August 9th   Leave a comment

The wind was easterly today and will be for the most of next week, with rain showers forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s slightly early but could bring some scarcer migrants. Things are already beginning to appear, with a tree pipit over at the sheep field at Third Part (although no yellow wagtails there – last August they congregated in the equivalent field), and then two whinchats at Troustie House. This is always a good spot for August whinchats, with its more scrubby field edges and bits of grassland. I suspect there were many more whinchats in the middle of the larger wheat fields. Fence lines are quick to check, but whinchats in the crop, even when perched at the top of it, are much harder to spot. Tree pipits are also very hard to spot because there are meadow pipits everywhere, and without a very good view you can’t tell them apart. If tree pipits call, of course, they give themselves away. I have probably only initially picked up a couple of tree pipits on sight around Crail. The great majority are by their distinctive flight call. As I checked the fields I picked up several corn buntings although it is too late to map their territories. Even so some were still singing and one at Sypsies was behaving like it still had an active nest in a field of ripening wheat. Such late nests run the danger of being squashed during harvesting.

A corn bunting at Sypsies keeping a close eye on me and its nest down in the crop

I sea watched at Fife Ness mid-morning. Slightly disappointing with only a couple of manx shearwaters. There were more reports of cory’s shearwaters in the inner Forth today so one passing Fife Ness any day soon is a real possibility. The highlight was a near adult plumage Mediterranean gull passing right over my head as I sat on the rocks as close the waters’ edge as I could get. Balcomie Beach was relatively quiet with only a handful of people on it and very few waders as well: a couple of dunlin and a ringed plover to add to the now ever present redshanks (and discounting the oystercatchers which are always there, any day, any season and any weather condition).

One of the Balcomie Beach oystercatchers that rarely get a mention because they are always there, which is the shame because they have everything going for them (JA)

Posted August 9, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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