April 2024 Sightings

April started with a few sightings coming in of Sand Martins, Swallows and Wheatears, though none were in large numbers. A White-fronted Goose was with Greylags and Mute Swans in a grass field on the north shore of Cameron Reservoir (4th), and an Osprey was seen heading over Skelpie Farm and the first of many White Wagtails this spring was at Luthrie, alongside 25 Pied Wagtails and 75 Meadow Pipits. At least four Ospreys, three Ravens, a female Merlin and four Kestrels were seen at Loch Glow (5th), the drake Smew and an Osprey were seen at Cameron Reservoir (6th) and still present at Kilconquhar Loch was the female Long-tailed Duck. Also noted there were 11 Red-breasted Mergansers and an early House Martin. A Common Sandpiper was at Guardbridge (7th) and seen at Kinghorn were four Long-tailed Ducks, three Red-breasted Mergansers and c40 Common Scoters. There was a more substantial flock of Sand Martins seen at Loch Fitty, with c400 noted.

A drake Pochard, the first Blackcaps and six House Martins were seen at Birnie and Gaddon Lochs LNR (8th) and seen off Fife Ness were one Arctic Tern N, four Long-tailed Ducks S, five Red throated Divers N and three Black-throated Divers N. There was a good count of 56 Red breasted Mergansers at the mouth of the River Leven at Leven and two Ring Ouzels showed well at Kilminning (9th). Seen heading over Ferry Hills (10th) were a Brambling and 3220 Pink-feet N. White Wagtails were seen again, with four at Dalgety Bay and seven at Braefoot Plantation and seen passing Fife Ness were two Sandwich Terns, 21 Common Scoters, four Red-throated Divers and c20 Pink-footed Geese, whilst at Lower Largo (12th), two Black-throated Divers, 500 Common Scoters and 50 Velvet Scoters were seen. 350 Common Scoters and two Sandwich Terns were seen from Kinghorn and a superb male Redstart was a great find in a St Andrews garden. Two Greenshanks were at the much-missed pool at Rossie Bog, two Pintail, one Whimbrel, two Wheatears and four Brent Geese were seen at Coble Shore (13th) and a few more White Wagtails were seen, with seven at Cocklemill Burn and one at Ruddons Point. A very obliging flock of 12 Waxwings were seen at Coaltown of Wemyss and another two Ring Ouzels were a good find at Drumcarrow. A female Marsh Harrier came in over the Forth at Kinghorn (14th), with three Golden Plovers N and 114 Meadow Pipits N also noted passing through. A Grasshopper Warbler was heard “reeling” at Boarhills and a Cuckoo was seen at Tayport. Maybe spring was here after all! It didn’t feel like it in the colder weather though. Seen from Elie were three Manx Shearwaters and five Sandwich Terns.

11 Black-tailed Godwits were at Dalgety Bay (15th) and an early Lesser Whitethroat was at Kinghorn, where c300 Common Scoters were noted offshore. A Green Woodpecker was calling at Lathrisk, near Freuchie and another Common Sandpiper had trickled in, this time at Luthrie. A solitary Knot was at Dalgety Bay (16th) and noted at Loch Fitty were one Common Sandpiper, 120 Sand Martins, 10 Willow Warblers, eight Chiffchaffs, two Redpolls, two Jays, 64 Greylag Geese, eight Pink-footed Geese, 21 Canada Geese, 23 Tufted Ducks, four Goldeneye, four Gadwall and c4 Great Crested Grebes. 18 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and one Dark-bellied Brent Goose were in Balgove Bay and c70 Whooper Swans were still present near Freuchie. The White Wagtail flock at Braefoot Plantation had risen to 26 by (17th) and a count at Lower Largo produced 63 Red-throated Divers, 39 Velvet Scoters, 301 Common Scoters and nine Long-tailed Ducks. Seen from Ferry Hills (18th) were two Tree Pipits N and 1250 Pink-feet N, a Barn Owl was seen near Falkland and noted passing Kinghorn (19th) were 28 Black-tailed Godwits flew W, with c750 Common Scoters on the sea. At Knockhill, two Cuckoos were heard calling and a Grasshopper Warbler was heard “reeling”, an Osprey passed over Dunfermline heading NW, with another bird seen at Loch Fitty. A Lesser Whitethroat was heard singing near Stenhouse Reservoir, with c15 White Wagtails also noted on the flooded field there. A drake Pochard was seen at Letham Pools and seen off Fife Ness were one dark phase Arctic Skua S and five Manx Shearwaters N, two Common Sandpipers were at Clatto Reservoir and a Grasshopper Warbler was in the NW corner of St Margarets Marsh, Rosyth (20th). Seen from Kincraig Head were one Tree Pipit, three White Wagtails, 27 Red-throated Divers, one Black throated Diver, one Slavonian Grebe and 635 Common Scoters and off Fife Ness (21st) were two Arctic Terns N, nine Sandwich Terns, one 2nd calendar year Little Gull N, two Manx Shearwaters N, 17 Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers, 58 Barnacle Goose N, three Whimbrels S and 21 Long-tailed Ducks S, also there was a new record day count of Common Scoters (337). Noted from Kinghorn were one Great Northern Diver E, four Red throated Divers W and 800 Common Scoters on the sea, a Whitethroat was at Out Head and seen at Guardbridge were two Slavonian Grebes, four Brent Geese, 22 Pintail, one Little Egret and one Greenshank. Two drake Scaup and one Little Egret were at Tayport and a single White Wagtail was seen at Valleyfield Lagoons.

At Blairhall (22nd), a Garden Warbler was heard, a Whimbrel and two Pintail were at Tayport and seen at Hawkcraig Point were 10 Pintail, one Tufted Duck W, 13 Scaup, 115 Razorbills, 24 Puffins and one Whitethroat. Single Lesser Whitethroats were seen at Ferry Hills and Seafield (23rd) and at Langdyke two Tree Pipits and one Green Woodpecker were seen. Four Waxwings were in trees by the entrance to Ferry Hills (24th), then flew off NW, the Lesser Whitethroat was also still present, c15 Whooper Swans were still in the fields to the N of Freuchie. Seen from Fife Ness were one Arctic Skua N, one Manx Shearwater N, 34 Red-throated Divers N, 18 Sandwich Terns N and two Common Scoters N and there was a good count of 24 Purple Sandpipers at Seafield, nine Long-tailed Ducks, c12 Sandwich Terns and one White Wagtail were seen at Out Head. Noted off Fife Ness (25th) were one Bonxie N, two Manx Shearwaters N, 28 Sandwich Terns N, 4S, nine Red-throated Divers N and three Fulmars N, two Common Sandpipers were seen at Harperleas Reservoir and a Short-eared Owl was seen at Muirhead Farm. A Green Sandpiper was at Morton Lochs NNR (27th), one Arctic Tern, one Wheatear, one White Wagtail, five Bar-tailed Godwits and two Whimbrel were off Fife Ness and at Cameron Reservoir were two Grasshopper Warblers and two Canada Geese. A Sedge Warbler was singing at Boarhills Pond, also four Whimbrel were there. Seen from Coble Shore were eight Pintail, one Little Egret and three Long-tailed Ducks and a scarce Cuckoo was calling at Lockshaw Moss, where a Wheatear was also soon. Seen at Falkland (28th) were one Tree Pipit, three Ravens and one Green Woodpecker and there was a good selection of warblers at Seafield, with one Whitethroat, one Lesser Whitethroat, one Willow Warbler, one Chiffchaff, two Greylags and seen offshore were eight Gannets, 83 Common Scoters and two Sandwich Terns. Two Arctic Skuas were off Kingsbarns Beach, a Bonxie went N past Fife Ness and seen at Guardbridge were a Ruff, 25 Black-tailed Godwits, 11 Long-tailed Ducks, one Slavonian Grebe and three Little Egrets. A Grasshopper Warbler was heard at Seafield, with another heard at Kincardine, four Scaup went past Fife Ness N, a Wheatear was at Dalgety Bay (29th), with two Whimbrel and one Woodcock nearby at Braefoot. A Sedge Warbler was at Stenhouse Reservoir, two more Grasshopper Warblers were at Balgownie Woods and the first Swift of the year was seen at Kilconquhar, where two Sedge Warblers were also seen. Seen off Fife Ness were one Bonxie S, 106 Common Scoters, 96 Sandwich Terns, one Red-throated Diver N, 6S and two Black-throated Divers N and seen off Elie were one Arctic Skua, one Great Northern Diver and six Long-tailed Ducks. The month closed with a Yellow Wagtail (Blue-headed) at Luthrie (30th), two male Ring Ouzels at Anstruther, another Ring Ouzel at Kittock’s Den, two Little Terns and two Grey Plover at Out Head, one Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper at Seafield, eight Waxwings in Kirkcaldy and three Stonechats, one Wheatear and a Cuckoo in the Lomond Hills.