One of the cheering yellow wagtails early this morning (JA)

Posted May 11, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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