April 2021 Sightings

April started bright and sunny, but with a cold wind. A Swallow was noted at Kilconquhar Loch (1st) with another along with eight Sand Martins noted at Gaddon Loch, two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Dalgety Bay and at Black Loch, Newburgh four Sand Martins, c8 Buzzards and two Ravens were seen. c200 Pink-footed Geese flew N over Aberdour, a Chiffchaff and a male Blackcap were noted at Waulkmill, Charlestown and noted passing Fife Ness were two Great Northern Divers and three Red-throated Divers, a Twite was seen in a Linnet flock at Elie Ness and a Blackcap singing at Kilmany (2nd) was the earliest recorded there by eight days, a Red Kite was seen at Kingsbarns heading towards Cambo and Fife Ness, at Out Head one Osprey, three Sand Martins, 19 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, five Long-tailed Ducks and one Slavonian Grebe were noted and in an Aberdour garden both Greenfinch and Coal Tit both appear to be nesting in a Cypress tree. At Blairhall Bing a pair of Ravens, a pair of Jays, one Tawny Owl, one Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Herons, one Mute Swan and three Buzzards were seen, a Peregrine allowed prolonged good views after catching prey at the Eden Estuary Centre and a Little Egret was also watched, a male Blackcap was seen in trees next to the River Leven at Methil, at Crail a Swallow was watched over farmland at Sypsies, a Great Crested Grebe was noted off Out Head and at East Devilla a pair of Ravens, four Buzzards and a Swallow were seen. At Boghall, Kingsbarns 90 Twite were still present and up Bishop Hill, two Curlews, one Stonechat and one Wheatear were noted, two Chiffchaffs were singing at Magus Muir, Strathkinness and counted off Leven were one Red-Necked Grebe, eight Slavonian Grebes, two Great Northern Divers, 25 Red-Throated Divers, 57 Long-tailed Ducks 63 Velvet Scoters and 37 Common Scoters. One Blackcap was heard at Low Valleyfield (3rd), at Knockhill, two Wheatears, a pair of Ravens and one Sparrowhawk were seen, at the Riverside Park, Glenrothes one Blackcap was heard singing and three Dippers were seen on the Lothrie Burn. A Blackcap singing in Balgeddie, Glenrothes yesterday? was the earliest record there. A Blackcap was at Barns Farm, noted off Lower Largo were one Black-throated Diver, 47 Red-throated Divers, 12 Slavonian Grebes, 41 Long-tailed Ducks, 337 Velvet Scoters, 181 Common Scoters and 98 Razorbills, also a big increase in Guillemots was noted. A male Blackcap was singing and three Sand Martins were seen feeding over the River Eden at Cupar and many Chiffchaffs were reported singing at Kinghorn Loch, four Long-tailed Ducks were off Pettycur Harbour, 10 Long-tailed Ducks, two Sand Martins, two Great Crested Grebes, at least three Stonechats and two Reed Buntings were at Out Head and at Mount Hill were one Raven and two Grey Partridges. One Raven and two Swallows were at Kincraig Head and nearby off Ruddons Point were two Great Northern Divers and 10 Slavonian Grebes, whilst not far away at Elie was another littoralis Rock Pipit, a Greenshank was at East Sands, St Andrews and an Osprey flew low over a retail park in Kirkcaldy heading NW. The highlights at Torry Bay were one Blackcap singing, three Chiffchaffs calling, six Great Crested Grebes displaying, two Grey Partridges and one Grey Plover, at Kilconquhar 10 Buzzards were watched soaring high up and across at Cameron Reservoir a Red Kite was seen over the west end. Noted at Gauldry were a Lapwing, one Buzzard, two Chaffinches, 20 Pheasants, one Kestrel and two Blue Tits, with three Herons, three Mute Swans, nine Mallards, nine Moorhens, one Song Thrush and a Chiffchaff all noted at Tayfield. Two Buzzards, c50 Pheasants, 27 Woodpigeons, 10 Jackdaws and two Chiffchaffs were all counted at Gauldry Woods and an early House Martin was seen amongst a few Sand Martins over Kilconquhar Loch (4th). A female Goshawk and a pair of Kestrels were seen in the Lomonds, a Twite was at Kincraig Point and at Cameron Reservoir there was a drake Scaup, one Whooper Swan and two Water Rails. The Green Sandpiper was seen from the hide again at Lochore Meadows CP (5th), at Pathhead 12 Long-tailed Ducks and six Velvet Scoters were offshore, a pair of Goosanders were on the burn and c20 Sand Martins were back at their nesting area, further west a Nuthatch was heard calling again in front of the Peacock Café in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline. In Kilmany (6th) six Crossbills were seen feeding in Alders and the male amongst them was also heard singing, also at Kilmany a Sand Martin went W, the earliest in the last 25 years there by nine days. At Kilminning, a Chiffchaff was at the top end and not far away at Sauchope, Crail a Sandwich Tern was seen. In Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy a female Ring-necked Duck was present, a Marsh Harrier passed over Mugdrum Island, being harassed by corvids and at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR a Water Rail was feeding in the open at the edge of the marsh c100 metres to the west of the car park, also two Swallows and c50 Sand Martins were seen over Gaddon Loch, two Sandwich Terns were off West Wemyss, with four also seen off Kilrenny Mill, with two Wheatears also noted there. At Cameron Reservoir there was a drake Scaup and one male Brambling, with a Whooper Swan and two Water Rails also seen there (7th). Watched at Kincraig Point were a Raven, one Peregrine and five Twite, a Willow Warbler was heard singing in gardens behind the Coop in Cupar and off Out Head were three Long-tailed Ducks, two Slavonian Grebes, one Great Crested Grebe and two Wheatears and off Braefoot Point a Red-throated Diver was watched fishing. There was no sign of female Ring-necked Duck at Beveridge Park (7th), also noted yesterday was a pair of Coots with six very small young, which was down to four today, a Green Woodpecker and 17 Slavonian Grebes in summer plumage were seen at Tentsmuir and counted off Lower Largo were one Great Northern Diver, 14 Redthroated Divers, 589 Velvet Scoters, 82 Common Scoters, 18 Long-tailed Ducks and 11 Slavonian Grebes.

A Kestrel was noted at Hawkcraig, Aberdour and seen at Out Head (8th) were three Wheatears and a Swallow, whilst at Auchtermuchty Common 18 Fieldfares and a male Peregrine were noted, eight Pintail, one Treecreeper, one Chiffchaff and two Bullfinches were seen at the Eden Estuary Centre and over at Cameron Reservoir (9th) were a female Ring-necked Duck, one drake Scaup and a Whooper Swan and counted at Holl Reservoir were c200 Sand Martins and a Reed Bunting. Five Sandwich Terns went W at Elie, a 2nd calendar year Glaucous Gull, a 2nd calendar year female Scaup, 12 Tufted Ducks, three adult Whooper Swans, 32 Sand Martins and 10 Meadow Pipits were counted at Craigluscar Reservoirs and two Red-legged Partridges were by the roadside near Gauldry. 1000 Pink-footed Geese went N over Anstruther (10th), one Great Northern Diver, 300 Velvet Scoters, 200 Common Scoters, 25 Slavonian Grebes and three Whooper Swans W were off Lower Largo and noted at St Margaret’s Marsh, Rosyth were 740 Pink-footed Geese, with seven Crossbills passing over, and one Water Rail and two Snipe were on the marsh, a Green Woodpecker was noted in the Falkland Estate and five Pintail, three Scaup, three summer plumage Slavonian Grebes and two Grey Partridges were at Coble Shore, Eden Estuary LNR, two adult White-tailed Eagles were watched circling high to the N of Cameron Reservoir. Counted at Morton Lochs NNR were three Mute Swans, two Canada Geese, 17 Mallards, five Tufted Ducks, 11 Moorhens, four Coots and two Goldfinches, two Mute Swans, 15 Tufted Ducks and c75 Herring Gulls were at Drumoig and at Linkswood Pond were four Little Grebes, one Canada Goose, four Shelducks one Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and one Chiffchaff. Also c250 Greylag Geese passed over N. 13 Tufted Ducks were at Newton Farm. An Osprey was watched heading NE over Anstruther, with another seen at the Eden Estuary LNR and at Cameron Reservoir the female Ring-necked Duck, one White Wagtail, one drake Scaup, one Whooper Swan, 15 Sand Martins and two Swallows were all noted. Four Grey Partridges were at Dunearn, Burntisland, a Swallow was at Carnbee Reservoir (11th) and two Water Rails were seen at Birnie Loch, with one showing very well next to the path from the car park, a Common Sandpiper, one Black-tailed Godwit, two female Pochards, four Swallows, six Sand Martins, one Canada Goose, five Whooper Swans and seven Gadwall were counted at Loch Gelly and over at Boghall, Kingsbarns c100 Twite, eight Lesser Redpolls, c20 Sandwich Terns and a Whimbrel were seen. A Nuthatch was heard calling in a strip of woodland slightly to west of the Peacock Café, in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline and two Chiffchaffs were also heard. A Wheatear was seen on Bishop Hill in the Lomonds, with another two Wheatears and also two Chiffchaffs seen at Kilrenny Mill, a single Black-tailed Godwit was seen at the Wilderness and a pair of Shelducks had started nesting at Dumbarnie GC. Not far away at Ruddons Point, a Great Northern Diver, 10 Slavonian Grebes, one Red-necked Grebe, 250 Common Scoters, five Sandwich Terns and one Swallow were seen, with two Ravens at Kincraig Point and three White Wagtails and one Wheatear were nearby on Earlsferry Beach. Letham Pools became another site to host a Ring-necked Duck, this year when a female was seen and over at Burntisland (12th) the Great Northern Diver was still present off the Harbour, also a Sand Martin was noted there. Four Wheatears were counted on East Lomond in the Lomond Hills and the Green Sandpiper was still present at Lochore Meadows CP, along with a Snipe, 37 Gadwall were also counted, while a Goosander and numerous hirundines were seen feeding on Loch Ore, a Puffin was a fairly unusual sighting off Aberdour at this time of year, two Sandwich Terns were off Kinghorn and counted off the eastern end of Leven were 79 Velvet Scoters and 47 Long-tailed Ducks. Another scarce bird for this time of year, a Manx Shearwater, was seen lingering with Kittiwakes off the salmon bothy at Boarhills and making their presence known in Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy were two Ring-necked Parakeets, a House Martin in Balmullo (13th), was the first of the year for that site and a Hooded Crow was seen feeding in field just north of the farm cottages at Boghall, Kingsbarns, also noted were two pairs of Grey Partridges, four Sand Martins, one Wheatear, six Lesser Redpolls, c50 Twite and five Corn Buntings. A House Martin went N over Dunfermline, with two Ravens, one Stock Dove and at least three Chiffchaffs, also seen. Two Willow Warblers were singing at Angle Park, a Common Sandpiper was watched from the Eden Estuary Centre and the first Willow Warbler was heard singing at Strathkinness. A 2nd calendar year Iceland Gull went N over Anstruther, two Willow Warblers, three Whooper Swans and one Sand Martin were at Craigluscar NR, the Green Sandpiper was still at Lochore Meadows CP and a pair of Shelducks were watched near West Lomond, an Osprey went over Kilmany (14th), a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, one drake Goosander, five Slavonian Grebes in full breeding plumage, with one pair also displaying and eight Long-tailed Ducks, were all at Out Head and several Sand Martins were seen prospecting the dunes. A drake Scaup, one Whooper Swan, one Common Sandpiper and four Goosanders were on Cameron Reservoir, a pair of Grey Wagtails were seen in St Andrews and c30 Whooper Swans were watched flying W at Aberdour and nearby at Dalgety Bay c90 Red-breasted Mergansers were spooked by canoes, then flew E. From Boarhills to Kingsbarns, two Sandwich Terns, 23 Twite, a pair of Dippers carrying food, a pair of Grey Wagtails and four Chiffchaffs were noted.

A Brambling was a good find in a Dalgety Bay garden (15th), a Nuthatch was watched again in Markinch, 130 Pink-footed Geese and a Crossbill passed over Kilmany, a Blackcap was in song along the Kinness Burn, St Andrews (16th) and at Cameron Reservoir, the female Ring-necked Duck, one drake Scaup, one Whooper Swan and one Common Sandpiper were present. Also heard were 18 Willow Warblers and two Blackcaps. A single Ring-necked Parakeet was noted in Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy (17th), two Willow Warblers and two Wheatears were seen at Wormiston, with a White Wagtail and one Wheatear nearby at Balcomie, a Willow Warbler was also seen in The Patch at Fife Ness. 40 Golden Plover were seen on Bishop Hill in the Lomonds, a 2nd calendar year Glaucous Gull, one Whimbrel and one Knot were at Ruddons Point and noted passing at Fife Ness were one Whimbrel, four Sandwich Terns and one Red-throated Diver, a 2nd calendar year Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid (aka Viking Gull) was seen at Tayport, a Green Sandpiper and two White Wagtails were at Rossie Bog, a Green Woodpecker and six White Wagtails were at Luthrie and further west, two Puffins were seen from Braefoot Terminal. A drake Pintail was at the Wilderness (18th) and at Letham Pools there were three Pochard. North of Pitcairn, Glenrothes, two Green Woodpeckers, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and two Yellowhammers were seen, a summer plumaged male Lapland Bunting, with possibly a second bird also, were seen at Boghall, Kingsbarns, with c120 Twite, one Raven, a flock 12 Corn Buntings and a Wheatear also seen. A male Ring Ouzel in a paddock at Dunnikier, Kirkcaldy was a good find and was in a field briefly with Mistle Thrushes, Song Thrushes and a Blackbird. A Wheatear was unusual for Cullaloe LNR and the Great Northern Diver was watched sitting out from the dock gates at Burntisland (19th), a Green Woodpecker was heard yaffling and several Red Grouse on the moorland were calling at Gask Park in the Lomond Hills, a Common Sandpiper was present at Luthrie and at Fincraig Farm Pond, Gauldry were two Dabchicks two Mute Swans, two Moorhens, two Coots and a Willow Warbler was heard singing. Vicarsford Cemetery had a Buzzard, nine Pheasants and two Magpies. An Osprey was watched from the Eden Estuary Centre, four Pintails were in Dalgety Bay and a stunning male Redstart was a good find at Kilmany, even better finds were a Green Woodpecker and a Nuthatch at Kilminning (20th), both were seen briefly though. Also at Kilminning were three Wheatears, two Stonechats, two Reed Buntings and a Peregrine flew over, a scarce Goshawk was seen W of Kinglassie and the Great Northern Diver was still off Burntisland. A Common Sandpiper was at the Wilderness (21st), a female Ring-necked Duck was at Cameron Reservoir, with a Sedge Warbler heard singing there also.

A Common Sandpiper was at Letham Pools (22nd) and a Grasshopper Warbler was heard reeling at Kilmany, across at Pittenweem a Whitethroat was heard near Pathhead Nurseries and another Whitethroat was heard at Bowhouse, St Monans. As well as an Osprey, a Swift was watched from the Eden Estuary Centre, a Tree Pipit went over Rumblingwell, Dunfermline and at Out Head (23rd) a Swallow and two Sandwich Terns were seen. Not far away at Blebo Craigs a Cuckoo was heard, a Whitethroat was heard at The Binn, Burntisland and the female Ring-necked Duck was still present at Cameron Reservoir (24th), with an Osprey and a Whooper Swan was also present. Two Wheatears were at Braefoot Point, with another noted west of Kingsbarns, seven Manx Shearwaters, three Arctic Terns and two Red-throated Divers were noted passing Fife Ness, five Whimbrels were on Balcomie Beach and six Sandwich Terns were seen between Kingsbarns and Boarhills. Single Whimbrel and Wheatear were noted at Ferry Hills (25th) and counted at Ruddons Point were one Black-throated Diver, 20 Red-throated Divers, 27 Long-tailed Ducks, 400 Common Scoters, c3 Whimbrels and a White Wagtail, at Kilminning were two Whimbrels N, one Whitethroat and two Manx Shearwaters N. A Yellow Wagtail was seen at Sauchope, Crail and some positive news came from Newburgh where a colony of c30 Sand Martins were at a recent excavation on the Cupar Road. A Tree Pipit went N over Bogward Road, St Andrews and there was a good count of c100 Golden Plovers on Bishop Hill in the Lomonds. Noted at the Eden Estuary Centre (26th) were one Spotted Redshank (in summer plumage), one Common Sandpiper, one Greenshank, one Whimbrel, two Pintails and three Black-tailed Godwits, including one colour ringed bird. In Glen Vale were one Ring Ouzel, two Wheatears and one Stonechat, at Letham Polls (28th) were two Little Ringed Plovers, one adult Little Gull, one 2nd calendar year Mediterranean Gull, three Pochard and c30 Sand Martins, a Cuckoo was heard calling in the Lomonds and a White-tailed Eagle was watched flying north over Parkhill Farm Newburgh (29th). Two Whimbrels flew north over Randolph Playing Fields, Kirkcaldy and at Letham Pools (30th) a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull was on the N side with a Grasshopper Warbler reeling at the W end. Noted at Loch Gelly were four Whimbrels, 19 Curlews, a pair of Shovelers, 16 Goldeneyes, at least one Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat singing. A Sedge Warbler and a Whitethroat were singing at Fife Ness and over at Cameron Reservoir the Whooper Swan and a Swift were noted, a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling in the dunes scrub at Earlsferry and not far away at Lower Largo a count there produced one Black-throated Diver, two Great Northern Divers, 40 Velvet Scoters, 15 Long-tailed Ducks and a Sandwich Tern. At Fife Ness c8 Whimbrels were counted at the high tide roost, with also a Wheatear present and over at Dalgety Bay another Whimbrel was seen on the beach.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware