September 16th   Leave a comment

The last two days have been a complete contrast. Yesterday was the second day without any wind and the sea became flat calm that the only ripples on the Forth were from the fishing boats. There was a slight haze so the horizon disappeared: all the birds and the boats on the water appeared to be floating in the sky. It was a perfect evening for seeing anything at sea. Scanning from Crail you could see seals everywhere, their backs and heads breaking the surface as they swam along, but because there was absolutely no scale they looked like otters or beavers or even water voles. It was quite surreal. I sat in Roome Bay at dusk and you could hear people talking from the other end of Crail, and the even the pipping of the house martins too high up to see. The wind is so constant on the coast that when it truly disappears it transforms everything. The evening was topped off with a female merlin, passing by in the half-light over the rocky shore.

Today was completely different. A frantic easterly breeze and seabirds – red throated divers most noticeably up in number from normal – scurrying past over the white horses. I tried my luck at Kilminning first thing, although without some rain a brief spell of easterlies is unlikely to amount to much. And so it was, perhaps some new willow warblers, goldcrests and a single garden warbler feeding on the elderberries in the barred warbler spot. Most noticeable was the large number of robins ticking away from the trees along the Fife Ness road and along the shore. They have started coming in – the first real winter songbird migrants. There will be a lot of fighting over the next few weeks as the resident robins put the onslaught of continental birds in their place.

The garden warbler this morning at lower Kilminning – it was a dark morning everything is a bit fuzzy
The antidote to my garden warbler photo – a Crail robin. Might be a resident, might be a migrant here for the winter (JA)

Posted September 16, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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