October 22nd   Leave a comment

As I cycled out of Crail towards Fife Ness this lunchtime I noticed the wind was against me. Sadly, just a bit of north-easterly swirling around a weather front rather than a pathway from Europe. There were a few things about at Kilminning and the Patch: redwings, redpolls and a few blackcaps. No long-tailed tits though. There were several flocks reported yesterday and I have seen a few in the last week. They must have all been migrants that have now moved further inland. Another absence today was the gannets. They will be leaving us over the next month. I scanned the horizon today and only saw two: they will be further out rather than gone just yet, but typically I can count hundreds in a scan. It always feels wrong when there are no gannets passing Fife Ness, but winter is coming. They are only really absent for December and January. The highlight of my short trip out today was the big stubble field at the Balcomie end of Crail. As I passed, hundreds of skylarks flew up and started milling around. They kept at it in a swirling flock, like a loose starling murmuration. Then I saw the cause, a female merlin skirting around the edge of the field before flying up high and trying its luck stooping at a skylark and then a couple of linnets. I lost it over the airfield, still trying unsuccessfully to catch something. I left the skylarks still swirling, though now high up to stay safely above the merlin, some of them singing, just to let it know their invulnerability.

Gannet (JA). Off to the Bay of Biscay soon.

Posted October 22, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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