Jan 11th   Leave a comment

The temperature was up 10 degrees today compared to Saturday. From frozen to damp and mild. A great relief for every small bird around Crail. Most birds manage a couple of days of hard frost and wind without too much trouble, but still sensitive species like stonechats and wrens will have found it a lot easier today. A chance to get fat reserves back on. I did a quick walk around Crail before the heavy showers that came in from the North Sea late afternoon. There were still a lot of skylarks and fieldfares in the stubbles by Pinkerton and a single Lapland bunting. The partridges were beginning their annual breakdown – literally. The big coveys that form after breeding split into pairs and they start being territorial. It makes partridges this time of year a bit conflicted. I saw several males standing on the little tussocks formed by the recent field drainage work in the field between Pinkerton and the airfield. They were screeching aggressively at each other like so many rusty wheelbarrow wheels. But as I came closer they formed back up into a flock to fly away over the road. There is safety in numbers and the “survive the winter” imperative is still dominating over “breed successfully in the spring”.

6 of a covey of 11 grey partridges at Cellardyke yesterday: quite at peace with each other but ready to explode into breeding pairs any day soon

Posted January 11, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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