April 30th   Leave a comment

I covered 44 km today looking for corn buntings and added another 11 territories. My own total is now 93. A few of these will be just first year birds singing as part of mobile feeding flocks and so not real territories, but then a few of the multiple sightings I have will turn into separate territories. I haven’t done much west of Pittenweem so there will be many more to find, and there are still large flocks of corn buntings dotted around that haven’t even thought about getting a territory yet. It is all very encouraging. I am encountering pairs of grey partridges every couple of kilometers and there seem to be hares everywhere too. And two fields with yellow wagtails in them either side of the horse field, suggesting two or more potential nesting pairs (although still no sign of any females). The only thing missing is some warmer weather and a few more migrants.

Corn bunting singing despite the cold this week (JA)

There were more common whitethroats in today, singing from fieldside hedges all over. The sedge warbler that occupies the bramble patch just outside Crail on the north side of the Anstruther Road was also back singing this morning. And swallows over most fields, although concentrated in the lee of hedges and patches of woodland, or over fields with livestock in them, where the insects are concentrated. At Balcomie, the beach was deserted apart from the ever-present oystercatchers: nearly all of the redshanks have gone now. At the high tide roost on the rocks just north of Fife Ness (behind Stinky Pool) there were only whimbrel, curlew and oystercatchers. As the rocks north of Balcomie became covered so more whimbrels flew in to join them until there were at least eight.

Whimbrels roosting at Fife Ness this afternoon on the high tide – but how many? Look for the dark crown and paler crown stripe and the back feathers looking blurry (less defined paler notches) to pick out the whimbrels from the curlews (three of each) (JA)

Posted April 30, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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