August 8th   1 comment

I was at the mouth of the Kenly Burn just after lunch today. It is a great spot to sit and birdwatch: conspicuous birds and enough of them that when you have finished checking them out you can start again with a reasonable expectation of finding something new. There were about 130 canada goose. It’s now a summer usual for a big flock to spend July and August moulting there. They commute from the burn, where they roost, to feed in the newly appearing stubble fields nearby. There was a mute swan with them, perhaps one of the resident birds there. It was feeding quite happily in the sea among the gulls. There are always a good lot of gulls at the burn mouth, bathing and then preening or roosting afterwards on the rock. Today it was mostly herring and black-headed gulls with a few common and great and lesser black-backed gulls. Wader wise there was a flock of about 100 lapwing, some redshanks, 3 common sandpiper, a couple of whimbrel, a knot and a lot of oystercatchers, also using the burn for a bath. I heard a distinctive “chew-it” call – but sadly only once. If I had been in Norfolk I would have added a spotted redshank to the list, but in Fife it is a very rare bird – only one on my Crail list in nearly 18 years. My rule is to hear a call properly at least twice if you don’t see the bird. Passing by, at sea, there was a steady passage of sandwich terns and my first couple of fledged common terns of the year.

Canada geese and the mute swan at the mouth of Kenly Water this afternoon

Yesterday at Kilminning I couldn’t find any of the whinchats so they may have, indeed, moved on after the oat field was harvested. But I did find an adult whinchat flycatching from the powerlines over the field at the east end of Crail behind Sauchope. It was perched in the usual position that the corn bunting sings from that I can see from my house (if I climb onto the roof with a telescope…). I had a brief fantasy of cycling full speed home, clambering to the top of my house and adding whinchat to my garden list. Common sense prevailed and I just sat and enjoyed one of my favourite migrants as is. Whinchats are great flycatchers and when on the non-breeding grounds they usually spend the last hour of the day flycatching from the top of big bushes.

Posted August 8, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

One response to “August 8th

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  1. I am a new visitor to this coast and had not realised I needed my binoculars. I am so grateful that you provided this update so that I know what was out there. Thank you for adding to my very special day on this stunning coast.

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