March 21st   Leave a comment

Yesterday I went looking for goshawks at a one of the most reliable sites closest to Crail. I spent a very enjoyable morning watch the skyline above the woods hoping to see a displaying bird: lots of buzzards, one or two peregrines, a couple of sparrowhawks and a brief view of a soaring female goshawk. Despite being the biggest, baddest raptor around, they are very hard to see. Late March is the best time when they display over their territories. Otherwise, they keep to the trees, and out of sight. There are now quite a few pairs in Fife but without hours of watching with a good view over their forest patches they are almost undetectable. There may well be a pair of goshawks breeding on the Crail patch, but we haven’t found them yet.

This morning I was trying to catch the corn buntings again at Kingsbarns. Despite very light winds and 80 corn buntings in two flocks they never came close to being caught. They are spending a lot of time sitting in trees and bushes alongside the fields, many of the birds singing, rather than moving around and feeding. I did see the single colour-ringed corn bunting from last week sitting on a wire, its white ring glowing and obvious. It was only about 150 meters from where we caught it. Good in two respects: first that their rings will be easy to see and second, it is always good to see any bird you have ringed, back to doing exactly what you expect it to be doing, unaffected by being caught and handled. The Lapland bunting was still present, in the same bit of stubble field as last week and again on its own despite the large number of yellowhammers and of course, corn buntings around. As I waited fruitlessly for the corn buntings, a flock of whooper swans flew over, heading north-east. There was a lot of whooper swan migration reported through Fife today, taking advantage of the light south-westerly winds. And later three common crane over Crail late this morning, also heading north-east: I missed them by ten minutes. Very frustrating. They soared over Pinkerton and headed off towards the airfield; three were seen over Aberdeen later in the afternoon.

Whooper swans heading north-east earlier this month (JA)

Posted March 21, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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