November 13th   Leave a comment

West Quarry Braes is a piece of regenerating woodland out at Ribbonfield, northwest of Crail and by the old railway line. It is a Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve, although owned by Fife Council, much as Kilminning was. It is a neglected (not necessarily a bad thing) tangle of brambles, scrub and quite a few now large trees. There is a lot of building rubble in one area that makes walking through it difficult, and a huge badger set which also makes it tough going. At the east end is one of the few proper ponds in the Crail area (today it had 27 teal on it joining the resident moorhens). I was there this morning thinking about asset transfers to the Crail Community Partnership on the basis that even though the area is currently unloved, it is a bit of rewilding in progress, and it could easily be sold by the council for development. Definitely something to think about – every tiny bit of woodland or meadow we can keep for the future is worth it. As I left, I stuck my head into the only building still standing on the site to look for a roosting barn owl. I found lots of pellets and a few feathers, but no barn owl. Definitely one around but not currently in residence.

West Quarry Braes

I continued down to the shore through Wormiston. It was high tide and very calm at Balcomie. There were more teal along the shore and some long-tailed duck; a pair of goosander flew over, again like the bird last week, it is unusually late in the year to see them. There was an adult puffin fishing close to the shore: the first adult among the many juveniles that I have seen over the last couple of weeks. Otherwise, it was very quiet. Kilminning was just blackbirds.

Long-tailed duck (John Anderson)

Posted November 13, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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