July 20th   Leave a comment

More yellow wagtails! A new pair in the potato field just outside of Crail on the Fife Ness road, on the left hand side. I was pacing around the field for most of the morning yesterday trying to work out whether there were three or four pairs of corn buntings now nesting in the field. Corn buntings don’t generally nest in potatoes but with the near continuous border of wild bird mix, now flowering, it seems irresistible. I just hope the potatoes aren’t harvested in the next four weeks otherwise this apparent bounty will turn into an ecological trap. I picked up the wagtails because the male yellow wagtail was chasing away any corn buntings that approached a small part of the field, and then I picked up the female nearby. This makes the eight or ninth nest this year! And to really add to this good number, I had a juvenile from a May nest flying over, and another today at Oldbarns (again in a potato field). Days out in the fields around Crail now have a yellow wagtail or two calling as standard. I have substituted Nigerian farmland with Crail farmland, but the swallows, whitethroats and yellow wagtails are the same, and in a week or two when the whinchats and tree pipits start passing, there will be even more in common.

On another note – there are lots of interesting or beautiful, or both, insects about. Six-spotted burnett moths are now everywhere. Day flying and colourful, reliant on being distasteful and advertising it rather than flying at night. And to our benefit, even brighter than the thistles that they feed on.

Six-spotted burnett moth (John Anderson)

Posted July 20, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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