November 7th   Leave a comment

The sanderlings are really back on Balcomie Beach now. There were 55 at least this morning. It was hard to be exact in the keen north westerly wind this morning. There were a few gulls on the beach too, including a pristine adult Mediterranean gull. This is probably the one we see every so often when sea watching. At Fife ness this morning there was a steady stream of little auks, almost all well out to sea. I was there from about 10 onwards and earlier many had been leaving the Forth and heading north. But by the time I was there, most were heading south. Probably three or four every minute. There were certainly many fewer little auks than yesterday, razorbills were the commonest auk today. Still a few puffins as well. Without the auks it would have been very quiet: a few goldeneye, red-breasted merganser, long-tailed duck, common scoter and pink-footed geese. The wind died down by lunchtime and Kilminning was quiet in all respects apart from blackbirds, long-tailed tits and goldcrests. I think the autumn – in terms of rare migrants – is pretty much over, even if it never really got started this year.

Adult Mediterranean gull at Balcomie Beach this morning (plus one of the 55 sanderling)

A photo of black-headed, Mediterranean and herring gulls which shows well how the structure changes across small, medium and large gulls. Note the bills (delicate, medium and chunky), how the head shape becomes flatter, and the shift in the leg position on the body. Black-headed like most small gulls are more front than tail; Mediterranean is more tail and wings than front; herring has a much more extended back compared to front so the legs look far forward.

Posted November 7, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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