Jan 24th   Leave a comment

Another perfect frosty day to walk along the coastal path. I looped from Kingsbarns to Kenly Water along the coast and back through Pitmilly. I was surprised to find another chiffchaff along the footpath at Drony Road. When I got to Kenly Water it was high tide and there was a really nice concentration of birds at the burn mouth. I added three notable absent species to my year list in five minutes: a greenshank and a flock of 30 lapwing roosting on the rocks, and then a juvenile male peregrine that was also attracted to the large number of birds. There was chaos for a while as a flock of 100 teal went up and flew off low along the coast, the lapwings went straight up to get above the peregrine as did the couple of hundred jackdaws and rooks that had been feeding on the shore. One lapwing was slower and got stooped at before making it to the safety of the flock above. The peregrine made a series of stoops on other birds but never seemed very “serious”. Peregrines often seem to hunt in a speculative kind of way, harrying and stooping without coming very close to a potential prey before peeling away, and never at the kind of speeds they are famous for. I think a peregrine is looking for an easy lunch when they do this. They can up the ante at any time if they spot a weak or inappropriately behaving individual. A carrion crow got fed up with this after a while and returned the favour, stooping at the peregrine, chasing it away around the coast towards Boarhills. Inland, as I walked up through Hillhead Farm to Pitmilly, there were the same large bunting flocks as Friday, including lots of corn buntings and 16 Lapland bunting circling around and then heading towards Boghall. Later on, on the western side of Kingsbarns village, there was another big flock of corn buntings. Presumably the same flock that shuttles between there and the fields to the north of the golf course at Kingsbarns.

Drake teal. The 100 at the mouth of the Kenly Water this morning is the largest group I have ever seen on my Crail patch (JA)

Posted January 24, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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