August 2020 Sightings

The opening day of the month was a busy one starting with a report from Kinghorn comprising 21 Common Scoters, two Goosanders, 24 Manx Shearwaters, two Whimbrels and one Arctic Skua. Mediterranean Gull reports commenced with a single adult at Kirkcaldy’s Torbain School and two adults, five second-summers, three first-summers and two juveniles at East Wemyss where there were also three Sandwich Terns, two Common Terns and three Common Scoters. Along at Torry Bay, a count included 23 Black-tailed Godwits, two Common Sandpipers, two Grey Wagtails, one Greenshank, one Kingfisher and a Knot. Up at Kilminning there were c15 Willow Warblers, one Whimbrel, a Peregrine, four Whinchats, a Tree Pipit and an Arctic Skua over the sea with another of this species noted over Out Head. There were regular reports from Fife Ness throughout the month starting with eight Velvet Scoters, 15 Common Scoters, three Teal, nine Knot and one Manx Shearwater north. Balcomie hosted 49 Dunlins (47 juveniles), one Sanderling, two Wheatears, five Whimbrels and 13 Goosanders whilst five Common Crossbills flew over the Dunfermline-Oakley cycle path. Observations at Ferry Hillsopened with 31 Tree Pipits over (1st) then 44 of this species the next day as well as one Bonxie and nine Gannets flying inland and nine Crossbills. Kilminning held five Whinchats and two Common Sandpipers with three of the latter species noted at Ruddons Point where there were also c130 Sandwich Terns (adults and juveniles), one adult Mediterranean Gull over, one Whimbrel, one Grey Plover, three Dunlins, four Common Scoters, one Wheatear and two young Kestrels. Nearby at Kincraig Point, there were two Whimbrels and four Wheatears with two Arctic Skuas offshore. A report from Guardbridge included ten Little Egrets (in one group flushed by an Osprey), an adult White-tailed Eagle (being mobbed by a Buzzard), one Black-tailed Godwit and a Common Sandpiper. At Dunfermline, a‪Goshawk was flying and calling east of Rumblingwell. Mediterranean Gull sightings continued with an adult and a second-summer at Buckhaven, 42 (including eight juveniles) at East Wemyss (2nd), reducing to 36 (including three adults and three juveniles) there the following day when there was an adult at Buckhaven and a juvenile at ‪Levenmouth where there was also a Whimbrel. At Pathhead, there were c70 Goosanders just offshore (3rd). A Merlin was seen heading south over Pittenweem (4th). At Kingsbarns, five Tree Pipits and two Whinchats were in a stubble field whilst an Osprey flew west at Kilmany. Sightings at Ferry Hills included five Dunlins, 37 Tree Pipits, nine Crossbills and many juvenile Willow Warblers. Ravenscraig had two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls on the beach and there was a  Wheatear at Out Head. A Dunlin, 23 Curlews and 104 Lapwings (including a leucistic one) were reported at The Wilderness and there were two Bonxies north-east at Kilminning. Two Manx Shearwaters were spied off Crail and a report from Tentsmuir Point NNR comprised one juvenile Black Tern, two adult Little Gulls, 700 Sandwich Terns, 100 Arctic Terns, 50 Common Terns, eight Grey Plovers and a Little Egret (5th). ‪Pathhead continued to be a good spot for Mediterranean Gulls with an adult and a juvenile on the grass there while Tentsmuir Point NNR held five Wheatears and a Spotted Flycatcher. At the Eden Estuary LNR were two adult Little Gulls, six Little Egrets and a Kingfisher. 46 Tree Pipits were ringed out of a total of 135 at Ferry Hills where there were also two Red-throated Divers and a Crossbill (6th) then the Tree Pipit total increased to 319 there the following day with other passage birds being 49 Sand Martins, 52 Sandwich Terns, 144 Swifts, one Osprey and a Whimbrel. At Kingsbarns, there were seven Velvet Scoters and a Bonxie. Eight Wheatears were noted at East Lomond with two at Elie then a Whinchat appeared at Crail (7th).

A Greenshank and three Knot were on Balcomie Beach and visible migration at Ferry Hills included 124 Arctic Terns, 69 Tree Pipits and eight Crossbills. At Fife Ness, there were c20 Sandwich Terns, 117 Golden Plovers and a Bonxie with another of this species seen eating a tern or small gull on the sea at Kingsbarns where there were also 18 Common Scoters and a Red-throated Diver heading north-west. A Spotted Redshank, three Little Egrets and a Kingfisher were seen from beside the Eden Estuary Centre (8th). At Crail, there were two Whinchats and a Tree Pipit with a Yellow Wagtail on the golf course. Visible migration at Ferry Hills included one Spotted Flycatcher, 64 Tree Pipits, five Crossbills, 25 Siskins, 12 Goosanders, 13 Bar-tailed Godwits, 131 Oystercatchers, 228 Sandwich Terns and 14 Arctic Terns. The day totals from Fife Ness were 158 Manx Shearwaters, five Bonxies, one Mediterranean Gull, 79 Golden Plovers, five Whimbrels, one adult Little Gull, 15 Sandwich Terns, 40 Common Scoters and 27 Arctic Terns. The main seawatching news of the day, however, came from Kinghorn where, apart from three Manx Shearwaters, a larger species was seen in the form of a Cory’s Shearwater which flew west and was spied from Dalgety Bay’s St David’s Harbour later in the day (9th) and was picked up from there the next day as well as from Carlingnose Point. Meanwhile up at Fife Ness, sightings included a juvenile Little Gull, a light phase Arctic Skua and 13 Manx Shearwaters. Inland, a Marsh Harrier was in wheat fields just south-east of Carnbee village and an adult male Goshawk and a Dunlin were at The Wilderness (10th). An early morning seawatch report from Kinghorn included two Red-throated Divers, 16 Common Scoters, 71 Teal, five Manx Shearwaters and one Arctic Skua. Up at Fife Ness, the list included ten Manx Shearwaters, one adult Little Gull, one Arctic Skua, three Bonxies, 51 Common Scoters, a heavy Kittiwake passage and tern passage involving Sandwich, Common and Arctic (all north), with 18 Golden Plovers and a Whimbrel on the rocks. At Out Head, 98 Greylag Geese flew south and at Kilminning there were one adult Mediterranean Gull and a Cuckoo. The bird that was now identified as a Scopoli’s Shearwater was seen from Dalgety Bay’s David’s Harbour (11th). At  Kilminning, there were two Lesser Redpolls and a Cuckoo with one Sooty Shearwater, 18 Manx Shearwaters and a Red-throated Diver passing offshore. An Osprey flew over Bow of Fife’s Pitlair Park and another one (or the same bird)  circled over Kilmany where 47 Canada Geese flew north. At Kingsbarns, there were three Little Gulls and also an adult Mediterranean Gull with another adult at Buckhaven where there were also two juveniles and two second-summer birds. Out Head hosted three Stonechats and a juvenile Whinchat, with a Black Tern offshore. At Kinghorn Loch there was one (possibly two) Spotted Flycatcher (12th). A report from Eden Estuary LNR comprised one Spotted Redshank, three Greenshanks, one Snipe and a Common Sandpiper. Those seeking a rare shearwater at St David’s Harbour were rewarded instead with four Arctic Skuas, 38 Sandwich Terns, 26 Common Terns, 61 Gannets, 20 Kittiwakes, 12 Fulmars, 32 Goosanders, three Turnstones, two Shelducks and three Teal. Tern sightings from Pettycur Sands included not only 18 Arctic, 250 Common and 522 Sandwich but also one adult Roseate Tern as well as seven Bar-tailed Godwits. Although the hide at Fife Ness is still closed, regular seawatching there continued with three Common Scoters, one Velvet Scoter, one Bonxie and 27 Manx Shearwaters (13th) with 51 ‘Manxies’ seen there the following day as well as five Bonxies, one Arctic Skua, 34 Arctic Terns, nine Common Terns, 20 Sandwich Terns, five Black-tailed Godwits, one Whimbrel, a Red-throated Diver and 11 Common Scoters. Carlingnose Point yielded five Arctic Skuas and the same number of this species was also the count from Kinghorn. 23 Little Gulls were on the sea at Kingsbarns and a juvenile Sabine’s Gull and a Bonxie were spied from Kilminning where there were also three Tree Pipits, one Ruff over and a Spotted Flycatcher. Away from seawatching, there were at least 15 Tree Pipits and a Wheatear over Ferry Hills, three skeins of 30/40 Pink-footed Geese over Bow of Fife, a Green Woodpecker near Glenduckie and two Common Sandpipers, eight  Greenshanks and 14 Ringed Plovers at Valleyfield Lagoons (14th).

The inner Eden Estuary held ten Little Egrets, an Osprey, one Spotted Redshank and 100+ Canada Geese. A Black Tern, 35 Manx Shearwaters and one Bonxie were observed from Balcomie beach and an Arctic Skua was spied from Crail. A juvenile Marsh Harrier flew south over Letham Pools and two Whinchats and one Wheatear turned up at Kilminning (15th). Notes from Ferry Hills included one Green Sandpiper, eight Knot, 22 Dunlins, one Snipe, one Arctic Skua, five Arctic Terns and 28 Tree Pipits. The day count for Fife Ness was one Bonxie, three Arctic Skuas, 107 Sandwich Terns, 38 Arctic Terns, six Common Terns, six Teal all north, four Little Gulls, one Black Tern, 54 Manx Shearwaters. Nearby at Craighead Cottages, a Pied Flycatcher was showing well and off Kilminning there were one Bonxie and an adult Mediterranean Gull with an adult and a juvenile of this species at East Wemyss and a second-summer at ‪Levenmouth where there were also ‪49 Goosanders. Meanwhile an Arctic Skua flew east past St David’s Harbour and an end of day report was a male Goshawk flying across the Standing Stane road (16th). A juvenile Black Tern  was feeding at Levenmouth where the second-summer Mediterranean Gull lingered and 14 Little Gulls were moving east past Leven. 85 Sandwich Terns and 18 Arctic Terns moved north in 30 minutes at Cellardyke, ten Little Egrets and one Spotted Redshank were at Eden Estuary LNR and sightings at Out Head included two Whinchats, a Wheatear, one Whimbrel, 21 Grey Plovers and three Little Gulls. Seawatching at St David’s Harbour produced seven Arctic Skuas (one adult, six juveniles), one Bonxie, 30 Goosanders, 12 Sandwich Terns and 18 Gannets. A female Redstart was found one mile north-west of Freuchie. At Fife Ness, a Greenish Warbler was caught and ringed and seen briefly in the field whilst offshore there were two Black Terns, a Little Gull, a Red-throated Diver and one Bonxie whilst an Arctic Skua was spied from Kinghorn. Mediterranean Gull counts continued with twelve at the East Wemyss roost (17th) and one adult and one juvenile at Pathhead. Two Common Cranes heading up the Tay at Newburgh was, no doubt, an unusual experience for the observer and also there were two adult Spotted Flycatchers feeding at least two young. 80 Ringed Plovers were at Out Head and two Golden Plovers were at Balgove Bay then a Whinchat appeared at Kilminning (18th). ‪Letham Pools hosted ‪two Water Rails, Crail airfield held a Peregrine and an immature Marsh Harrier whilst Out Head produced four Whinchats and two Stonechats. At Fife Ness, two Bonxies were offshore, three Wheatears were at ‘stinky pool’ while ‘the patch’ held a Spotted Flycatcher and 25+ Willow Warblers. Along at Crail there were two juvenile Yellow Wagtails on the beach and there was also a single of this species at Kenly Water then an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Kingsbarns. Back at Dalgety Bay, observations from ‪St David’s Harbour included a Cory’s Shearwater flying between Cramond and Hound Point as well as 24 Fulmars, one Bonxie, eight Arctic Skuas, one Black Tern, 90 Sandwich Terns, 12 Common Terns, 45 Kittiwakes and two Pomarine Skuas, one of which attacked a Lesser Black-backed Gull and tried to drown it (19th). Migration at Ferry Hills included 1089 Sandwich Terns and 18 Tree Pipits. A Quail was ‘singing’ at Kilmany and Mediterranean Gull sightings comprised a first calendar year bird at Kenly Water with three of the same at Kingsbarns (as well as 85 Little Gulls on the sea) and 21 at East Wemyss where there were also three Manx Shearwaters past east. The Wilderness held two Ruff and a high tide roost at Valleyfield Lagoons was made up of 24 Ringed Plovers, 17 Greylag Geese, 175 Sandwich Terns, 215 Curlews, five Black-tailed Godwits and 85 Oystercatchers. The tally from Fife Ness included 208 Sandwich Terns, eight Arctic Terns, 80 Oystercatchers, 29 Knot, five Goosanders and a Red-throated Diver (20th). Kirkcaldy’s prom yielded 40 Goosanders, three Grey Wagtails and a Dipper at the Tiel Burn outlet and up at Cupar, an adult Hobby flew west (21st). Highlights from Ferry Hills were three Bonxies, one Arctic Skua, 750 Sandwich Terns, 97 Tree Pipits, 64 Siskins and 18 Crossbills. A Little Gull was at Kingsbarns where there were three Mediterranean Gulls then an adult of this species was at Pathhead as well as a Bonxie, two Arctic Skuas and a juvenile Whinchat (22nd). A different Little Gull was at Kingsbarns (also a Merlin) and two were offshore at St Andrews where a Marsh Harrier flew inland and there was also a Greenshank. Two Nuthatches turned up at Culross, a preening Water Rail was noted at Letham Pools and two Tree Pipits, two Wheatears, a  Greenshank and a flock of 200+ Meadow Pipits were seen at Boarhills. The East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull update was 16 including four moulting juveniles and white Darvic 3PX4. Highlights from Ferry Hills were two Merlins south across the Forth, 294 Siskins, 136 Tree Pipits and a White Wagtail (23rd). At Anstruther, an adult male Goshawk circled over the Co-op and a Black-tailed Godwit was on the golf course, presumably aiming for a birdie, then 45 Canada Geese headed north over Auchtermuchty. 14 Snipe were at Luthrie and a report from Eden Estuary LNR included two Spotted Redshanks, a White-tailed Eagle, two Ospreys, four Little Egrets, a Kingfisher and 24 Canada Geese. The Mediterranean Gull assemblage at East Wemyss was two first-summers, nine adults and a juvenile while there was an adult at Pathhead, (as well as 32 Goosanders) (24th) increasing to two adults there the next day. Two Golden Plovers flew over Ladybank and a combination of morning and afternoon sightings at Kinghorn produced a list of four Goosanders, two Red-throated Divers, 76 Sooty Shearwaters, 286 Manx Shearwaters, 577 Gannets, two Pomarine Skuas, 12 Arctic Skuas, six Bonxies, 113 Fulmars, 24 Kittiwakes, 44 Sandwich Terns, ten Common Terns and one Arctic Tern. Further along the coast at Dalgety Bay, the early afternoon count was six Manx Shearwaters, two Bonxies, one Pomarine Skua, two Arctic Skuas, 54 Gannets, 38 Fulmars, 26 Kittiwakes, 24 Sandwich Terns and ten Common Terns. The first of two morning reports from Fife Ness comprised two Bonxies, three Velvet Scoters, two Scaup, two Common Scoters, 52 Sandwich Terns and four Teal while the second covered a similar, but slightly longer, period and was made up of one Arctic Skua, one Bonxie, two Red-throated Divers, two Manx Shearwaters, 12 Common Scoters, four Teal and 55 Sandwich Terns (25th). The next day, there were four separate reports from Fife Ness with perhaps some overlap during the middle part of the day but the eventual haul overall appeared to be nine Sooty Shearwaters, c65 Manx Shearwaters, eight Little Gulls, four Arctic Skuas, one adult Pomarine Skua, 18 Bonxies, three Red-throated Divers, 20 Brent Geese, 50 Canada Geese, ten Common Scoters, 32 Sandwich Terns, four Whimbrels, six Knot and one adult summer Black Guillemot. At Kinghorn, scanning of the sea produced seven Common Scoters, one Red-throated Diver, 34 Bonxies, 14 Arctic Skuas and one Long-tailed Skua. Along at Carlingnose Point, the report comprised four Pomarine Skuas,  six Arctic Skuas, 16 Bonxies, three unidentified skuas (due to distance), seven Red-throated Divers, three Whimbrels, one Mediterranean Gull (adult winter), one Raven, a Peregrine, one Canada Goose and three Greylag Geese. The Out Head tally was one Long-tailed Skua, one Pomarine Skua, 12 Arctic Skuas, one Bonxie, one White-tailed Eagle, 12 Red-throated Divers, 34 Little Gulls,  21 Knot, and 49 Canada Geese. At Pathhead, the regular Mediterranean Gull sighting was of an adult and there were also two Wheatears, five Arctic Skuas and a juvenile Black Tern. Eden Estuary LNR hosted one Whimbrel, an Osprey and a White-tailed Eagle while there were at least 98 Goosanders at the River Leven, at Leven. A Green Sandpiper flushed at Kilmany was reported as a new site species. The Lang Toun Ring-necked Parakeet m

made another brief appearance over central Kirkcaldy and three Wheatears turned up on the beach at Dalgety Bay (26th). Ferry Hills highlights included one Common Redstart on the deck, 66 Siskins, 55 Meadow Pipits, nine Grey Wagtails, and nine Tree Pipits over. A Hobby flew over Kilminning and there were 35 Little Gulls at Kingsbarns whilst offshore at Kinghorn were six Arctic Skuas, a Red-throated Diver, two Bonxies and a Black Tern. The day count from Fife Ness was 18 Long-tailed Skuas, one Pomarine Skua, 12 Bonxies, three Arctic Skuas, 13 Sooty Shearwaters, 23 Manx Shearwaters, six Black Terns, eight Little Gulls, four Red-throated Divers, 26 Common Scoters, one Black-tailed Godwit, 27 Knot, four Teal and four Pale-bellied Brent Geese (27th). At Carlingnose Point, a lengthy period of observation from early morning to early afternoon produced one juvenile Mediterranean Gull, one Great Northern Diver, 11 Dunlins, two Long-tailed Skuas, 47 Arctic Skuas, seven Pomarine Skuas, nine Bonxies, one juvenile Little Gull, 13 Common Scoters, 253+ Kittiwakes, seven Red-throated Divers, 48 Sandwich Terns, 12 Common Terns, 17 Arctic Terns, 16 Gannets, 71 Wigeon, 85 Teal, two Swifts, and one Sparrowhawk. Off Pittenweem there were 65 Common Terns, one Sooty Shearwater, one Red-throated Diver, two Common Scoters and five Teal. Kilminning held two Garden Warblers, four Blackcaps and three Willow Warblers and there was a count of 168 Canada Geese at Peppermill Dam. Two adult winter Mediterranean Gulls were in the bay at Dalgety Bay where there was also an adult Long-tailed Skua heading east. The day count at Fife Ness was 40 Sooty Shearwaters, one very notable Balearic Shearwater, 36 Manx Shearwaters, four Bonxies, 37 Little Gulls, one Arctic Skua, one Mediterranean Gull, two Black Terns and 32 Pale-bellied Brent Geese (28th).

An Osprey was moving north-west over Kilmany and five of this species were also noted at Guardbridge as well as six Little Egrets, a Peregrine, two Curlew Sandpipers, one Spotted Redshank, one White-tailed Eagle, a Kingfisher, two Black-tailed Godwits, 17 Canada Geese and five Goosanders. At Ferry Hills, visible migration highlights were 412 Siskins, 179 Meadow Pipits, 39 Tree Pipits while eight Crossbills and the leucistic Lapwing were noted at The Wilderness then eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen at Cocklemill Burn. The Fife Ness day count was 17 Sooty Shearwaters, three Manx Shearwaters, nine Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas, a Slavonian Grebe, one Little Tern, (a rare sight here these days), seven Red-throated Divers, 18 Wigeon, nine Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 20+ Little Gulls (29th). The Green Sandpiper at Kilmany was seen again, Guardbridge held three Curlew Sandpipers, a Spotted Redshank, a Ruff, three Ospreys and a Little Stint while Boarhills had 19 Little Gulls and one Mediterranean Gull. Off Kinshaldy were one Pomarine Skua, c600 Common Scoters and eight Red-throated Divers. A Little Gull was at East Sands with at least nine of this species at Fife Ness where there were also two Goosanders, a Red-throated Diver two Manx Shearwaters, one Arctic Skua, two juvenile Black Terns and (very pleasingly) a Sabine’s Gull heading south. Noted at Out Head were one Little Tern, five Arctic Skuas, a Manx Shearwater, one Little Gull, one Black-throated Diver, 17 Red-throated Divers, 20 Knot and 19 Velvet Scoters. A female/immature Merlin and c30 Little Gulls were at Kingsbarns (30th). A busy last day of the month commenced with one Spotted Redshank, a Curlew Sandpiper, two Ospreys, a Kingfisher atEden Estuary LNR then single adult Mediterranean Gulls at Pathhead and at Dysart. Fife Ness contributed four Golden Plovers, ten Brent Geese and two Velvet Scoters then four Ravens were at  Balmullo, two Spotted Flycatchers frequented Morton Lochs NNR and a Green Sandpiper graced The Wilderness. Three Wheatears and a Whitethroat were in fields south of Crossgates before Kingsbarns held a  Mediterranean Gull, c40 Little Gulls, two Manx Shearwaters and c150 Common Terns (31st).



Night of 6th to 7th, Dunfermline:

Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper sound recorded.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware