March 6th   Leave a comment

Now is the time to hear great spotted woodpeckers drumming. There is one drumming in Beech Walk park in Crail at the moment. I am often asked how I know the drumming is from a great spotted woodpecker without seeing it, and the simple answer is, we only have great spotted woodpeckers drumming in Scotland. If we were in eastern Europe we might have a short list of five or six species and auditory identification is a bit trickier.

There were quite a few people out on the coastal path and shore this weekend. A trend that will be going up and up over the coming weeks despite lockdown. The wigeon that roost on the rocks at the mouth of the Brandyburn and by the paddling pool were all displaced out into Roome Bay. Less comfortable for them, but it made them easier to count – about 20 – outnumbering the mallards. It is usually the other way round. At low tide there is a lot of shore, so disturbance doesn’t matter so much, and at high tide, most of the shorebirds are roosting, so although disturbance costs a bit of energy relocating, the birds don’t lose valuable feeding time. It always looks bad when people are wombling over the rocky shore, and species like the wigeon are displaced, but it probably doesn’t make a great deal of difference to the birds’ energy budget, except when it is really cold.

Male wigeon (JA)

Posted March 6, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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