June 6th   Leave a comment

The weather has turned, June has notched up 8.4 mm of rain already – we only had a total of 11.6 mm for both the whole of April and May. A brisk north-easterly wind hasn’t done much to change the birds except to make my eyes water when scanning the beach first thing in the morning. The swallows and martins have been congregating wherever it is sheltered from the wind: in the lee of trees, buildings and the bank along the shore. There have been swallows practically crawling along the beach, they are flying so low: with a headwind, their effective ground speed is only about a meter a second so they could even pick flies up off the sand. Occasionally they land to do just that. I have been pondering the last three days how to take a photo to show this but John sorted it yesterday. Swallows are some of the most photogenic birds but they hardly ever slow down enough to allow themselves to be captured.

A barn swallow catching flies on the beach in the wind yesterday (JA)

Rabbit numbers come and go in the East Neuk as myxomatosis (another pandemic from a rabbit point of view) peaks and troughs. At the moment they seem to be doing well. Sauchope Caravan park is all young rabbits at the moment. This is fairly distracting for my dog, who forgets that even extender leads have limits in her red haze, despite the fact her last emergency stop was only a few seconds ago. Rabbits are important animals – they keep grass short (although this function is slightly redundant at Sauchope) allowing other plants that might get swamped a chance, and consequently allowing more insects and birds as the habitat is kept more diverse. They also provide a lot of buzzard and in the future for Crail, hopefully red kite food.

An important rabbit – this one at Balcomie caravan park this afternoon, enjoying the solitude

Posted June 6, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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