September 26th   Leave a comment

My son has gone back to Glasgow University at last. Great for him for any number of reasons, and great for me because I now have full access to my sea watching telescope which sits in front of his bedroom window, overlooking the Forth. Finally, sea watching from my house first thing in the morning is an option again – and this is when a lot of seabirds are on the move. This morning, within five minutes, I had a Slavonian grebe flying by accompanied by two common scoter. Initially I thought a teal was with the scoter, but an overall greyish brown tinge made me suspicious and then I saw the white wedges on the inner trailing edge of the wing. Any grebe other than a little grebe are very rare past Crail or Fife Ness. Slavonian grebes have appeared on my Crail year list in only 6 of the last 19 years, red-necked grebes in 3 years, and great crested and black-necked grebes only once. All of these are not too hard to find in the inner Forth during the winter, but when they arrive and leave, they don’t seem to pass us.

Later in the morning I walked from Kingsbarns to red sands at Boghall and then back along the Drony Road. Again, strangely empty of corn buntings, although a flock of seven flew over calling heading towards the stubbles to the north of Kingsbarns that were so popular last year. Perhaps they are all there already. At the sheep fields of Boghall there was a large flock of linnets but no twite. On the beach there were two grey plovers – the first of the winter. There was a flock reported from the Eden today as well so perhaps they have just arrived. There were also bramblings arriving today – the first were reported from a few places in the East Neuk, including one I had flying over my garden calling. The good weather makes it easy for the winter visitors to arrive even if it doesn’t make for good conditions for vagrants. We should expect some redwings in, any day now.

Grey plover (John Anderson)

Posted September 26, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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