June 4th   2 comments

It is a very quiet shore for waders now. Only two curlews and a handful of oystercatchers. Other species are building up in number though. There are a more eider chicks, three goosanders now, and the gull numbers are increasing – lots of first summer common gulls and a few returning black-headed gulls. And the big change – starlings everywhere now on the beach, in noisy churring flocks, as the more flight capable juveniles have come out of cover. Many still look very clumsy and all of the starlings are much more wary: normally you can approach starling flocks to within twenty five meters or so, but when the juveniles are freshly out and about then their flight initiation distance is up to 50 meters. The chance of any further spring migrants is receding, but there was a garden warbler at the top of Kilminning. It was very furtive but luckily gave a burst of song and sat at the top of the tree for a short while, otherwise it was skulking around like something much rarer. The sad news of the day is that I think the Balcomie shelducks with the three chicks last week have lost all of them – probably the day after. I haven’t seen them since the first day but have seen a pair loafing in the area every day since then. I am still hopeful for the pair at Sauchope though.

The female at the end of the golf course at Balcomie – no chicks in sight
But lots of starling chicks now

Posted June 4, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

2 responses to “June 4th

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  1. Hi Will, Similar observations on the other side of the Forth in East Lothian, North Berwick Coast. Last week we had a few non-breeding bar-tailed godwits, one grey plover, couple of Sanderlings and small flocks of passage ringed plovers. But very quiet on the wader front, mainly oystercatcher and a few curlew. All the whimbrel have moved on. First creches of Eider last week. Highlight though was the Terek Sandpiper! I enjoy your blog. Mike Thornton, North Berwick

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