November 28th   Leave a comment

There was a seal pup at Fife Ness on Thursday. The Iceland gull put it out of my mind that day. But it’s worth mentioning. The grey seals have been giving birth on the May Island this autumn as usual, and some of the pups are now getting large enough to be left to fend for themselves. They load up with milk and huge amounts of fat. Seals are not the slimmest of mammals but the newly weaned pups are almost circular. The rotund seal pup at Fife Ness had hauled itself up onto the rocks by Stinky Pool to continue its moult. It still had its pup white coat but it was surrounded by shed hair and you could see its grey, second coat below. It’s a misconception that these pups need rescuing. They just need time to moult, grow and develop, and to be left in peace. Their mothers have weaned them and although not capable of independent living yet, they have fat reserves enough for weeks while they do learn to be proper seals.

Grey seal pup at Fife Ness on Thursday

I walked through Cambo and along Kingsbarns Beach this morning. The woods had a single very large tit flock in it with double figures of treecreepers and long-tailed tits in it, and a couple of great spotted woodpeckers. Away from this flock the trees were empty. At the mouth of the Kenly Burn there was good sized roost of common and black-headed gulls and about ten goldeneyes. The sea was flat calm to the horizon, with a few red-throated divers, red-breasted mergansers and long -tailed ducks. I picked up four distant whooper swans, far out to sea, heading up the coast. On the way back there were plenty of blackbirds and redwings in the gardens. It’s always a nice winter walk, plenty to see, and the variety of habitats gets you a good list. Cambo must get a lot of rare birds but they get lost in the much bigger area of habitat: it’s all much more concentrated and findable at Fife Ness and Kilminning.

Long-tailed Duck (JA)

Posted November 28, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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