November 30th   Leave a comment

I’ve been off the Crail patch the last two days – I was at Ruddon’s point by Elie looking for a Richard’s pipit. It felt like a major expedition because it is the furthest I have been since March. No luck with the pipit on either day. But Shell Bay is a nice spot, with lots of waders out on the beach including 30 bar-tailed godwit and ten grey plover. I tramped over the saltmarsh a bit and it was full of common snipe and rock pipits, with the occasional skylark. There were a few crossbills to be heard from the pine forest at the back of the caravan park. Today it was squally rain showers and the wind was fairly strong so not the most ideal conditions to find a small bird. Even so, if the Richard’s pipit is still there, it is not spending much of the time in an obvious place. On the way back I stopped at Kilconquhar to look at the loch. Another nice spot. Lots of goldeneye – probably over 40 – and a single male scaup.

Male scaup (JA)

The final stop of the day (the Principal of St Andrews University having given us all St Andrew’s day off) was a walk around the stubble field just adjacent the north-west corner of the golf course. A few Lapland buntings were found there over the weekend. Sure enough, I put up three groups of two birds, one of five and a singleton as I criss-crossed the field. At least 8 in the air at the same time and probably more than 11. The light was great and they often flew low and close around me so I could see their slightly gormless look (honestly it’s is a good id character), and enjoy their calls. There was also a covey of 26 grey partridge and a couple of corn bunting.

Lapland bunting with its characteristic slightly gormless look (JA)

Posted November 30, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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