Feb 9th   Leave a comment

The snow finally made it to Crail. With it an invasion of fieldfares. There must have been several hundred in the gardens of Crail today. I had about 60 in my back garden congregating around one of my small crab apple trees. The apples look beautiful and red all winter but nothing usually eats them – they are starvation food. There clearly weren’t many other options because the fieldfares were tearing into them. One of my resident blackbirds would chase off any fieldfare that landed under the tree for a fallen crab but there was no keeping away the others queuing up for a space in the tree. There were more flocks of birds displaced by the heavier snow inland passing along the coast through Crail all day – fieldfares, redwings, meadow pipits and particularly skylarks. Along the coastal path flocks of meadow pipits and the occasional fieldfare were feeding in the muddy springs which had melted the snow around them. There was also a single golden plover taking advantage of the unfrozen ground, uncharacteristically reluctant to fly. I walked carefully round it fearing a starving bird but it flew off strongly to the beach. There is still not much evidence of hard weather mortality and there were no corpses to be found along the path or the shore at West Braes. But it is going to be a cold night tonight and below freezing for much of the day tomorrow.

Part of the fieldfare invasion into Crail today
Fieldfare
The golden plover on the coastal path at West Braes – unusually tame and unusually alone

Posted February 9, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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