February 2021Sightings

February started with two Ravens, two Kestrels and five Buzzards seen around the Lindores/Redmyre area (1st), a 1st winter Glaucous Gull, one Great Northern Diver and two Little Grebes were in Burntisland Harbour, with three Bonxies also seen flying together mid channel of the Forth. The drake Ring-necked Duck popped back up at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy (2nd), while not far away at Kinghorn Loch a sinensis Cormorant was a good find and the 1st winter Glaucous Gull was still at Burntisland Harbour. At Barns Farm 100 Redwings and 50 Curlews were seen, a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull and a Black-throated Diver were noted at Fife Ness and midway of the Forth between North and South Queensferry an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen. Counted passing Kinghorn (3rd) were four Bonxies, eight Red-throated Divers, two Gannets, 32 Fulmars, 550 Kittiwakes, 1200 Guillemots/Razorbills and 28 Long-tailed Ducks and the 1st winter Glaucous Gull was once again at Burntisland Harbour. A probable Grey Phalarope was only seen once, in extremely high waves off St Andrews Pier and in very difficult viewing conditions, a Great Northern Diver, eight Red-throated Divers, Auks and Kittiwakes were noted close in to shore in higher than usual numbers for this time of year. One adult and one 2nd calendar year Little Gull were in Dalgety Bay (4th) and alongside the Ring-necked Duck at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy was a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Counted from Fife Ness were 323 Shags S, 16 Cormorants S, two Guillemots S, two Fulmars N and one S, one Eider, one Red-breasted Merganser, nine Oystercatchers, eight Curlews, one Kittiwake N and 18 Great Black-backed Gulls S and noted in Dalgety Bay (5th) were six Great Crested Grebes, one Red-throated Diver and a Razorbill. At Dalgety Bay (7th) were one Red-necked Grebe, three Slavonian Grebes, c8 Great Crested Grebes and a Great Northern Diver, while close by at Braefoot Point two Red-throated Divers were seen flying E and dozens of Auks were also seen heading E. Noted at Cameron Reservoir were a female Ring-necked Duck, a drake Smew, one Little Egret, one Raven, two Scaup, seven Pintails, 245 Wigeon, 55 Teal, 130 Tufted Ducks, 75 Goldeneye and 11 Goosanders. Seven Snow Buntings were watched in the dunes E of Reres Wood and across at Kingsbarns a 2nd calendar year Little Gull was present. A Kingfisher was at Aberdour and the day count at Anstruther was 570 Razorbills, c12 Red-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers, one Black-throated Diver, 14 Common Scoters, one Velvet Scoter, 34 Kittiwakes and 17 Fulmars and an adult Little Gull, three Twite, a Peregrine and a dead adult Puffin were seen at Out Head. At Burntisland Harbour (8th) both the 1st winter Glaucous Gull and a Kittiwake were readily coming to bread, other more well behaved birds there were a Great Northern Diver, two Goosanders, 20 Eider Ducks, two Cormorants and a Little Grebe and between Dalgety Bay and Braefoot one Great Northern Diver, one Red-throated Diver, two Slavonian Grebes, one Greenshank and 36 Shelducks were counted. One Peregrine, one Brambling and three Grey Partridges were noted at Newburgh, with two Peregrines watched chasing Starlings there (9th), a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming in Moss Plantation, 11 Skylarks passed over Ladybank heading S and the Ring-necked Duck, an immature male Goshawk, one Dipper, one Goosander, c30 Bullfinches and c200 Skylarks were seen at Kinghorn Loch. At Windmill Road, Cellardyke there were eight Bullfinches, eight Crossbills, four Goldfinches, c50 Fieldfares, one Redwing, 11 Grey Partridges, four Skylarks, 38 Curlews, two Siskins and seven Grey Herons were noted at the pond, across at Dalgety Bay, two Snipe, eight Turnstones, one Slavonian Grebe, three Great Crested Grebes, six Goldeneye and three Rock Pipits were seen and a cold weather movement was noted at Dysart (10th) where a heavy passage of Fieldfares, Redwings and lesser numbers of Skylarks, Woodpigeons and Pink-feet passed through. In a Strathkinness garden two Tree Sparrows, six Chaffinches, two Greenfinches, one Brambling, two Robins, three Pheasants, one Dunnock and five Blackbirds were counted and alongside the Ring-necked Duck at Kinghorn Loch was a single Pochard with a Snipe also noted. Seven Snipe, two Little Grebes, 70 Pink-feet, a Sparrowhawk and a female Goshawk were watched at Dalgety Bay, a Guillemot and c40 Tufted Ducks were noted at Newburgh, with both species being unusual this far up the Tay. Also two Woodcocks and c10 Bullfinches were seen. A Cormorant on the roof of an Aberdour house gave some local children a thrill, mistaking it for a penguin! Two Woodcocks were flushed at St Andrews University (11th) and back at Burntisland Harbour alongside the resident 1st winter Glaucous Gull and Great Northern Diver were one Red-throated Diver, two Slavonian Grebes, one littoralis Rock Pipit and a Kittiwake and along at a near frozen Kinghorn Loch (12th), the Ring-necked Duck, one Mediterranean Gull and 217 Tufted Ducks were present. Counted at Dalgety Bay were one Slavonian Grebe, eight Great Crested Grebes, five Little Grebes, six Goldeneyes, one Red-throated Diver, three Goldcrests and a Buzzard, along with 10 Redwings on the beach and nearby at Barns Farm 50 Curlews and c300 Greylags were counted. One Snow Bunting and a Skylark were at West Sands, St Andrews and two Long-tailed Ducks joined the growing resident list of 1st winter Glaucous Gull, Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver and Kittiwake at Burntisland Harbour, a Jack Snipe and a Woodcock were noted at Fife Ness, c200 Fieldfares, c1250 Skylarks and three Snow Buntings were seen at Kingsbarns, c150 Chaffinches, one male Brambling, c470 Skylarks, c130 Corn Buntings, c100 Reed Buntings and c150 Yellowhammers were at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills and at Pitmilly c900 Fieldfares, c325 Redwings and three Woodcocks were seen. Three Russian White-fronted Geese, c1200 Skylarks and c400 Linnets were noted at Pittenweem (13th), an adult Little Gull and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull were at Leven and between Kilconquhar and St Monans a Tundra Bean Goose was a good find amongst a large flock of 2000 Pink-feet present, an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen feeding just offshore with dozens of Common Gulls at Pathhead and back at the east coast, a Lapland Bunting, four Snow Buntings, four Bramblings and a Merlin were near Kingsbarns, with a further eight Lapland Buntings, one Brambling and one Merlin seen at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills. Two Woodcocks and a female Merlin were at Kilminning, a Snow Bunting was close by at Balcomie Castle and at Balcomie Beach, two Grey Plovers and a Knot were noted. There was a huge flock of 9307 Woodpigeons counted together just north of Anstruther and not far away at Pittenweem a count of c1300 Linnets was made. At Ardross a Snow Bunting, c500 Linnets and c1000 Skylarks were counted. Seven Grey Partridges were watched in a Strathkinness garden (14th), a Peregrine and a male Kestrel were at both at Elie Ness, one Little Egret and four Bar-tailed Godwits were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre, eight Bramblings, 60 Chaffinches, 240 Yellowhammers, 40 Reed Buntings, two Dippers and a Greenshank were noted at Kenly Water and over at Elie Harbour, one Red-throated Diver, 25 Eiders, one Shag, eight Cormorants, six Redshanks and two Guillemots were seen. Between Kingsbarns and Kenly Water 80 Twite, several thousand Skylarks, one Snow Bunting, four Bramblings, a male Merlin and a Lapland Bunting were noted and at Ardross Farm, near St Monans 1000 corvids, c500 Skylarks, c800 Fieldfares and Redwings, 400 of a mixed flock of Linnet, Twite and Corn Buntings, a Merlin was chasing the Skylarks and at least 100 Golden Plover were also counted. A Jack Snipe was a scarce visitor to Kilmany, a Brambling and two Woodcocks were seen in Spinkie Den Wood, St Andrews and at Dalgety Bay two Slavonian Grebes, four Great Crested Grebes, two Little Grebes, 60 Goldeneye, one Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard were seen. A Red-necked Grebe, one Little Auk, one Glaucous Gull, three Slavonian Grebes and a Purple Sandpiper were all at Burntisland Harbour (15th), a Ring-necked Parakeet was making its presence known in Kirkcaldy and at Tayport a Water Rail, one adult winter Mediterranean Gull, two Pintail, four Snipe and 20 Redwings, which included at least one of the Icelandic race. A Woodcock and two Buzzards were at Kilminning (16th), two Red-breasted Mergansers joined the resident Glaucous Gull, Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver at Burntisland Harbour and the highlights of a count at the Newmills Bay area were two Bar-tailed Godwits, three Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshanks and one Shoveler. Joining the resident trio at Burntisland Harbour were a littoralis Rock Pipit, two Kittiwakes and a Siskin and a Ring-necked Parakeet was heard “squawking loudly” in conifers by Beveridge Park pond (17th). The drake Ring-necked Duck was present again at Kinghorn Loch and was watched displaying to a Tufted Duck at one point, three Woodcocks, one adult Peregrine, 10 Teal, eight Goldeneye, four Tufted Ducks and a Goosander were noted at Thornton Pond and a very scarce bird in west Fife, a Black-necked Grebe was off Downing Point, Dalgety Bay. 30 Scaup were counted from the Step Rock car park, St Andrews, with two Red-throated Divers seen from the East Sands, St Andrews also. A juvenile Merlin was seen briefly at Ladybank Bowling Green (19th), 15 Red-legged Partridges were counted at Morton Lochs NNR, two drake Smew were at Cameron Reservoir, but there was no sign of any Ring-necked Ducks and at Largo Bay, 320 Velvet Scoters, 30 Common Scoters and two Crossbills were noted, with a scattering of tideline corpses which included 78 Guillemots, 59 Razorbills, 10 Kittiwakes (including an adult), two Shags, one Fulmar, one Little Grebe, one Red-breasted Merganser, one Eider, one Teal, one Common Gull, three Woodcocks and also one Bottlenose Dolphin and an adult Harbour Porpoise. Three (Russian) White-fronts were seen near Pittenweem (20th), a 1st winter Little Gull was off Leven and an adult Mediterranean Gull, 32 Long-tailed Ducks and a Kingfisher were seen at Pathhead (21st). In the Hillhead Farm area, Boarhills two Lapland Buntings and a Greenshank were present and at Seafield one Kingfisher, six Knot, two Mute Swans, c10 Turnstones, c20 Redshanks, one Curlew, two Wrens and two Shags were counted, a scarce, for this site, Slavonian Grebe was at Kilconquhar Loch and at Drumcarrow Flood were two Pintail and 140 Wigeon. A Chiffchaff was heard contact calling in Dunfermline (22nd), four Canada Geese, 120 Greylags, five Herons, one Goldeneye and a Tufted Duck were counted at Otterston Loch and the Glaucous Gull was still present at Burntisland Harbour (24th). Two Ravens were watched scavenging auk corpses at Braefoot Point. At Wester Kilwhiss (25th) a Taiga Bean Goose was in with Greylags, also two Grey Partridges were noted and nearby at Bowhouse Farm, Dunshalt amongst c400 Pink-feet a Barnacle Goose was noted. Four Ravens were watched doing aerobatics at Braefoot Plantation, with 75 Jackdaws and two Carrion Crows also seen, a drake Smew, two female Scaup and a Brambling were at Cameron Reservoir (27th) and over at Devilla Forest four Ravens were watched. Noted at Fife Ness were one Red-throated Diver N, one Fulmar N, 10 Cormorants, five Shags on rocks, one pair of Stonechats in front of the caravans and a pair of Kestrels over the patch and along at The Secret Bunker nine Bramblings and a Woodcock were present, two Dippers and a Greenshank were at Kenly Water and not far away at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills 12 Corn Buntings were noted. 60 Twite and a Lesser Redpoll were at Boghall, Kingsbarns, with 25 Purple Sandpipers, three Long-tailed Ducks and a Red-breasted Merganser at Kingsbarns, further along the coast, amongst a huge flock of 1000 Linnets, several Twite were seen, with a Crossbill flying over also. A Black Guillemot still in mostly winter plumage and an increase to 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were noted at Leven Beach (28th) and two Ravens were calling at Braefoot Plantation, a solitary Knot and a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose were on Balcomie Beach and a drake Long-tailed Duck was with a group of Eiders in Dysart Harbour. Two Little Egrets and a pair of Pintail were watched from the Eden Estuary Centre, with another two Little Egrets also seen at Tayport.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

January 2021 Sightings

January came in with a blast of cold weather, which curtailed a lot of birding activity, however there were still plenty of good birds around to be seen. The two female Ring-necked Ducks and two drake Smew were still present at Cameron Reservoir (1st), nine Whooper Swans flew south over Chapel Retail Park, Kirkcaldy, 52 Whooper Swans, c80 Teal, c50 Wigeon and six Goldeneye were counted on the main reservoir at Craigluscar and across in the east of the county, c10 Lapland Buntings were in a stubble field SW of the salmon bothy at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills. Nearby at Kingsbarns, c120 Twite were at Boghall, with an adult Mediterranean Gull also at Kingsbarns, off Kinshaldy c50 Long-tailed Ducks were noted and a Jack Snipe was seen at the Secret Bunker near Crail. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the ice at Beveridge Park pond, Kirkcaldy (2nd) and the two Ring-necked Ducks and Smew at Cameron Reservoir were joined by a Scaup, two Goosanders and c70 Goldeneyes. Back at Kirkcaldy a pair of Blackcaps were watched on garden feeders, 16 Lapland Buntings, two Twite and a leucistic Herring Gull were at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills, a 2nd winter and two adult Mediterranean Gulls were on the beach at Burntisland and on Windmill Road, Cellardyke, eight Crossbills, 20 Fieldfares, 10 Mistle Thrushes, eight Bullfinches, 15 Grey Partridges and six Goldcrests were all watched feeding. 26 Great Crested Grebes were counted in Torry Bay, a Spotted Redshank was on the Eden Estuary LNR, a Greenshank and two Ravens were noted at Fairmont, near St Andrews and at Craighead Farm, Boarhills (3rd) c13 Lapland Buntings were seen, with a further c11 Lapland Buntings and 25 Twite noted at Randerston Farm, Kingsbarns. c150 Shags, 10 Gannets, six Velvet Scoters, six Long-tailed Ducks and a Red-throated Diver were off West Wemyss and at Pittenweem there was an excellent count of c600 Shags roosting and feeding just offshore. At Dalgety Bay, a Great Crested Grebe, three Little Grebes, 24 Red-breasted Mergansers and two Goldeneye were seen, a 1st winter Iceland Gull, two Kittiwakes, a Fulmar, 26 Long-tailed Ducks, c120 Eiders, 30 Razorbills, 12 Guillemots, 28 Gannets and a Red-throated Diver were seen off Kinghorn (4th), three Mediterranean Gulls, a 1st winter and two adults, were at Loch Gelly and the highlights of a count at Newmills Bay were two Black-tailed Godwits, 13 Great Crested Grebes and six Greenshanks. Four Little Grebes, two male Stonechats, 12 Cormorants and c15 Tufted Ducks were noted at Kinghorn Loch (5th) and south of Dunfermline refuse tip, 40 Whooper Swans, 54 Greylag Geese, 26 Pink-footed Geese, two Great Black-backed Gulls, 954 Herring Gulls, five Common Gulls, 10 Fieldfares and 48 Starlings were counted, a Grey Wagtail was noted at St Bridget’s, Dalgety Bay and a single Great Northern Diver was a surprise find in Burntisland Harbour (6th). c800 Pink-footed Geese were in fields near Pittenweem Dump, a female Blackcap and three Tree Sparrows were in a Wormit garden and 11 Magpies were counted in one tree in St Andrews. There was an excellent count of 128 Corn Buntings at Sandyhills, Kingsbarns, 150 Fieldfares, 15 Mistle Thrushes, c20 Twite, a Cormorant over and one Kestrel were noted at Pittenweem and not far away at Carnbee Reservoir, 12 Mallards, four Tufted Ducks, two Wigeon, 25 Teal, two Coots, two Moorhens, two Little Grebes, two Oystercatchers, two Mute Swans, two Stonechats, eight Mistle Thrushes and 10 Fieldfares were all noted. 98 Scaup, 350 Common Scoters and 50 Velvet Scoters were all seen off St Andrews and in fields just north of Baldridge estate, Dunfermline seven Whooper Swans, 55 Greylag Geese, 35 Pink-footed Geese, 48 Yellowhammers, 22 Reed Buntings, 41 Chaffinches, two Greenfinches, eight Fieldfares, two Redwings and 450 Woodpigeons were counted. c250 Skylarks, 40 Linnets, 20 Yellowhammers and a Stonechat were seen at Plains Farm, Dunshalt (7th) and the Corn Bunting count at Sandyhills, Kingsbarns rose to 140, with 60 Yellowhammers, 45 Tree Sparrows and 15 Reed Buntings also noted, 12 Goosanders were noted at Aberdour.

The first drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker of the year was heard at Culross (8th) and the Great Northern Diver was still showing well in Burntisland Harbour. Not far away at Kinghorn Loch, the drake Ring-necked Duck, 106 Tufted Ducks, three Pochard, 20 Wigeon and seven Teal were seen and from Newburgh c6 Bearded Tits were seen on Mugdrum Island. Alongside the Great Northern Diver at Burntisland Harbour a sinensis Cormorant was noted (9th), a male Blackcap was in a Glenrothes garden and c8 Buzzards, one Sparrowhawk, c65 Fieldfares, c10 Redwings and eight Mistle Thrushes were seen in the Lindores to Redmyres area. The Ring-necked Duck was still present at Kinghorn Loch, with five Pochard, one Snipe, one Lesser Black-backed Gull and 40 Goldeneye also noted, 11 Grey Partridges, one Grey Heron, eight Mistle Thrushes, c20 Fieldfares, c10 Blackbirds, two Greenfinches and c10 Crossbills were seen on Windmill Road, Cellardyke and a Snipe was seen circling the SUDs pond, Dunfermline, with 18 Waxwings also noted flying over east towards Calais Muir Woods. 338 Greylags, 112 Pink-feet and one Lapwing were at Barns Farm, eight Crossbills were seen at the Morrisons store in Glenrothes (9th/10th) and in the west a Nuthatch was heard in Culross (10th). Two adult Mediterranean Gulls, 37 Goldeneye, two Grey Wagtails and a Peregrine were seen at Kirkcaldy Harbour and on Windmill Road, Cellardyke 12 Grey Partridges, 15 Fieldfares, one Woodcock, 12 Crossbills, four Coal Tits, six Blue Tits, 10 Blackbirds and four Robins were counted, three Buzzards were seen over Wormit Hill and the flock of 18 Waxwings were seen flying once again towards Calais Muir Woods, Dunfermline, presumably to roost. Alongside the still present Great Northern Diver in Burntisland Harbour (11th) was a 1st winter Glaucous Gull and seen over Wormit Hill were three Buzzards, one Peregrine, one Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk. A Ladybank garden (13th) hosted one Yellowhammer, 26 Greenfinches and two Bullfinches and two Great Northern Divers were seen off Aberdour. The Ring-necked Duck was still on Kinghorn Loch, alongside 182 Tufted Ducks and a Goosander and the Great Northern Diver was still present at Burntisland. Four Long-tailed Ducks, one Fulmar, one male Bullfinch, one Grey Wagtail, three Turnstones, two Redshanks and a Kestrel were noted at Ravenscraig, Kirkcaldy and a scarce Brambling and two Goldcrests were seen at Newburgh. A Black-throated Diver, 680 Eiders and 12 Long-tailed Ducks were off Pettycur, Kinghorn (15th), with a Black-throated Diver and one Razorbill nearby at Burntisland. A Short-eared Owl headed SW over the sand banks at Out Head (16th) and between Balcomie Castle and the golf course a Chiffchaff was noted, with 20 Twite mixed in with 20 Linnets also seen there, a Woodcock was watched coming in off the sea at Fife Ness, with a Red-throated Diver also seen. At Tayport, a Little Gull, one Little Egret, four Pintail, two Jack Snipe and 16 Snipe were seen, at Barns Farm, c320 Greylags were seen resting and along at Torry Bay 15 Great Crested Grebes were counted in one group, with some showing early summer plumage and at Valleyfield Lagoons, three Woodcocks were seen. 26 Golden Plovers were noted at Kilmany (17th), c50 Snow Buntings were seen just north of the car park at Kinshaldy, a genuine Hooded Crow was with Carrion Crows on the foreshore at Tayport, also two Little Egrets and two Pintail were noted. At Mairsland Farm, Auchtermuchty c45 Yellowhammers, 12 Greenfinches and eight Linnets were counted and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was seen flying low around houses in Dunfermline. A female Goosander at Kilmany (18th) was only the 3rd record there in 34 years. A Great Northern Diver, five Red-throated Divers, one Slavonian Grebe, 41 Scaup, two Greenshanks and two Ravens were seen from St Andrews Pier, c10 Bullfinches and a Peregrine were noted at Newburgh and in a garden in Dunfermline there was a count of 27 Redpolls (19th). A Great Northern Diver was off Burntisland Harbour and counted from a vantage point over St Andrews were 9,880 scoters, 14 Great Northern Divers, two Black-throated Divers and 27 Red-throated Divers and at Kirkcaldy the drake Ring-necked Duck was back at Beveridge Park. A Great Northern Diver was just offshore at Cellardyke and there was a good count of c500 Rooks at Kilmany (20th). A Nuthatch was in Balbirnie Park, Markinch (21st).

A White-tailed Eagle was watched at Kilmany (22nd) and counted just south of the refuse tip at Dunfermline were 24 Whooper Swans, 421 Pink-footed Geese, 60 Greylag Geese, a Peregrine (on pylon), one Brambling, c150 Chaffinches, c60 Yellowhammers, c20 Reed Buntings, 60 Linnets, 15 Tree Sparrows, eight Skylarks, 800 Woodpigeons and 1200 Herring Gulls. Not far away at the entrance to Broomhall Estate at Charlestown two Nuthatches were seen. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach at West Wemyss, with another adult seen off the Lorry Park on the prom at Kirkcaldy. At Kingskettle (23rd) c800 Pink-feet were in a field to the east of Ladybank Road, the Ring-necked Duck and a Pochard were on Kinghorn Loch, a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen at Boghall, Kingsbarns and off Balcomie Beach a Black Guillemot and a Long-tailed Duck were noted. Close by off Fife Ness, seven Red-throated Divers were counted and the first of a couple of Barn Owls seen recently was on a fence post between Auchtermuchty and Dunshalt, only one female Ring-necked Duck and drake Smew were at Cameron Reservoir, where eight Goosanders and nine Whooper Swans were also present, 14 Whoopers were also watched going over the Army base at Leuchars (24th). 11 Waxwings flew over NW over Wester Bogie Road, Kirkcaldy and seven Grey Partridges were noted near Balmullo. A Kingfisher was seen on the Kinness Burn, St Andrews and the Snow Bunting flock at Kinshaldy was counted at c35, with five Skylarks also present, six pairs of Fulmars had returned early to the Harbour walls at Dysart and on Windmill Road, Cellardyke another count produced three pairs of Bullfinches, four Crossbills, two Redpolls, one Sparrowhawk, six Blackbirds, four Robins and a Woodcock on the edge of a field at the caravan park. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls and a Pochard were on Kinghorn Loch and at Seafield (25th), nine Goosanders, one Brent Goose, two Ringed Plovers, one Black-tailed Godwit, two female Stonechats, 10 Goldfinches, one Greenfinch, 10 Turnstones, one Song Thrush and two Pied Wagtails were noted and at Kinghorn Loch the lone Ring-necked Duck popped up once more. c40 Redpolls, one Sparrowhawk, one Buzzard and a Redshank on the pond, were seen at Wormit Den, an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Burntisland, 2030 Pink-footed Geese were counted at Cockairnie and the other Barn Owl reported, was at Milton of Balgonie. The Ring-necked Duck and accompanying Pochard were seen at Kinghorn Loch (26th) and the Great Northern Diver was still present at Burntisland Harbour. Seen in fields north of Baldridge Estate, Dunfermline (27th) were 24 Whooper Swans, 47 Reed Buntings, six Tree Sparrows, 21 Yellowhammers and 850 Woodpigeons and down at the east coast, two Teal, two Tufted Ducks, 20 Mallards and two Little Grebes were seen on the pond at Fairmount Golf Course, near St Andrews. A Kingfisher was seen on the Tayfield Estate at Newport and a ringtail Hen Harrier was noted at Carnbee Reservoir. One Pale-bellied Brent Goose, c9 Purple Sandpipers, two Sanderlings, 11 Ringed Plovers, one male Blackcap, one Grey Wagtail and a Red-throated Diver were noted at Seafield, with another Pale-bellied Brent Goose seen briefly at Dalgety Bay (29th), along with 267 Wigeon and over at Kingsbarns a Black Guillemot was on the sea, with two Puffins, three Great Northern Divers and nine Red-throated Divers watched passing offshore. A fine count of c21 Grey Partridges at Kilmany (30th), was noted as being the largest covey there for a long time, a female/immature Black Redstart was a good find at the lighthouse at Fife Ness, as was a Nuthatch at the east end of Culross. The Wilderness had five Pintail, three Shelducks and a Whooper Swan amongst the usual suspects and an excellent count of 21 Bullfinches along with a flock of Goldfinches was made at Culross, an adult and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull and a Lapland Bunting were at Kenly Water, 36 Brent Geese, including a Dark-breasted bird and a Little Egret were at Balgove, 1500 Pink-feet, one Barnacle Goose and eight Whooper Swans were counted near Morton Lochs NNR and the Great Northern Diver was still at Burntisland Harbour (31st), along with a 1st winter Glaucous Gull. Along Windmill Road, Cellardyke eight Crossbills, four Bullfinches, two Great Tits, two Coal Tits, one Robin and four Blue Tits were counted and off Tentsmuir a Red-necked Grebe and c6 Slavonian Grebes were noted, while the Snow Bunting flock count was still at c35 just off the car park at Kinshaldy, c30 Redpolls were seen in Wormit and a garden in Burntisland hosted three Blackcaps, a male and two females.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

December 2020 Sightings

December started in much the same way as November had, quietly, but Fife’s fantastic autumn for rarities and scarce birds was to continue…. A Short-eared Owl was watched over Cocklemill Marsh (1st), c800 Pink-feet were around the Kilrenny area, there was a good count of 220 Sanderling at Elie and an immature Iceland Gull was a well watched at Kingsbarns. There was a ringed Bar-tailed Godwit on the lower lagoon at Valleyfield (NZU on yellow ring, right leg, red ring on left leg.) The bird was ringed in Norway in September this year. Another scarce bird in Fife, a Red Kite, was seen drifting NE over Morton Lochs NNR, two Stonechats, eight Wigeon and five Rock Pipits were noted at Fife Ness (2nd), with a Bonxie and two Red-throated Divers there (3rd). A Red-throated Diver, four Slavonian Grebes, one Great Crested Grebe, c7 Long-tailed Ducks, 13 Brent Geese, 124 Scaup and 16 Ringed Plovers were seen at Out Head, five roosting Grey Herons were noted at Aberdour, the Hudsonian Godwit, one Spotted Redshank, c60 Scaup and two Little Egrets were at the Eden Estuary LNR, 15 Whooper Swans flew W over Anstruther, an adult and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull were at Burntisland, where a male Blackcap was also seen on a garden feeder (4th). Two Common Scoters S, two Velvet Scoters S, two Red-throated Divers S, one Grey Heron, two Fulmars S, 19 Kittiwake S, one Kestrel, 11 Purple Sandpipers and 70 Starlings were noted at Fife Ness, a Black-throated Diver and a Kingfisher were seen at Dalgety Bay, an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Buckhaven, while another adult Mediterranean Gull, one Great Northern Diver, c75 Gannets, two Little Gulls and a Manx Shearwater, were all noted flying east close inshore at East Wemyss in 30 minutes. At Anstruther 400 Gannets, nine Long-tailed Ducks and nine Purple Sandpipers were noted. A Bonxie, 80 Kittiwakes, nine Long-tailed Ducks and 19 Common Scoters were watched passing Kinghorn, the Hudsonian Godwit was still present on the Eden Estuary (5th) and across at Cameron Reservoir a female Ring-necked Duck was a terrific find, a Woodcock was at Balcomie, with a Slavonian Grebe watched passing Fife Ness and along at Anstruther, two Black-throated Divers, one Great Northern Diver and eight Long-tailed Ducks were seen. Alongside the Ring-necked Duck at Cameron Reservoir (6th) was an immature drake Smew and three female Scaup, at the coastal strip from the mouth of the Kenly Burn to Boghall Farm, c7 Lapland Buntings, c60 Twite, 60 Tree Sparrows, six Corn Buntings, 80 Yellowhammers, 70 Reed Buntings, 60 Linnets, 40 Chaffinches, 35 Skylarks and a Greenshank were counted and across at Kinghorn Loch another Ring-necked Duck, a drake this time, was found along with two adult Mediterranean Gulls and a Pochard. A Jack Snipe, an immature male Peregrine and c1000 Woodpigeons were noted at Kilmany, a Marsh Harrier, one Buzzard, 22 Curlews and a Grey Heron were seen at Rossie Bog and c90 Curlews and c20 Oystercatchers were in fields next to Braefoot Storage Plant. A Tawny Owl was heard calling in Ladybank and yet another potential first for Fife, a Rustic Bunting, was expertly found near Kingsbarns (7th), but proved very elusive. The count of Mediterranean Gulls rose to three adults and two 1st winter birds at Kinghorn Loch, with the drake Ring-necked Duck seen briefly before flying off with Tufted Ducks. c40 Snow Buntings were at Tentsmuir Point NNR and an excellent count of 24 Magpies was made at Dalgety Bay.

Five to six Lapland Buntings were seen in fields north of Kingsbarns (8th), the Ring-necked Duck was still at Kinghorn Loch, as were a Water Rail, two Bullfinches and two Little Grebes and the female Ring-necked Duck was still showing well at Cameron Reservoir, along with four female-type Scaup. Six Red-breasted Mergansers and two Little Grebes were noted at Stenhouse Reservoir and an immature Marsh Harrier was watched at Newburgh and a Short-eared Owl was seen quartering fields near Kingsbarns. Four Whooper Swans were in stubble fields at Kilmany (9th), an adult Mediterranean Gull was at the river mouth at Leven and a drake Ring-necked Duck was on Beveridge Park Pond, with also a drake Goosander present. 10 Lapland Buntings were in a field west of Kenly Water, with c150 Twite nearby at Boghall, Kingsbarns, further west at Newmills Bay two Greenshanks, one Kingfisher and one Pintail were noted. Three Woodcocks in Knockhill Quarries were a good find, as was an adult Mediterranean Gull with 400 Common Gulls at Dunshalt. The drake Ring-necked Duck and two Mediterranean Gulls were present again at Kinghorn Loch (10th), with the female Ring-necked Duck, immature drake Smew, two redhead Goosanders, four Scaup, seven Pintail, 86 Wigeon and one Whooper Swan at Cameron Reservoir also. The 1st winter Hudsonian Godwit, 54 Black-tailed Godwits, one Bar-tailed Godwit, one Little Egret and 24 Knot were all noted at Guardbridge, two Green Sandpipers, a scarce species this year, were at Letham Pools and over at Kilmany, c500 Pink-footed Geese joined the four Whooper Swans there, with a large mixed flock of c450 Rooks/Jackdaws and c850 Woodpigeons also noted. An unusual count of 13 Yellowhammers in a Ladybank garden was made (11th). The drake Ring-neckedDuck was at the west end of Kinghorn Loch with Tufted Ducks and the Hudsonian Godwit was with 30 Black-tailed Godwits at the Eden Estuary, also a Slavonian Grebe and four Little Egrets were noted. At the Fairmont cliff top, near St Andrews a Pomarine Skua went W then SW, also one Great Northern Diver NW, one Red-throated Diver on the sea and a Raven W over the shore. Not far away at Boarhills (12th), 16 Lapland Buntings, were often seen flying around the stubble fields at Hillhead Farm, the female Ring-necked Duck, immature drake Smew, three female Scaup and six Pintail were all still at Cameron Reservoir and the count of Pink-footed Geese at Kilmany had risen to c1240, alongside the four Whooper Swans. Seen off Ruddons Point were a Great Northern Diver, two Black-throated Divers, nine Red-throated Divers and a Slavonian Grebe, with one Red-necked Grebe and four Red-throated Divers seen from Kincraig Point. The flock of c35 Snow Buntings were seen not far from the Kinshaldy Car Park at Tentsmuir and alongside the ever-growing Pink-footed Geese flock (c1400) at Kilmany (13th) there were four Whooper Swans, with c250 Fieldfares also seen. The Snow Bunting flock at Tentsmuir also grew with 40 seen, the Hudsonian Godwit was still with the Black-tailed Godwit flock at the Eden Estuary, also one Bar-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank were noted. At Dalgety Bay, two Slavonian Grebes, three Great Created Grebes, 31 Shelduck and 32 Wigeon were counted, an unusual sighting of a Spotted Redshank was made at St Andrews Harbour Pier and near the Dunfermline Rubbish Tip, 54 Whooper Swans, 140Pink-footed Geese and 900 Herring Gulls were seen. The Hudsonian Godwit was reported once more from the Eden Estuary (14th), two Lapland Buntings, six Yellowhammers and a flock of 40 Tree Sparrows were reported from fields near Kingsbarns, the drake Ring-necked Duck was seen again at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy.

A fine male Black Redstart was found at Elie (15th), the first winter Hudsonian Godwit, c50 Black-tailed Godwits, one Greenshank, one Kingfisher and a Sparrowhawk were all at Guardbridge, the drake Ring-necked Duck was still at Beveridge Park, with a Ring-necked Parakeet also seen. A Peregrine was seen on a pylon at Parkneuk and not far away at Craigluscar an immature female Scaup, a 1st record for this site, was present, also present were three drake Goosanders. Down at the coast at Dalgety Bay, two Slavonian Grebes were noted, a Merlin was seen at the roadside, near Airdrie and at Torry Bay, seven Great Crested Grebes, and two Pintails were counted. At Out Head, two Black-throated Divers and 12 Twite were seen, at Kinghorn Loch the drake Ring-necked Duck was still amongst Tufted Ducks, with also a Water Rail and many Bullfinches seen. The drake Ring-necked Duck was still present at Kinghorn Loch (16th), with the Hudsonian Godwit also still present at the Eden Estuary, a Slavonian Grebe and one Red-throated Diver were seen off Dalgety Bay and a Peregrine was seen on a post in a field east of East Wemyss, the Hudsonian Godwit, one Kingfisher, one Spotted Redshank, one Greenshank, three Little Egrets, nine Brent Geese, one Red-throated Diver, one Shoveler and c10 Greenshanks were all noted at the Eden Estuary (17th), the Lapland Bunting flock at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills had risen to 14 and at Boghall Farm, Kingsbarns 110 Twite were in a Turnip field by the coastal path. A single Waxwing was seen briefly with a flock of Goldfinches near Kinghorn Loch, the flock of c40 Snow Buntings were seen south of car park at Kinshaldy, but were very mobile and amongst a large raft of Common Scoters close inshore there, was an immature drake Surf Scoter, also c10 Slavonian Grebes. two Chiffchaffs were seen from the coastal path at east end of Sealstrand, Dalgety Bay and the Black Redstart continued to show very well at Elie Harbour Pier. At Kingsbarns (18th) a scarce juvenile Glaucous Gull and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull were seen well, the female Ring-necked Duck and immature drake Smew were still present at Cameron Reservoir (19th), with a very vocal tristis-type Chiffchaff in Sallows at the west end, also four Scaup were noted. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the riverside opposite the Swimming Pool at Leven. Noted at St Andrews were c200 Fulmars, c150 Scaup, one Black-throated Diver, with the female Ring-necked Duck, a drake Smew, four Scaup and two Goosanders still present not far away at Cameron Reservoir (20th), 69 Black-tailed Godwits, five Bar-tailed Godwits and a Little Egret were counted on the Eden Estuary LNR, two Hawfinches flew S over a field at the eastern edge of Spinkie Den, near St Andrews, the Black Redstart, one Stonechat and three Rock Pipits were at Elie and the drake Ring-necked Duck along with four Mediterranean Gulls, three adults and a 1st winter, were noted at Kinghorn Loch. The Snow Bunting count was at 48 at Tentsmuir and there was still no sign of the Hudsonian Godwit amongst the 35 Black-tailed Godwits at the Eden Estuary LNR, where one Little Egret was still present. 94 Scaup were counted off St Andrews from the Aquarium Car Park.

On the beach next to the Harbour at Elie, the Black Redstart continued to show extremely well (22nd), two Slavonian Grebes were at Dalgety Bay, one Little Gull was off Tentsmuir Point NNR, one Black-throated Diver S and two Great Northern Divers SE were noted from Fife Ness (23rd), a Great Black-backed Gull flew N at Kilmany, a very scarce bird in those parts. The drake Ring-necked Duck was still at Kinghorn Loch, two adult White-tailed Eagles were seen along the Eden Estuary and three Snow Buntings were also at Out Head, an immature Marsh Harrier was noted at Newburgh and 41 Snow Buntings were still at Tentsmuir. One Spotted Redshank, 62 Black-tailed Godwits and one Bar-tailed Godwit were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre, a Ring-Necked Parakeet was seen again in Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy and flew towards Raith Estate, three Lapland Buntings and a Merlin were seen in stubble fields north of Boarhills and at Kinghorn a 1st winter Iceland Gull flew W, two Great Northern Divers, one Black-throated Diver, four Red-throated Divers, two adult and one 2nd year Mediterranean Gull and a Velvet Scoter W were all noted. Up the Lomond Hills, between West and East Lomond, 12 Bullfinches, two Stonechats, two Ravens and two Snipe were seen (24th), between Kingsbarns and Boarhills c11 Lapland Buntings were seen in fields, the female Ring-neckedDuck, a drake Smew, four Scaup, three Whooper Swans and 11 Goosanders were at Cameron Reservoir, a female Smew flew fairly close in heading N at Tentsmuir and at Hillend Farm, Boarhills 13 Lapland and two Snow Buntings were a nice Christmas present for one lucky observer (25th). c80 Twite were at Boghall, Kingsbarns and at Kingskettle, 20 Whooper Swans were in a field to the N of village and at Kettlehill, 19 Fieldfares and three Bullfinches were seen. Two female Ring-necked Ducks, a drake Smew and a Scaup were seen at Cameron Reservoir (27th), 12 Lapland Buntings and 120 Twite were noted at Boghall, Kingsbarns, eight Siskins and 75 Fieldfares were seen at Pitmilly and across at Kirkcaldy, the drake Ring-necked Duck was once again on Beveridge Park pond. At Kincraig one Great Northern Diver passed W, one Whimbrel was amongst the Curlew flock on the grass and four Crossbills were watched drinking from the stream at the car park, an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Levenmouth, the Snow Bunting flock were still very mobile at Tentsmuir, with the count at 40 and a littoralis Rock Pipit was noted at Cellardyke, with this bird being part of a ringing project in Norway. This bird has orange coloured rings. A drake Scaup was on Kilconquhar Loch, three Little Egrets were on the Eden Estuary LNR, with another, single bird, not far away at Tayport, two Crossbills flew over Binnend, Burntisland NE (28th) and the two female Ring-necked Ducks were still on show at Cameron Reservoir, alongside two drake Smew, a Scaup and a Woodcock. c100 Scaup were counted off St Andrews, from the Sea Life Centre Car Park, 33 Snow Buntings, c20 Slavonian Grebes, one Little Egret and a Greenshank were at Tentsmuir, a Dark-bellied Brent Goose, four Pintail and two Little Egrets were at Tayport and another drake Smew popped up at Ballo Reservoir, an immature female Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine were noted at Newburgh and at Crail a 1st winter Glaucous Gull was seen in the gull flock in the field E of Sauchope (29th), with a 2nd year Iceland Gull seen taking off and flying over the houses. Also noted amongst the gulls were an adult Mediterranean Gull, and a Scandinavian Herring Gull, also one Merlin was in the vicinity, with one Lapland Bunting also in the first field to the left as you come out of Crail. A ringtail Hen Harrier was seen over fields at west end of Cameron Reservoir, where one female Ring-necked Duck and a drake Smew were present. An adult Little Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull were seen off Kinghorn and a bit further west a Carrion Crow/Hooded Crow hybrid was among the corvids at Torry Bay. 19 Ringed Plovers and two Purple Sandpipers were at Elie, the drake Ring-necked Duck was still on Beveridge Park pond, Kirkcaldy, an immature female Marsh Harrier was at Rossie Bog and in stubble fields just north of the caravan park at Crail were two Lapland Buntings and 16 Corn Buntings. 17 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were counted in Balgove Bay and off Fife Ness, one Black Guillemot N, one Great Northern Diver N and five Red-throated Divers were counted. The Snow Buntings were counted at 38 at Tentsmuir and way over west at Craigluscar, a female Scaup, a female Goosander and 36 Whooper Swans were noted. There was negative news from the Eden Estuary area with still no sign of the Hudsonian Godwit. At Cameron Reservoir, two female Ring-necked Ducks, two drake Smew and a Scaup were seen and in fields N of thecaravan site at Sauchope, Crail, c6 Lapland Buntings were noted. c16 Lapland Buntings were seen in stubble fields at Boghall, Kingsbarns and across at Anstruther, 15 Crossbills, eight Bullfinches, 60 Fieldfares, 10 Mistle Thrushes and c18 Redwings were seen in pines on Windmill Road. At Luthrie, c100 Fieldfares were noted, a Jack Snipe, an adult Mediterranean Gull, two Little Egrets and three Pintail were at Tayport and nearby at a frozen Morton Lochs NNR a Water Rail and a Little Egret were seen. Three Little Egrets flew over the A985 at Kincardine and a minimum count of 17 Long-tailed Tits was made in a Ladybank garden. The two female Ring-necked Ducks, two drake Smew (adult and immature) and a Scaup were still showing well at Cameron Reservoir and in a Barley field W of the golf course on the St Andrews/Guardbridge road, 33 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen feeding (31st), there was a good count of 40 Corn Buntings at Sauchope, Crail and from the first car park at St Andrews a Great Northern Diver (close in) and c95 Scaup were counted. Finally this year there were 20 Wigeon, four Redshanks and a Little Grebe off St Bridget’s Kirk, Dalgety Bay.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

Festive Greetings

Wishing all members as merry a Christmas as you can make it and here’s hoping that our birding is less restricted in 2021!

November 2020 Sightings

After such a good month in October it was inevitable that November would be a lot quieter, as it proved in the early part of the month. One Jack Snipe, 12 Snipe, 95 Skylarks, 35 Meadow Pipits, 13 Reed Buntings, 40 Yellowhammers, 22 Partridges, four Goldfinches, seven Linnets, one Greenfinch and one Mistle Thrush were all noted near Cairnsmill Caravan Park, St Andrews (1st), 12 Snipe, possibly one Jack Snipe, 25 Teal and one Water Rail were on the wet grassland at Valleyfield Lagoons, a female Merlin was at Anstruther (2nd), while two Mediterranean Gulls were noted at Leven. At St Fort five Mistle Thrushes were seen, 10 Moorhen were on the flooded grass at North Haugh, St Andrews (3rd), an adult male Merlin, 14 Purple Sandpipers and 13 Whooper Swans went NW over Kingsbarns, 12 Snipe and two Jack Snipe were seen at Cocklemill Burn and 14 Snow Buntings were at Tentsmuir Point NNR. c35 Long-tailed Tits was a good count at Crail, an adult and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull and one Swallow were seen at East Wemyss, one Goldeneye, 10 Great Crested Grebes and one Slavonian Grebe were in Dalgety Bay and 11 Water Rails, 16 Pochard, one Goosander, 15 Redwings and six Fieldfares were counted at Loch Gelly. On (5th) there was an unusual visitor to Loch Fitty in the shape of a Long-tailed Duck with one Goldeneye, one Marsh Harrier and an adult Whooper Swan at Rossie Bog, two Bar-tailed Godwits, 18 Black-tailed Godwits, one Dipper, c140 Dunlin, seven Greenshanks, one Grey Wagtail, one Kingfisher and 1000’s of Pink-footed Geese were counted at Newmills Bay and a very late Common Tern was seen at St Andrews. A male Blackcap was a welcome visitor to a Kilmany garden (6th) and the passage at Ferry Hills included 140 Redpolls, one flock of 30 which landed briefly contained at least one Common (Mealy) Redpoll, and also seen were 15 Bramblings, 35 Red-throated Divers and five Whooper Swans. The first of hopefully many more Waxwings was seen at Cellardyke, and although a singleton, it was most welcome. A Kingfisher was noted at Gaddon Loch and a Merlin was watched over the stubble fields at Crail (7th). Also in Crail was a flock of 11-12 Bramblings, a Grey Wagtail was in Abbey Park, St Andrews and along the coastal stretch between Lower Largo to Kincraig, seven Stonechats, two Short-eared Owls, one Pale-bellied Brent Goose and three Slavonian Grebes were noted. c6 Goldcrests were at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR and in fields just E of the Den of Lindores were two adults and a juvenile Whooper Swan. Down the coast at Boarhills one Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a Chiffchaff were noted and at Auchtermuchty Common c100 Fieldfares were seen feeding on Hawthorns. 28 Brent Geese and a Black-throated Diver were in Balgove Bay, c40 Snipe were counted on the wet grassland at Valleyfield Lagoons and at Aberdour a female Tawny Owl was calling.

17 Whooper Swans flew over Dunfermline heading E (8th), one adult Mediterranean Gull, one Purple Sandpiper in with the Turnstone flock and eight Gannets E were at Dysart, one Black-throated Diver and six Goldeneye passed Fife Ness, a late House Martin was at Newburgh, c45 Fieldfares and another late Swallow passed W over Dunfermline. At Valleyfield Lagoons, on the wet grassland, c100 Snipe, c4 Jack Snipe and 30 Black-tailed Godwits were noted. c250 Fieldfares and c50 Redwings were at Kilmany (9th), an immature Marsh Harrier, eight Whooper Swans, c20 Snipe and three Pintail were seen at Rossie Bog and at St Andrews, one Brambling W, six Crossbills SE, 11 Fieldfares S, one Blackbird S, one Song Thrush S and five Goldcrests were seen. Buckhaven hosted one adult Mediterranean Gull, two Black-throated Divers, three Red-throated Divers and six Velvet Scoters, the Wilderness had seven Whooper Swans, c900 Pink-feet and 200 Wigeon and nearby at Letham Pools 19 Whooper Swans, 11 Mute Swans and 35 Greylags were noted. In cliff top scrub NW of Fairmont Clubhouse, near St Andrews were c90 Blackbirds, c30 Song Thrushes, c50 Redwings and one Woodcock, a couple of locations reported female Tawny Owls calling, with one at Aberdour and one near Strathkinness. At the top end of Kilminning (10th) a Siberian Chiffchaff was heard calling and a Woodcock was also seen. After previously commenting that November was quiet, a bit of chat on one of the local WhatsApp Groups alerted birders to the possibility of a Hudsonian Godwit being present on the Eden Estuary. Originally photographed on the 3rd, it wasn’t until the 9th that the images were confirmed and the bird was picked out amongst a group of Black-tailed Godwits from the Eden Estuary Centre, with the bird also being seen well in flight to add to the identification. Another first for the County!! Meanwhile at Newburgh an adult female Marsh Harrier and a late Swallow were noted, a Yellow-browed Warbler was heard with a tit flock at the Eden Estuary Centre, a great record for there, also one Spotted Redshank, six Greenshanks, c6 Little Egrets, c98 Scaup and a Kingfisher were seen, the Hudsonian Godwit was seen throughout the day at various locations around the Eden Estuary LNR. Nine Whooper Swans were seen flying E at Parkneuk (12th), two White-tailed Eagles, two Peregrines, 122 Scaup, four Little Egrets and two Kingfishers were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre whilst birders waited for the godwit flock to show, a late, or possibly a wintering, Sandwich Tern flew E at Braefoot Point, c218 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Greenshanks, c260 Knot and one Peregrine were counted at Newmills Bay, 10 Little Grebes and 18 Moorhens were good counts at Newton Farm Pond and one Buzzard, one Kestrel, c75 Teal, 48 Wigeon, three Tufted Ducks and eight Goldeneye were noted at Newton Quarry. A terrific count of c100 Snipe, c8 Jack Snipe, one Woodcock and two Water Rails was made on the wet grassland at Valleyfield Lagoons (13th), a Merlin, one Sparrowhawk and one Kingfisher were at Newmills Bay, 14 Velvet Scoters, a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull, three Red-throated Divers and a Manx Shearwater E were noted at Dysart and 69 Whooper Swans over SW and seven Little Egrets were counted from the Eden Estuary Centre. c350 Goldeneye, another late Swallow, 50 Fieldfares and six Redwings were at Newburgh and not far away at Morton Lochs NNR four Mute Swans, c130 Teal, eight Wigeon, c90 Mallard, 15 Tufted Ducks, five Gadwall, seven Moorhens, 15 Blackbirds and c25 Fieldfares and Redwings were seen. There was a good count of 123 Whooper Swans at the Wilderness and the Hudsonian Godwit was seen once more from the Eden Estuary Centre (14th).

Stonechat was a terrific record from Dunfermline (15th) and eight Pintail, 120 Wigeon and a Whooper Swan were noted at Rossie Bog. A flock of 36 Little Gulls flew high inland at Ferry Hills, with 35 Red-throated Divers also noted, c10 Redwings were seen in Abbey Park, St Andrews, the Hudsonian Godwit was seen again from the shelter at the Eden Estuary Centre, along with Black-tailed Godwits, 33 Whooper Swans were at Craigluscar and at Loch Gelly, one eclipse Scaup, 10 Pochard, 91 Teal, 46 Lapwings, one Snipe, one drake Goosander and two Stonechats were all noted. Two Black-throated Divers and one adult Mediterranean Gull were at East Wemyss, a solitary Red-throated Diver was at Dalgety Bay and at Kingsbarns (16th) there were three Mediterranean Gulls, a 1st calendar year and a 2nd calendar year bird at Cambo Sands, with a 2nd calendar year bird nearby at Boghall, the Hudsonian Godwit, one Kingfisher, three Little Egrets and a Sparrowhawk were reported from the Eden Estuary Centre and at Kilmany a count of c1000 Pink-footed Geese, c1700 Woodpigeons, one Jack Snipe and two Sparrowhawks was made. A scarce Waxwing was seen flying low over the main road at Guardbridge, while counts of 15 Greenshanks and eight Little Egrets from the Eden Estuary Centre were good. The Hudsonian Godwit was still showing well, but now on a flooded field between Guardbridge and Leuchars (17th), a Long-tailed Duck was in Lower Largo Harbour and two Mediterranean Gulls, an adult and a 2nd calendar year bird were seen at Kenly Water (18th) and over at Tentsmuir Point NNR (19th), a Greenshank, three Snow Buntings, two Green Woodpeckers and nine Whooper Swans were noted. An adult Mediterranean Gull, a pair of Stonechats, three Red-throated Divers, 14 Whooper Swans W and a Dipper were at Pathhead, c20 Purple Sandpipers were seen roosting on the cliff below the Aquarium at St Andrews, the Hudsonian Godwit, one Kingfisher, one Spotted Redshank, 44 Black-tailed Godwits, one White-tailed Eagle, six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, five Pintail and 54 Scaup were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and way over west at Newmills Bay, 82 Black-tailed Godwits, two Bar-tailed Godwits, one Chiffchaff, three Greenshanks and 36 Knot were counted. The day count at Fife Ness was one Black-throated Diver S, seven Great Northern Divers N and 23 Red-throated Divers and across at Cameron Reservoir one Jack Snipe, 23 Curlews, four Grey Herons, 48 Wigeon, c70 Tufted Ducks, seven Goldeneye and two Reed Buntings were noted. There was another flurry of late Swallow sightings (20th) with two at Cellardyke and one at Newburgh. A White-tailed Eagle, 30 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, one Jack Snipe, three Slavonian Grebes, four Long-tailed Ducks and two Red-throated Divers were seen at Balgove Bay and the Hudsonian Godwit was seen again from the Eden Estuary Centre on the north shore (21st). A Great Northern Diver, a Knot and 20 Purple Sandpipers were seen at Fife Ness and at the West Sands at St Andrews two Snow Buntings were seen well. A Chiffchaff and a Peregrine were noted at Newburgh and a Little Auk was watched coming in off the sea heading up the Eden Estuary at Out Head. The Hudsonian Godwit was seen roosting with Black-tailed Godwits from the Eden Estuary Centre (22nd), also one Spotted Redshank was still present. At Ferry Hills, the highlights were one redhead Smew flew west over the bridges with four Goldeneye, one Great Northern Diver, 12 Red-throated Divers, five Whooper Swans and a female/juvenile Merlin. A single Snow Bunting was seen at West Sands, St Andrews, 23 Pintail and two Shovelers were at Rossie Bog, with 29 Shovelers and eight Pintail nearby at Angle Park GP and at Letham Pools seven Whooper Swans were present, with another seven on a flooded field to the east. 28 Whooper Swans were near Cameron Reservoir and a single Sandwich Tern was seen feeding off the car park at Leven (23rd). 14 Pintail and c240 Wigeon were seen at Rossie Bog, c24 Brent Geese, c6 Long-tailed Ducks and one Red-throated Diver were off Out Head and c45 Scaup and one Spotted Redshank were on the Eden Estuary LNR. A 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was at East Wemyss (24th), with another adult Mediterranean Gull on the grassy area at Pathhead, where a Great Northern Diver flying high west and 23 Long-tailed Ducks were also noted. The Hudsonian Godwit was seen from the Eden Estuary Centre along with 41 Black-tailed Godwits and a Spotted Redshank (25th). Highlights of a count at Newmills Bay included three Bar-tailed Godwits, seven Great Crested Grebes, one Greenshank, one Kingfisher and 1000’s of Pink-footed Geese flying North. Back east at Balcomie Beach 40 Purple Sandpipers, six Common Scoters and a Great Northern Diver past S were noted along with a Lapland Bunting at Balcomie GC driving range. At Pittenweem 11 Grey Partridges and a Corn Bunting were seen, a Purple Sandpiper and a Great Crested Grebe were off Braefoot Point and yet another late Swallow was seen, this time on a TV aerial in Anstruther, with three Purple Sandpipers also noted on rocks below. 30 Shelducks were counted at Dalgety Bay and eight Whooper Swans headed N over Carnbee (26th). The Hudsonian Godwit was with the Black-tailedGodwit flock at the Eden Estuary, also a Spotted Redshank was still present and back west, two Red-throated Divers and two Great Crested Grebes were off Braefoot Point. A Woodcock was a surprise find for one lucky Crail home owner, with it showing well in their hallway! A 1st winter Iceland Gull was at Fife Ness, with a 1st calendar year Iceland Gull and a Kingfisher at Cambo and two adult Mediterranean Gulls at Boghall. A Woodcock was also seen nearby at the Golf Course at Kingsbarns. A further report of more late Swallows came in with three seen behind the Morrison’s store in Kirkcaldy. 48 Whooper Swans were seen 2km west of Baintown and a count at Ruddons Point produced 23 Grey Plovers, four Golden Plovers and two Bar-tailed Godwits, with c120 Sanderlings and three Bar-tailed Godwits also seen in Largo Bay. A Woodcock made an early morning flight up Winifred Crescent, Kirkcaldy (27th), 750 Pink-footed Geese passed N over Dempster Place, Dunfermline, with c2100 Pink-footed Geese also seen going over Kilmany that day. At Parkneuk, Dunfermline, 30 Whooper Swans were seen flying W, a terrific count of 81 Snow Buntings was made at Tentsmuir and the Hudsonian Godwit was still present and viewed from the Eden Estuary Centre. A Long-eared Owl was watched coming in off the sea at Balcomie Beach, three Great Northern Divers, a few Red-throated Divers, one Long-tailed Duck and a Slavonian Grebe flying NW were noted at Kingsbarns and down at Kilminning, eight Woodcocks and lots of Blackbirds and Goldcrests were noted, most likely due to a cold weather pattern over northern Europe, a Woodcock and several Redwings were also seen at Denburn Wood. 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 10 Bullfinches in one group, c375 Dunlins and a Grey Plover were seen at Newmills Bay, a female Ring-necked Duck was a very good find at Cameron Reservoir (28th), by the boathouse with Tufted Ducks. At Ferry Hills a Woodcock was disturbed off Ferry Hills Road, two Great Northern Divers flew west and also 12 Red-throated Divers were noted.

There was a tremendous find of a Richard’s Pipit along the main track and in long grass towards Ruddons Point, where it showed remarkably well to many birders. A Woodcock flew from the upper area of Kilminning, also 12 Twite were in fields 1/2 mile N. Five Long-tailed Ducks were seen off the car park at the Golf Museum in St Andrews, eight Lapland Buntings and c7 Twite were in with c120 Linnets in stubble fields north of the Golf Course at Kingsbarns (29th), the Richard’s Pipit was seen from the first bridge at Cocklemill Burn, having been flushed late in the previous day by dog walkers. 156 Twite were in fields next to the track to the coast, from Boghall Farm, near Kingsbarns. At Inch Farm, Pittenweem eight Snipe and three Jack Snipe were seen (30th), up to 11 Lapland Buntings and two Corn Buntings were in the stubble field at the NW edge of the Golf Course at Kingsbarns, one adult Mediterranean Gull was noted at Dysart and at Boghall, Kingsbarns, 25 Twite, 35 Purple Sandpipers and two adult Mediterranean Gulls were seen. It seems quite apt that the month ended with another report of a Woodcock, given that this autumn has been good for them. It also follows on from the one seen in a hallway recently for unusual location or behaviour, as the bird today was seen flying down the centre of the A92 near Melville Lodges Roundabout at car height!

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

October 2020 Sightings

October carried over from September with the star bird continuing to be the Siberian Thrush (1st), always seen fleetingly at Kilminning, but with patience brief views could be had. A supporting cast of a Common Rosefinch, a Short-eared Owl, two Hawfinches, a Brambling and a few Redwings made for a good day’s birding. Elsewhere, at Cullaloe LNR a count included five Snipe and two Wheatears while one Stonechat was noted at Seafield Tower. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was at Levenmouth (2nd), while down at Kilminning the Siberian Thrush continued to show sporadically for the increasing number of birders who had journeyed to see this fartravelled bird. The Common Rosefinch still fed happily on the Elder berries and also noted were a Black-throated Diver, 31 Barnacle Geese and one Crossbill over, a Hawfinch was seen around the toilet block and two to three Yellow-browed Warblers, five Redpolls and two Sandwich Terns were also noted. A Yellow-browed Warbler was at the pond, Boarhills, with another seen in a St Andrews garden, where five Crossbills and seven Skylarks were also seen going over S. A tame Brent Goose and two Wheatears were at Kilrenny Mill, six adult and two 1st winter Mediterranean Gulls were on the shore at Dysart and further along the coast at East Wemyss, the Mediterranean Gull count was at 21, including seven 1st winter birds. The weather at Kilminning was atrocious (3rd) but it didn’t stop a few hardy souls hoping to see the Siberian Thrush which duly obliged in the early morning, but was as elusive as ever for the rest of the day. The Common Rosefinch and a Yellow-browed Warbler were also seen and it appeared that there was a slight increase in Chiffchaffs and Thrushes, with counts of two Blackcaps, four Goldcrests, eight Song Thrushes and two Redwings. Nearby at Fife Ness, 10 Goldcrests, six Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps, 35 Song Thrushes and five Redwings were reported. At Ferry Hills two Arctic Skuas and seven Red-throated Divers flew inland, with 12 Song Thrushes and 70 Redpolls noted going over. At Kilminning (4th) the Siberian Thrush showed fleetingly still, the Common Rosefinch, c10 Blackcaps, three Yellow-browed Warblers, one Lesser Whitethroat, one Garden Warbler, seven Bramblings, c5 Goldcrests, c2 Woodcocks, c7 Chiffchaffs and a big arrival of Redwings were noted. Also seen were at least two Hawfinches, a Ring Ouzel, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Willow Warbler, two Siskins, two Short-eared Owls, one Yellow Wagtail E, one Grey Wagtail and one Grey Plover W, a Greenshank flew over and a Barred Warbler was also reported. Seen going over in small skeins all day were Barnacle Geese, including an albino bird and the numbers were estimated to be around c2500 for the day. Along the Coastal Path at Kilminning towards Fife Ness, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a superb Red-breasted Flycatcher were found and at Fife Ness itself, a Lesser Whitethroat and two Yellow-browed Warblers were around the caravans, with a further two Yellow-browed Warblers and a Garden Warbler in the patch. A scarce Lapland Bunting was seen near Dane’s Dyke on the ground and at Balcomie one Spotted Flycatcher, one Willow Warbler, c2 Chiffchaffs and c3 Blackcaps were noted. In Crail, at Roome Bay, a Yellow-browed Warbler was watched in Sycamores behind the toilet block and further west at Kincraig Hill c300 Redwings, two Goldcrests, several Song Thrushes, a male Ring Ouzel and a female Blackcap were seen. Later in the day a possible Dusky Warbler was heard calling twice at Kilminning, but not seen. Boarhills had four Yellow-browed Warblers (two at the pond, one at Kittocks Den and one in the village), three Jack Snipe, one Redstart, three Garden Warblers, two Willow Warblers and 101 Wigeon SE and in a St. Andrews garden a Ring Ouzel was seen briefly before flying NW. Away from the East Neuk, Kinghorn had a passage of 13 Red-throated Divers, 1430 Kittiwakes W, c90 Little Gulls, one Arctic Skua, three Great Northern Divers, a Sandwich Tern and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull. And at Ferry Hills the passage there included a dark juvenile Long-tailed Skua, which went inland with a dark juvenile Arctic Skua. 1100 Kittiwakes including a flock of 800 also flew inland, six Bonxies, 15 Red-throated Divers, one Tree or Olive-backed Pipit, 150 Redwings, 14 Song Thrushes and nine Crossbills also went over. And a count at Valleyfield Lagoons included 13 Greenshanks, nine Black-tailed Godwits and nine Ringed Plovers. At Kilminning (5th) the Siberian Thrush was seen to head straight into a rose bush in the early morning, but was not seen subsequently, also noted were one Jack Snipe, c25 Blackcaps, one Garden Warbler and four Bramblings, with a male Redstart and a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Sycamores just before the entrance. Also seen at the top end of Kilminning were two Spotted Flycatchers, a Ring Ouzel and a Blackcap, with the day total for Yellow-browed Warblers in the area being around eight. Down at Fife Ness on the patch were, c3 Yellow-browed Warblers and a Crossbill over, with a probable Blyth’s Reed Warbler also seen skulking. Balcomie had a good count of at least eight Chiffchaffs, while over at Wormiston a female/immature Redstart, four Chiffchaffs and five skeins of Barnacle Geese totalling c500 birds were seen. Boarhills still had a Yellow-browed Warbler (at the pond), with a Reed Warbler, a Garden Warbler and 271 Barnacle Geese SE. A Ring Ouzel was seen in St Andrews and at Ferry Hills, migration continued in the form of a Black-throated Diver, 10 Red-throated Divers, one Arctic Skua, two Whooper Swans, two Bramblings and 22 Song Thrushes. In Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy (6th) a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was on the football pitch and back down at the coast, a Radde’s Warbler was heard well in the patch, but not seen, with a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Redstart, 40 Tree Sparrows, a Scaup over, 30 Barnacle Geese over, a Brambling, c30 Redpolls, four Siskins, c6 Blackcaps and c10 Chiffchaffs all noted too. Later that day an Arctic Warbler was trapped and ringed. Also seen there was a Siberian Chiffchaff. At the top end of Kilminning were a Ring Ouzel, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Brambling, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Yellow-browed Warbler, c3 Chiffchaffs, c6 Goldcrests and c12 Redwings. In the walled garden at Balcomie, a possible Dusky Warbler was in the eastern end, showing well at times and calling. Yellow-browed Warblers were noted at Kilminning, Caiplie and in Denburn Wood, a Woodcock was flushed near the caravans at Fife Ness, eight Snow Buntings were in a stubble field near to Crail and a Chiffchaff was at Strathkinness. Seen going over St Andrews were one Hawfinch, 13 Brambling, five Chaffinches, one Crossbill, two Redpolls, one Siskin, one White Wagtail, three Pied Wagtails, 15 Skylarks and one Song Thrush, all heading S. Also a Grey Wagtail heading W. At Newburgh a 2nd year Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine and five Buzzards were noted, between Cocklemill Burn and Ruddons Point were four Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Common Scoters and a large gathering of c50 feeding Swallows. A count at Dalgety Bay included nine Golden Plovers and c24 Turnstones. Two Yellow-browed Warblers, five Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps, one Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Crossbills, 10 House Martins and three Swallows were seen in, or over the patch, Fife Ness (7th), with c8 Blackcaps, c10 Chiffchaffs, one Siskin, one Brambling, 12 Long-tailed Tits, one Yellow-browed Warbler and six Crossbills noted around the Kilminning area. A Chiffchaff was briefly heard singing at Braefoot, while a small passage of Swallows was noted that day with 12 at Barns Farm, two at Strathkinness and four near Kinghorn Loch. 20 Mistle Thrushes were seen heading W at Moss Plantation, a Hawfinch went S over St Andrews and one Arctic Skua, 29 Crossbills, 143 Redpolls, 123 Siskins, 24 Skylark, 43 Mistle Thrushes and 63 Redwings passed over Ferry Hills. The spread of Yellow-browed Warblers away from the coast continues with two great finds, one at Kilmany and one further west at Dunfermline. Both an Arctic Warbler and a Blyth’s Reed Warbler were seen well in the Patch at Fife Ness (8th), with four Crossbills also seen going over. At Kingsbarns a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen near Cambo House, with an adult Mediterranean Gull and an immature Peregrine seen nearby. A possible Red-throated Pipit was flushed by walkers 200m N of the car park by the sheep field at Out Head, it flew SW calling, but was lost in the sun over the golf course, also nearby was a Redstart along the road up to Out Head. Also noted at Out Head were a Mediterranean Gull W, a Slavonian Grebe, a Red-breasted Merganser and a flock of c10 Crossbills passing over N. Nearby in St Andrews were two Mute Swans, 12 Mallard and seven Moorhens at North Haugh Pond. There was a big overhead movement at Ferry Hills which included seven Taiga Bean Geese, 15 Barnacle Geese, 149 Skylarks, 53 Song Thrushes, 99 Mistle Thrushes and 44 Crossbills. Also 1288 Pink-footed Geese, 11 Bramblings and 195 Redpolls. And then another great inland Yellow-browed Warbler sighting came in from Angle Park GP, with the bird seen around the pools at Cairnfield Muir, with a Common Redpoll with a Redpoll flock, also c6 Goldcrest and two Chiffchaffs were noted there. Ferry Hills had four Taiga Bean Geese, three Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a juvenile Arctic Skua heading west up the Forth (9th), in the patch at Fife Ness was a Yellow-browed Warbler with a Woodcock flushed also. In the Elie Estate a Hawfinch was a good find near the big house. Another light Swallow passage was noted (10th) with two at St Andrews and five at Fife Ness, with a Wheatear and a Red-throated Diver also seen there. In fields directly north of thegolf course at Kingsbarns, c4 Twite, a Peregrine and a Wheatear were noted, two coveys of Grey Partridges (nine and 11) were seen near Cellardyke and a count at Valleyfield Lagoons included five Bar-tailed Godwits, five Black-tailed Godwits, seven Greenshanks and a Scaup. The passage at Ferry Hills included nine Whooper Swans, one Arctic Skua, 124 Mistle Thrushes (flocks dropping in to feed on berries, then eventually heading off high across Forth) and 17 Bramblings, also one Stonechat was on the ground. Just outside Crail a Lapland Bunting was in the obligatory stubble field, a 1st calendar year Marsh Harrier was noted at Rossie Bog, a Brambling was in the patch at Fife Ness, with two Yellow-browed Warblers and two Chiffchaffs at nearby Kilminning also. At Ferry Hills on the night of (10th-11th) a White-fronted Goose was sound recorded. A small Whooper Swan passage was noted (11th) with 15 E over Auchtermuchty, eight over Cellardyke, 15 over Dunfermline and two over Barns Farm. Passage at Ferry Hills included 33 Red-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers, 11 Pintail, 23 Crossbills, 67 Mistle Thrushes and 100 Redpolls. At Kilminning a Fieldfare, two Bramblings, a Yellow-browed Warbler, c4 Blackcaps, c3 Chiffchaffs and one Redpoll were seen and on the north side of the Lomond Hills 14 Red Grouse and a Peregrine were noted. Further west c4000 Pink-feet, which included three Barnacle Geese, were counted at Crombie, meanwhile on the east coast at Kittock’s Den, a Hawfinch flew towards Boarhills, four Bramblings, a Fieldfare, one Chiffchaff, two Blackcaps and one Redwing were seen, whilea Yellow-browed Warbler and a Brambling were seen at a small wood west of Sypsies Wood, Crail. 27 Twite were in fields at the north end of the beach at Boghall, Kingsbarns, a White-tailed Eagle, 12 Slavonian Grebes, two Great Crested Grebes, c30 Sanderlings, one Dunlin, 11 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, one Guillemot, c200 Pink-footed Geese W, eight Whooper Swan W and six Meadow Pipits were all noted at Out Head, 22 Whooper Swans, an immature female Marsh Harrier and a 1st calendar year Marsh Harrier were watched at Rossie Bog (12th), two Short-eared Owls were at Out Head and a seawatch at Crail (13th) produced 18 Sooty Shearwaters E, five Manx Shearwaters E, c3330 Razorbills, c370 Guillemots and five Barnacle Geese W. Three Swallows were noted heading E at Barns Farm, eight Whooper Swans went over NE at Kinghorn Loch and a juvenile Arctic Tern was a good find at Tentsmuir Point NNR. Four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, two adults and two juveniles were at Tayport and at Ferry Hills (14th) the passage included 25 Red-throated Divers, 124 Wigeon, a flock of 50 Kittiwakes flying inland with a 1st winter Arctic Tern, 180 Redwings, 26 Fieldfares, 60 Redpolls, 31 Crossbills and two Bramblings. A Long-eared Owl was at the pond, Boarhills, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the grassy area by the car park at Buckhaven, a Yellow-browed Warbler was at Craighead Cottages, Fife Ness and another Mediterranean Gull was at Kingsbarns, this time a 1st calendar year bird. A Tawny Owl was heard calling at Aberdour and near St Andrews, one Yellow-browed Warbler was heard calling, with seven Bramblings, one Crossbill S and three Redpolls. 50 Twite were in fields north of the pond at Boarhills, also a male Peregrine (15th), overhead passage at Ferry Hills included 26 Bramblings, 180 Redwings, 24 Swallows and 47 Skylarks, c40 Lesser Redpolls were seen at Wilderness, two White-tailed Eagles, two Spotted Redshanks and one Kingfisher were noted at the Eden Estuary. A Short-eared Owl was at Kilminning, a Kingfisher was seen at Dumbarnie, a Bonxie was watched harassing an adult Great Black-backed Gull off Kingsbarns, with 25 Little Gulls and 11 Long-tailed Ducks passing SE also noted. An adult and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, two Kingfishers and 23 Redwings over were at Levenmouth (16th), 750 Pink-footed Geese, 41 Fieldfares and 24 Redwings passed over Dunfermline and a similar passage was noted at Kilmany with 1000 Pink-footed Geese N, c60 Fieldfares and 15 Redwings. A Siberian Chiffchaff was at upper Kilminning, with 14 Twite and 70 Wigeon E seen at the lower end, 11 Little Egrets, 22 Goosander, one Shoveler, two Little Gulls (adult and a first calendar year), one Spotted Redshank, 14 Greenshanks, one Grey Plover, 17 Golden Plovers and five Black-tailed Godwits were counted at the Eden Estuary and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in Anstruther Bay. A Glossy Ibis was a great find on the small pond by the seawall at Tayport, only the third County Record, pending acceptance. The bird didn’t hang about for long and was seen flying off at dusk and wasn’t seen thereafter. Three Little Egrets, four Brent Geese and seven Shoveler were also noted at Tayport. The Siberian Chiffchaff was still showing reasonably well and calling at Kilminning, two White-tailed Eagles, one Peregrine, 50 Long-tailed Ducks and one Slavonian Grebe were at Kinshaldy, 24 Bar-tailed Godwits, five Black-tailed Godwits, four Greenshanks and one Slavonian Grebe were counted at Valleyfield Lagoons, a Tawny Owl was calling and c1000 Pink-footed Geese passed over N at Dunfermline. 15 Whooper Swans passed over Anstruther heading SW (17th) and nine Twite with 80 Linnets in the field just north of the golf course at Kingsbarns, while at Dalgety Bay a good count of 300 Wigeon was made. At Pickletillum c500 Pink-footed Geese were in a stubble field next to the A91. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the East Beach at Dysart (18th), with three Mediterranean Gulls offshore at West Wemyss and a further two were on the tide line at East Wemyss, a Raven, three Shoveler, 11 Gadwall, 42 Wigeon, 12 Fieldfares and two Redwings were at Craigluscar and 120 Fieldfares, 42 Redwings, two Mistle Thrushes, a Peregrine, 236 Greylag Geese (including two Leucistic birds) and 39 Lapwings were counted at Loch Gelly. A Short-eared Owl was in the patch at Fife Ness, two Swallows were watched going W at Cellardyke, 20 Twite, eight Common Scoters were noted at Fife Ness, with six Redpolls and a Chiffchaff at the top end of nearby Kilminning. Two Snow Buntings and a Stonechat were on the saltmarsh at Tayport, with a Little Egret noted nearby on Lucky Scalp. Seven Purple Sandpipers were seen in front of the hide at Fife Ness, two Sandwich Terns were seen off Braefoot Point, two Jack Snipe and 15 Snipe were in Cocklemill Marsh and at nearby Ruddons Point, the Whimbrel has taken up residence once more. An adult Little Gull and two adult Mediterranean Gulls were noted at Roome Bay, Crail, with another adult Mediterranean Gull seen at Kilrenny Mill, further west at Barns Farm two Swallows were seen heading E and nearby at Dalgety Bay a Slavonian Grebe was present. From the entrance track at Morton Lochs NNR a male Merlin, six Bramblings, 45 Chaffinches, five Twite, 60 Linnets, nine Greenfinches, two Bullfinches, 11 Redpolls, 23 Yellowhammers, 135 Mistle Thrushes, 120 Fieldfares, nine Blackbirds, 38 Redwings, 22 Song Thrushes, 14 Meadow Pipits, four Pied Wagtails, 75 Skylarks and a Stonechat were counted. From Leven two Scaup, a Goldeneye, four Slavonian Grebes, 11 Long-tailed Ducks, 100 Velvet Scoters and 40 Common Scoters were counted and at the Eden Estuary LNR a White-tailed Eagle, a Peregrine, two Greenshanks, three Scaup and five Little Egrets were noted. At Kilminning (20th) a Siberian Chiffchaff, a Brambling and one Common Redpoll were seen with three Redpolls and two Snipe noted going over also. Five Crossbills were seen in spruces near Cambo House, Kingsbarns, with five Twite also noted there, three Pomarine Skuas were seen from Dalgety Bay Sailing Club and a count at Newmills Bay included 51 Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshanks, one Kingfisher and a Knot. c90 Fieldfares were at Kilmany (21st), two drake Surf Scoters, 40 Velvet Scoters, 400 Common Scoters, 250 Long-tailed Ducks and ten Slavonian Grebes were counted off Kinshaldy, two Ravens flew over Cocklemill Burn where two Goosanders were also noted, a Blackcap, two Swallows, four Pheasants, eight Mistle Thrushes and 22 Long-tailed Tits were seen at Fife Ness, with a Siberian Chiffchaff, three Blackcaps, four Goldcrests, one Grey Wagtail, 14 Mistle Thrushes, eight Redwings and two Fieldfares at the top end of Kilminning and a Merlin and 26 Long-tailed Tits noted at the bottom end. Six Little Egrets, one Pale-bellied Brent Goose, one Gadwall and a Shoveler were at Tayport. The passage at Ferry Hills (22nd) included 400 Fieldfares and 13 Whooper Swans, c200 Fieldfares, c40 Redwings, c1500 Pink-footed Geese flew over and an adult Mediterranean Gull flew off west at Loch Gelly, with 450 Pink-footed Geese, eight Redwings flying over and six Curlews noted at Craigluscar. At Wellwood, Dunfermline c1000 Pink-footed Geese were counted and at Letham Pools 54 Gadwall and a Pintail were present, four Jays were seen at Mountcastle GP, while at Angle Park GP eight Whooper Swans, a great count of 102 Gadwall and nine Pintail were present. Seven Whooper Swans, two Goldeneyes, two Pintail and four Gadwall were at Wilderness and over at Tayport five Little Egrets, five Brent Geese, four Grey Plovers, 60 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Black-tailed Godwit were noted. A male Merlin, seven Barnacle Geese, 12 Red-throated Divers and 347 Fieldfares passed over Ferry Hills (23rd), a Carrion/Hooded Crow, seven Bar-tailed Godwits, two Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshanks and a Grey Wagtail were counted at Newmills Bay and along at Kilminning a Siberian Chiffchaff was showing well in the trees near the go-kart track, also noted were five Redpolls, a Brambling and a likely male Northern Bullfinch feeding on berries. A Merlin dashed across the road near Toldrie, Crail and at East Wemyss an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Slavonian Grebe were offshore while 40 Fieldfares passed overhead. At Kingsbarns a Red-throated Diver, 16 Turnstones and a Guillemot were seen, while at Fairmont Golf Course a probable Common Redpoll and three Lesser Redpolls were seen heading W. A Little Gull and two Goosanders were seen off Fife Ness (24th), while at Rossie Bog two female Marsh Harriers, with possibly a third,were noted, at Denhead 20 Fieldfares were present and 1136 Fieldfares, 25 Red-throated Divers, two Bramblings and seven Crossbills passed over Ferry Hills (25th). An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen flying towards the harbour at Pathhead, with a pair of Stonechats present and 35 Redwings seen passing over and nearby at Kirkcaldy c100 Redwings were seen feeding on Rowans, 24 Fieldfares were also noted at Wormit. Three Swallows were seen feeding over the golf course at Kingsbarns, two Scaup were noted at Cameron Reservoir, 24 Canada Geese and seven Gadwall were at Craigluscar, two Marsh Harriers two Whooper Swans, two Pintail, three Greylag Geese and eight Wigeon were at Rossie Bog. Two Hawfinches were a great find at Lochmill, Newburgh and at Rossie Bog (26th) two Marsh Harriers, 29 Curlews, two Pintail, a Shoveler, two Whooper Swans and 1350 Pink-feet passing over. At Kilminning a late juvenile Red-backed Shrike was a very good find, with one Woodcock, two Redpolls, one Blackcap, one Chiffchaff, nine Redwings, 12 Fieldfares, seven Mistle Thrushes and three Song Thrushes also present. 50 Twite were in fields at Boarhills, a lone Snow Bunting was at Kingsbarns and over at the Eden Estuary LNR were 104 Scaup, one Spotted Redshank, one Greenshank, two Peregrines and nine Goldeneye. The Red-backed Shrike was still present at Kilminning (27th) and a Lesser Whitethroat was a great find in a Dunfermline garden. At St Andrews a Kingfisher was at the East Sands and a redhead Smew popped up at Loch Gelly. c600 Pink-footed Geese, c16 Golden Plovers and c50 Lapwings were in a flooded ploughed field at Abercrombie, two Scaup and an adult Mediterranean Gull were on Kilconquhar Loch whilst a probable Siberian Chiffchaff was heard calling in the cemetery. At the bottom end of Kilminning three Chiffchaffs and two Swallows were seen and over at Pathhead (28th) an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the grass and a Merlin came in off the sea. Also noted was a Swallow, a 1st winter Little Gull, two Stonechats, two Grey Wagtails and a Dipper. A Merlin was noted at Charlottetown, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Wheatear, two Swallows and an immature leucistic Herring Gull were at Kingsbarns (29th) and further west at Dalgety Bay an adult and a 1st winter Little Gull were noted. c15 Crossbills and a Peregrine overhead were at Darklaw Hill, Rathillet (30th), a ringtail Hen Harrier was watched hunting over fields on the south side of Cameron Reservoir, two adults and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull were on the grass at Pathhead and two Marsh Harriers were seen at Rossie Bog. Five Lapland Buntings, a real scarcity in Fife these days, were seen in flight over fields at the north end of Kilrenny Common. Another autumn Hawfinch, this time over Rumblingwell, Dunfermline (31st) and in difficult conditions at Ferry Hills a passage included seven Little Gulls, three Great Northern Divers, 45 Red-throated Divers, four Bonxies, 100 Kittiwakes, 200 Fieldfares, 170 Redwings, 175 Goldfinches and a single Swallow, Crossbill and Brambling.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

September 2020 Sightings

September got off to a good start with a good variety of waders around (1st), with one Green Sandpiper, six Ruff and eight Snipe at Wilderness, two Spotted Redshanks, one Greenshank, two Ospreys, one Little Egret, one Kingfisher & c200 Canada Geese at the Eden Estuary and one Green Sandpiper lifted from the marsh at Valleyfield Lagoons and flew west. Migration highlights at Ferry Hills (2nd) included 95 Wigeon, 15 Pintail, three Snipe, one Shoveler, 14 Teal, one Whimbrel, one Bonxie and two Spotted Flycatchers. At the Eden Estuary one White-tailed Eagle, six Ospreys, four Little Egrets and a single Curlew Sandpiper were noted and over at Buckhaven the Mediterranean Gull numbers rose to ten, with nine adults and a 1st winter bird present. The migration through Ferry Hills continued (3rd) with three Pale-bellied Brent Geese flying west, also five Pintail, four Arctic Skuas, three Bonxies, eight Crossbills & 34 Lesser Redpolls, five Snipe were at Wilderness and at Morton Lochs NNR, one Spotted Flycatcher, two Little Egrets, six Grey Herons, six Little Grebes and a Peregrine were seen. Not far away from there, a Little Stint was at Kinshaldy and wader numbers picked up at the Eden Estuary LNR with eight Curlew Sandpipers, two Greenshanks, one Spotted Redshank, c200 Redshanks, c60 Knot, 50 Dunlins, six Ringed Plovers, c300 Canada Geese, five Ospreys and three Little Egrets. Pathhead had one adult Mediterranean Gull, 40 Goosanders, one Wheatear and five Grey Wagtails and along at East Wemyss the 19 Mediterranean Gulls included seven 1st winter birds. Valleyfield Lagoon had good counts (4th) with two Whimbrel, two Greenshanks, 183 Curlews, 21 Bar-tailed Godwits, 32 Ringed Plovers, 30 Dunlins, one Knot and 83 Sandwich Terns and back at East Wemyss the 38 Mediterranean Gulls included eight 1st winter birds. Coble Shore had one White-tailed Eagle, four Ospreys, two Peregrines, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, six Pintail, four Wheatears and two Little Egrets (5th), while a walk from Balcomie to Fife Ness produced one Arctic Skua, 10 Knot, 40 Dunlins, one Bar-tailed Godwit and three Wheatears. Nearby at Fife Ness were two Arctic Skuas, two Red-throated Divers and a lone Razorbill on the rocks. Kinshaldy once again hosted a scarcer wader with a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper noted. The East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull roost rose once more to 41 birds, which included 13 1st winter birds. At Plains Farm, Dunshalt c250 Pink-footed Geese were seen going over SE (6th) and at the Eden Estuary five juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, two White-tailed Eagles and c250 Swallows were counted, 13 Pink-footed Geese were also see going over Dunfermline, as were five Meadow Pipits. Dysart had a good mix of three adults and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, one Wheatear and an Osprey heading over. More Pink-feet were noted at Out Head, with one White-tailed Eagle, one Sparrowhawk, one Cuckoo and a Wheatear noted too. Some ploughed fields at Cellardyke held six Wheatears, 200 Linnets, 50 Goldfinches and 12 Stock Doves. Migration highlights at Ferry Hills included impressive counts of 628 Pink-feet, 25 Knot, three Arctic Skuas, 1545 Siskins, 1222 Meadow Pipits, 401 Lesser Redpolls, 87 Sand Martins, 22 Tree Pipits, ten Grey Wagtails, four Spotted Flycatchers and one Jay. Also a Redstart was seen along the track, as well as a Nuthatch was heard calling from nearby gardens. 14 Pintail were at Wilderness and in the East Lomond area of the Lomond Hills six Ravens, one Wheatear and 20 Pink-feet passed over. A family party of four Whinchats were seen at Pleasants Farm, Dalgety Bay, whilst at Balcomie Beach six Wheatears, one White Wagtail and 10 Knot were present. Two White Wagtails were also at Sauchope east beach, Crail, a Wheatear was at St Ninians Quarry and one Greenshank, 34 Dunlins, two Teal, eight Wigeon and three Wheatears were all at Kilrenny Mill. The numbers at the East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull roost had dropped to 11, which included five moulting juveniles and also seen were 16 Canada Geese passing over calling. A good variety of species were seen at the Eden Estuary (7th), with one Ruff, one Spotted Redshank, six Curlew Sandpipers, three Turnstones, one Common Sandpiper, five Pink-feet, four Brent Geese, four Pintail, nine Little Egrets, two Ospreys, two Peregrines, two Canada Geese and a Sparrowhawk. One White-tailed Eagle and two Ospreys were noted further down the estuary at Out Head and a 2nd winter Marsh Harrier was a good find at Newburgh. Fife Ness had seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, one Common Tern, one Red-throated Diver and two Common Scoters, with two Bar-tailed Godwits and 17 Knot also noted on the rocks. A lone Swift was also watched passing over the golf course. At East Wemyss 43 Mediterranean Gulls were counted. Another regular haunt for Mediterranean Gulls, Pathhead had an adult (8th) with a 1st Winter Black Guillemot for good measure also. The Eden Estuary then struck gold with two Spoonbills, one Spotted Redshank, seven Curlew Sandpipers, one Ruff, two Whimbrel, two Black-tailed Godwits, one Greenshank, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 88 Pink-footed Geese, seven Little Egrets, one Kingfisher and three Goldeneyes. The Mediterranean Gull roost at East Wemyss was at 38 birds, which included 14 adults, nine 2nd calendar year and 15 1st winters. A Hen Harrier was seen just outside Crail and slightly west from there at Anstruther were a Wheatear, three Bar-tailed Godwits and a Golden Plover. A juvenile Hobby, six Ospreys, one Peregrine, seven juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, two Ruff, one Greenshank, one juvenile Mediterranean Gull, one Spotted Redshank, five Pintail, 165 Pink-footed Geese, two Kingfishers, one ‘flava Wagtail’ and 32 Knot were at the Eden Estuary (9th), whilst a juvenile Merlin, one Greenshank, 35 Dunlins, 43 Lapwings, 22 Golden Plovers and four Wheatears were counted at Kilrenny Mill. The Eden Estuary produced seven Curlew Sandpipers, one Ruff, one Spotted Redshank, one Greenshank, one White-tailed Eagle, two Ospreys and three Pintail (10th) and migration continued unabated at Ferry Hills where 1555 Meadow Pipits, 760 Siskins, 278 Lesser Redpolls, 17 Red-throated Divers, 14 Golden Plovers and two Spotted Flycatchers were counted. At Kingsbarns a Green Sandpiper, one Spotted Flycatcher and one Tree Pipit were noted, while a Green Woodpecker, a scarce bird in Fife these days, was seen at East Lomond. Seven Brent Geese were at Levenmouth (11th), when seven Curlew Sandpiper, one Greenshank, two Little Egrets, three Ospreys, 180 Pink-footed Geese and three Pintail were on the Eden Estuary. Much further west a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, 12 Arctic Skuas, three Pomarine Skuas and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull were good finds at Dalgety Bay. The 54 Mediterranean Gulls counted at East Wemyss included 18 moulting juveniles while a Black Guillemot feeding offshore, one Greenshank, 30 Dunlins and 10 Grey Partridges were noted at Kilrenny Mill.

At Kinshaldy two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers were seen, with excellent counts of 485 Goosanders and c100 Red-breasted Mergansers, another juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 360 Common Terns were at Tentsmuir Point NNR. 18 Pintail, four Curlew Sandpipers, two Greenshanks, one Peregrine, four Ospreys, four Little Egrets and eight Sandwich Terns were noted at Eden Estuary, a juvenile Black Tern, which seem scarce this year, three Arctic Skuas, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese and an adult Mediterranean Gull were at Pathhead (13th). More Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen at Leven with seven noted, also seven Goosanders, c20 Sand Martins and an interesting leucistic Herring Gull were noted. Fife Ness produced a Sooty Shearwater, one Manx Shearwater, one Red-throated Diver, two Sandwich Terns, one Wheatear and six Knot, with Kilrenny Mill having one Greenshank, 15 Sandwich Terns and a Wheatear. Six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, an Osprey and seven Red-breasted Mergansers were off Out Head, while the rise in sightings of Nuthatches continued with a bird on a feeder at Aberdour (14th), also that day a lone Swift was noted over Crail. The seven Brent Geese seen at Leven a few days previously were still present (15th), along with a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull and a Peregrine, nearby at Buckhaven six adult Mediterranean Gulls were noted. Also in the same area another Mediterranean Gull, this time a 1st winter was seen on playing fields at Parkdale Avenue, Leven and at Rosyth another adult Mediterranean Gull was on the playing fields at Middlebank. A 1st year Marsh Harrier, two Ravens, a Peregrine and a Wheatear were noted at Newburgh, whilst at Dalgety Bay two adult and one juvenile Roseate Terns were good finds. Kilrenny Mill also had an adult Mediterranean Gull, along with nine Dunlins and three Wheatears and over Ladybank c600 Greylag Geese were watched and this large skein also included a Bar-headed Goose. A single Merlin was at Crail and at Wilderness a single juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper and at least 50 Shovelers were counted. An amazing seabird assemblage was seen off Kingsbarns in the evening, with thousands of birds feeding and on the water; mostly Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Gannets, with at least 2500 of the former. The count included 690 Little Gulls, with 615 off Cambo and 75 off the beach car park, also noted were three Arctic Skuas, one Bonxie, 12 Red-throated Divers and another Mediterranean Gull, this time a 3rd year bird. At Kilminning (16th), a lone Garden Warbler was seen, while along at Fife Ness 87 Red-throated Divers, four Great Northern Divers, one Black-throated Diver, 82 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, five Dark-bellied Brent Geese, five Little Gulls, five Sooty Shearwaters, 13 Manx Shearwaters, five Velvet Scoters, three Bonxies, one Arctic Skua and one Purple Sandpiper were all noted. A count at Carlingnose Point produced two Pomarine Skuas, one Bonxie, 39 Arctic Skuas, five Red-throated Divers, 16 Pink-footed Geese, 76 Gannets, 223 Kittiwakes, two Common Scoters and a Raven and at nearby St David’s Harbour one Pomarine Skua, one Bonxie, two Arctic Skuas, two Manx Shearwaters, eight Fulmars, one Red-throated Diver, 27 Teal and four Pale-bellied Brent Geese were watched. A bit further east, at Kinghorn Harbour, three Pomarine Skua, two Bonxies, 13 Arctic Skuas, five Manx Shearwaters, 12 Fulmars, 32 Teal, two Common Scoters, 191 Eiders and one Red-throated Diver were also noted. A flock of 120 Barnacle Geese flew over Ferry Hills (17th), at Fife Ness were one Spotted Flycatcher, two Siskins, one Snipe over and 20 Pink-footed Geese over also, all seen from the patch. Also seen flying over, this time from Dunfermline, were 80 Pink-footed Geese and two Lesser Redpolls, a Pied Flycatcher, one Whitethroat and one Blackcap were at Kilminning, 44 Manx Shearwaters, 11 Red-throated Divers, six Fulmars, three Sandwich Terns, three Common Terns, six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Kittiwakes, 14 Wigeon and a Stonechat were seen at Fife Ness and at the Eden Estuary 11 Little Egrets, three Ruff, one Curlew Sandpiper and three Ospreys were seen. At Wilderness, two Ruff, and c50 Shoveler were counted. Boarhills had a Merlin and a lone Fieldfare was at Kilminning. Kingsbarns had 50 Redshanks, 27 Turnstones, 15 Oystercatchers, one Purple Sandpiper, one Little Stint and five Red-breasted Mergansers (18th), 12 Little Gulls and a Great Northern Diver were off Kilminning, with the Pied Flycatcher a Garden Warbler as well as a single Blackcap present in the bushes. 150 Pink-footed Geese passed over Ladybank, a Brambling was seen at Bogward Road, St Andrews, three White Wagtails were on the golf course at Fife Ness, with a Common Sandpiper was on the rocks also. One Curlew Sandpiper, 11 Snipe, c30 Curlews and c30 Pink-footed Geese, were at Wilderness, one Spotted Flycatcher and one Stonechat were at Ferry Hills (19th), while at Fife Ness, two Red-throated Divers, one Great Northern Diver, three Arctic Skuas, two Manx Shearwater, c50 Little Gulls, 14 Wigeon, 13 Red-throated Divers, five Common Scoters and 20 Sandwich Terns were seen passing. At Balcomie Beach were one Ruff, 73 Dunlins, three Sanderlings, two Knot, five Ringed Plovers, with c350 Little Gulls offshore and three Whitethroats noted. Newton Farm had a count of six Dabchicks, four Mute Swans and eight Moorhens, with counts of 10 Dabchicks, three Wigeon, one Buzzard and two Jays at Linkswood. North Quarry had nine Dabchicks, 11 Canada Geese, eight Wigeon, three Gadwall and two Reed Buntings, with Drumoig having six Dabchicks & 10 Mallards. One Black-tailed Godwit was at Cullaloe LNR and two Scaup, 21 Goldeneye and 113 Tufted Ducks were at Loch Gelly. Off Kilminning (20th) were one Bonxie and c40 Little Gulls, with eight Redpolls, one Blackcap & one Chiffchaff seen around the car parks. Fife Ness saw a count of one Tystie, six Manx Shearwaters, one Bonxie, two Red-throated Divers, seven Common Scoters, four Sandwich Terns & 60 Pink-footed Geese, with the first reported sightings of Yellow-browed Warblers this autumn came from Craighead cottages where possibly two birds were seen. At Abden Shore a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was on the beach, at Boarhills, along the path and field west of the village, 32 White Wagtails, two Stonechats, one Chiffchaff, four Reed Buntings and 58 Skylarks were noted. A count at Morton Lochs NNR included 23 Teal, c110 Mallard, 10 Moorhens, c30 Pheasants, two Buzzards, one Kestrel, two Ravens over, one Jay and a Magpie. A Peregrine was over Luthrie (21st) and at East Wemyss only three Mediterranean Gulls were seen. 13 Canada Geese, seven Grey Herons, 56 Oystercatchers, 18 Curlews, 14 Turnstones, 15 Redshanks, four Guillemots, one Razorbill and seven Sandwich Terns were seen off Boarhills and at Dysart an adult and 1st winter Mediterranean Gulls, c40 Ringed Plovers and two Dunlins were seen. An early Long-tailed Duck was in Anstruther Harbour. Eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew over Ferry Hills (23rd), a Ruff was on Sauchope East Beach Crail, at Kilminning one Yellow-browed Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, c500 Pink-footed Geese (in 12 skeins) and a Great-spotted Woodpecker were seen, while in Dunfermline (24th) one Merlin, two Buzzards and 45 Pink-footed Geese were seen passing over. Tayport Pond held four Mute Swans, c25 Mallard and 18 Moorhens and at Valleyfield Lagoons 21 Bar-tailed Godwits, 19 Black-tailed Godwits, six Greenshanks and a juvenile Ruff were present. At Kilminning, a Yellow-browed Warbler was in the high trees and down at Fife Ness 31 Sooty Shearwaters, 85 Manx Shearwaters, c590 Little Gulls, four Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies, 15 Common Scoters, one Wigeon, three Teal and three Red-throated Divers were counted. The day count at Fife Ness (25th) saw impressive numbers of seabirds passing, with 312 Sooty Shearwaters, five Manx Shearwaters, 121 Little Gulls, 16 Bonxies, 103 Common Scoters, 53 Red-throated Divers, one Black Guillemot, one Mediterranean Gull, one Long-tailed Duck, 10 Knot and two Purple Sandpipers. The day count at Fife Ness (26th) was also very impressive with 376 Sooty Shearwaters, seven Manx Shearwaters, 26 Bonxies, seven Arctic Skuas, 11 Red-throated Divers, c285 Little Gulls, 125 Common Scoters, 14 Wigeon and 12 Pink-feet noted. 12 Sooty Shearwaters, 59 Little Gulls and one Red-throated Diver were also seen from Crail, 16 Barnacle Geese, 630 Pink-feet and a Bonxie were at Ferry Hills and a terrific inland record of a Yellow-browed Warbler came from Falkland, while a single Yellow-browed Warbler was still present at Kilminning. At East Wemyss, 26 Mediterranean Gulls included 13 1st winter birds and at Earlshall, an adult White-tailed Eagle, 18 Crossbills and c35 Lesser Redpolls were seen well. A Yellow-browed Warbler, one Fieldfare and three Blackcaps were at Kilminning (27th) and a passage of birds at Ferry Hills included two Whooper Swans, one Arctic Skua, three Redwings, 157 Lesser Redpolls and 15 Crossbills. Also, a Snow Bunting was seen flying with the Whooper Swans. A Merlin was seen around East Lomond and an interesting migration note came from Kilminning where a kettle of 13 Buzzards passed over Lower Kilminning, then drifted off north. one Yellow-Browed Warbler was seen by the ringing hut in the patch at Fife Ness, 41 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 11 Knot were counted in Balgove Bay and one Lapland Bunting, six Siskin and a Chiffchaff went over Bogward Road, St Andrews. Nine Barnacle Geese, 34 Sooty Shearwaters, four Manx Shearwater, four Red-throated Divers, one Sandwich Tern, two Bonxies, one Arctic Skua, 41 Little Gulls and 30 Common Scoters were noted at Fife Ness, with a single Barnacle Goose, one Merlin and two Arctic Skuas seen off Boarhills, 15 Brent Geese were offshore from Tayport Caravan Park, two Greenshanks were near to Tentsmuir Point, with a juvenile White-tailed Eagle seen going over the forest too. One Sooty Shearwater, one Manx Shearwater, three Arctic Skuas, three adult Little Gulls were lingering, six Teal and two Purple Sandpipers were all noted at Anstruther. three Redwings were at Hunter place, Dunfermline (28th), 60 Pink-footed Geese, one Snipe, two Dunlins, four Goldcrests, one Chiffchaff, two Redwings, 10 Tree Sparrows. One Mistle Thrush, two Blackcaps, one Great Spotted Woodpecker, one Redwing and two Bullfinches were at, or over Kilminning, a Kingfisher put in an appearance at St Bridgets, Dalgety Bay and another, or the same bird was also seen at Braefoot Point. One Red-throated Diver and one Greenshank were at the Castle Rocks, St Andrews, whilst two Red-throated Divers, eight Common Scoters and nine Barnacle Geese were seen passing at Fife Ness. One Pintail, two Scaup, 18 Goldeneyes, 24 Greylags, including a leucistic bird, three Great Crested Grebes and seven Lapwings were at Loch Gelly, eight Little Egrets, 22 Scaup, two Spotted Redshanks, two Greenshanks, one Kingfisher and at least six Swallows were at the Eden Estuary, with eight Little Egrets seen at Morton Lochs NNR also. The Little Egrets do move around quite a lot between Tayport and the Eden Estuary, so these birds at Morton Lochs NNR were presumably the same group as the one at the Eden Estuary. Four Whooper Swans and a lower count of 30 Shovelers came from Wilderness. At Levenmouth (29th) two 1st winter and an adult Mediterranean Gulls were on the river, with a 1st winter Little Gull at the river mouth. Also one Kingfisher and a Peregrine were noted, eight Little Egrets, three Greenshanks, one Spotted Redshank, one Little Stint, one White-tailed Eagle, one Peregrine, one Barnacle Goose and a Kingfisher were at the Eden Estuary, a Water Rail was heard and a Kingfisher was seen at the reserve at Lochore Meadow CP, while a Jack Snipe was flushed from the beach at Balcomie, an unusual visitor to that site. Two Manx Shearwaters and one Arctic Skua were seen off Anstruther and a Common Rosefinch was a good find at Kilminning. The Common Rosefinch was still present (30th) but its presence was totally eclipsed by a 1st year female Siberian Thrush being found, in the same bush as the Rosefinch. This bird proved very elusive, with fleeting views had by a handful of people. A great way to end the month.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

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).

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NOCTURNAL MIGRATION

Night of 6th to 7th, Dunfermline:

Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper sound recorded.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

July 2020 Sightings

The month opened with a Bonxie circling over Anstruther (1st), a Crossbill flying over Crail (2nd) and a male Siskin visiting a Ladybank garden feeder (3rd). A Raven flew over Ravenscraig then a report from Eden Estuary LNR included two Ospreys, two Little Egrets and a Kingfisher (4th) with the egrets and one Osprey noted the following day along with c470 Curlews and two Common Sandpipers. Adult Mediterranean Gull reports included a single at Anstruther and two at East Wemyss while two Greenshanks and an Arctic Tern were seen at St Andrews (5th). Guardbridge hosted three Little Egrets, two Common Sandpipers and an Osprey and the East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull count was two adults, one second-summer and one first-summer (6th), increasing to four adults, two second calendar year and two first-summer birds there the next day. A visible migration watch at Ferry Hills produced one sub-adult Pomarine Skua, nine Red-throated Divers, five Great Crested Grebes, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 20 Sand Martins, 12 Tree Pipits, five Grey Wagtails, two Lesser Redpolls, 11 Crossbills and 34 Siskins. A Barn Owl was hunting in daylight at Bathmoor Plantation and a Marsh Harrier was quartering fields near Crail. A Spotted Flycatcher and a Water Rail were at Cameron Reservoir where there were also three Common Sandpipers whilst seven of this species appeared on the rocks at Pittenweem where there were nine Manx Shearwaters east. Eden Estuary LNR also had a couple of Common Sandpipers as well as three Little Egrets, 21 Black-tailed Godwits, c570 Curlews, one Whimbrel, one Brent Goose, one Osprey and a Kingfisher (7th).

Juvenile Wheatears turned up at Balcomie Beach (where there were three plus a Common Sandpiper), at Kilminning (a single) and at Out Head where an individual was joined by four adult and four juvenile Stonechats. A Quail was noted at Wormit, a female type Marsh Harrier was seen from Out Head and the East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull tally was two adults, four second-summer and three first-summer, with a bonus Whimbrel (8th). A family party of five Ravens was observed over Kincraig Hill (9th). Balcomie Beach hosted one Pale-bellied Brent Goose, two Bar-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel. Single Ospreys were seen to the east of Ladybank and at Guardbridge where there were also four Little Egrets and three Common Sandpipers. A Quail was in a field at Feddinch Farm, St Andrews and a Peregrine was reported from the Bishop Hill. An adult summer Mediterranean Gull was at Seafield and there was an unusual report of a female Goshawk taking a Herring Gull in the garden of a Kirkcaldy housing estate (11th). A report from Valleyfield Lagoons comprised 39 Black-tailed Godwits, 32 Sandwich Terns, nine Ringed Plovers, five Dunlins, two Greenshanks and two Common Sandpipers, with a single of this species also at Dalgety Bay. A first-summer Mediterranean Gull was on the rocks at Abden Shore and the East Wemyss count of this species was three adults, four second-summer and four first-summer. Nine Little Gulls, 45 Sandwich Terns and ten Arctic Terns were spied at Out Head whilst Balcomie hosted four juvenile Wheatears, six Dunlins, two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel and 46 Golden Plovers then two juvenile Whinchats turned up Kilminning (12th) with an adult of this species accompanied by four young the next day at Glen Vale, where there were also a very notable 16 adult and four young Stonechats as well as a Raven and a Kestrel. At East Wemyss the Mediterranean Gull total remained steady with four adults, three second-summer and five first-summer including returning White 3PX4 (13th). Six Little Gulls were at Tentsmuir Point NNR, a White-tailed Eagle flew north over the Tay at Newburgh and The Wilderness hosted 104 Lapwings, 34 Curlews and two Grasshopper Warblers (14th).

Two Spotted Flycatchers were noted with two young at Morton Lochs NNR. An afternoon report from East Wemyss included one adult summer plumaged Little Gull then an evening watch produced three Common Sandpipers and six Common Terns, with the Mediterranean Gull count increasing to five adults, six second calendar year birds and six third calendar year individuals (15th). A patrol of Fife Ness to Balcomie produced a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, one Whimbrel, six Dunlins and a juvenile Wheatear, with four of the last species noted at Elie as well as ten Dunlins and four Ringed Plovers. There were three Ospreys at Loch Glow and a Kingfisher was at Cullaloe LNR (16th) where later it was joined by a juvenile Water Rail. Kilminning had five Whinchats, two Tree Pipits and a pair of Stonechats with two juveniles. Observations from Fife Ness included 11 Common Scoters, one dark phase Arctic Skua and two Manx Shearwaters, all north, as well as three summer-plumaged Knot and a single Whimbrel (18th). Sightings from Ferry Hills continued with eight Black-tailed Godwits, eight Red-throated Divers, 12 Tree Pipits, 22 Siskins and 24 Crossbills. A juvenile Cuckoo turned up at Balcomie Beach where there were also two Black-tailed Godwits, 90 Dunlins, three Wheatears and three Whimbrels while Kilminning had six Whinchats. Kilrenny Mill hosted one Common Sandpiper, two Dunlins and three Goosanders while 31 Dunlins frequented Elie. Four Ospreys were at Eden Estuary LNR and a single of this species turned up at The Wilderness where there were also five Dunlins and 11 Black-tailed Godwits. A report from Tentsmuir Point NNR included a remarkable c2900 Swifts as well as one Tree Pipit, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Green Woodpecker, c160 Sand Martins, one White-tailed Eagle, two Arctic Skuas, two Bar-tailed Godwits, five Dunlins and two Sanderlings (19th). A second-summer Mediterranean Gull, two adult Little Gulls and 23 Goosanders were at Levenmouth, two Crossbills flew over Bow of Fife and a Peregrine was seen at Kilminning. An adult Little Stint was with c16 Dunlins at Fife Ness and a report from Tentsmuir Point NNR comprised one juvenile Whinchat, a Wheatear, one Green Woodpecker and 17 Stonechats. The Wilderness hosted five Black-tailed Godwits, two Dunlins and 250 Lapwings while two Nuthatches were noted at Dunfermline Glen (20th). A juvenile Marsh Harrier was at Balcomie and a Little Egret was seen flying south at Balcomie Beach (21st).

A post breeding Willow Warbler and a juvenile Cuckoo were in a Strathkinness garden. 16 Whimbrels and 115 Dunlins were at Balcomie Beach and seawatching at Anstruther produced 12 Manx Shearwaters, one Arctic Skua and 16 Common Scoters. The Wilderness held four Black-tailed Godwits, two Dunlins, 17 Curlews and 267 Lapwings (22nd). At Ravenscraig, one adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach whilst at Star Moss there were c300 Mallards. A Honey-buzzard was spied going inland low at Anstruther and probably the same bird was seen later at St Andrews, flying south. A Whimbrel was at Guardbridge and two of this species were joined by a Greenshank at Fife Ness. Three or four Whinchats were at Kilminning and a Little Stint turned up at Balcomie Beach. Three Arctic Skuas, four Scaup, one Velvet Scoter and three Little Gulls were seen at Out Head. An adult and a juvenile Roseate Tern were on a buoy at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club (23rd). Three Arctic Skuas flew inland together at Ferry Hills whilst at Fife Ness, the Manx Shearwater count was 44N. Tentsmuir Point NNR held 33 Little Gulls, a Peregrine, an adult and a young Green Woodpecker, two Ravens and 110 Goosanders in the morning. Balcomie Beach hosted a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a report from Out Head comprised one Little Tern, two Little Gulls, two Knot, 11 Dunlins, six Sanderlings, one Wheatear and three Stonechats. An evening report from Tentsmuir Point NNR sightings included an adult summer-plumaged Red-throated Diver, c190 Goosanders, six Little Gulls, a juvenile Peregrine, two Whimbrels and c400 Sandwich Terns before three Little Egrets and two Greenshanks were reported from Lundin Bridge (24th). At Dysart, an adult and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull were on the rocks, then an adult, a second calendar year and a juvenile were at Kenly Water while an adult and a juvenile were joined by a Whimbrel at West Wemyss. A White-tailed Eagle was at Out Head as well as a Grasshopper Warbler, a juvenile Peregrine and a Little Egret. Balcomie Beach hosted three Wheatears whilst Fife Ness held three Knot and two Whimbrels. There were two or three Whinchats at Kilminning where two Arctic Skuas were lingering offshore harassing Kittiwakes. Luthrie had four Black-tailed Godwits. Sightings at Kilrenny Mill included 11 Common Sandpipers, 15 Dunlins, 20 Lapwings and a juvenile Wheatear (25th). A female Marsh Harrier and one Osprey were seen at Newburgh, a Grasshopper Warbler was showing well at Out Head and eight Manx Shearwaters were spied off Fife Ness. A report from Balcomie Beach comprised one Little Stint, 35+ Dunlins, four Knot, two Turnstones, one Common Sandpiper, 12 Ringed Plovers, nine Whimbrels, two Wheatears, 19 Goosanders and three Sanderlings (26th). A White-tailed Eagle was at Out Head again and two Little Egrets frequented Guardbridge (27th). The East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull count was three adults, three second-summer, one first-summer and two juveniles (including 3ERA and 3PX4), while a first calendar year bird was at Dalgety Bay as well as a Black-tailed Godwit. Balcomie Beach held 15 Sanderlings, 20 Dunlins, four Common Sandpipers, three Wheatears, seven Turnstones and an unseasonable Purple Sandpiper whilst a Whimbrel was at Kilminning (28th).

Guardbridge held five Little Egrets, six Black-tailed Godwits, four Common Sandpipers, one Peregrine and a Kingfisher but the news of the day (and the month) was a Cory’s Shearwater seen on the sea from St David’s Harbour. It wasn’t seen again but surveillance along the coast produced some compensation in the form of 75E Manx Shearwaters (in groups of 18+20+37) off East Wemyss. On a different part of the coastline, an adult Mediterranean Gull was at the mouth of Kenly Water (29th). The Cory’s Shearwater was spied from the Isle of May the next day but, alas, not from Fife shores. Six Little Egrets were at Guardbridge and separate reports from Out Head included a Short-eared Owl heading inland, two adult Little Gulls, a Whinchat and two Wheatears. Whinchats were also seen at Kilminning, the total there being seven whilst 32 Manx Shearwaters and a Little Gull were observed off Fife Ness (30th). Monitoring of the skies at Ferry Hills produced a summer plumage adult Great Northern Diver flying inland, two Bonxies, a Whimbrel and nine Tree Pipits. 50 Swifts were in the air at Aberdour and a Cuckoo and a Peregrine frequented Tentsmuir Point NNR. Out Head had a juvenile Whinchat in the paddock field and two Knot and a Whimbrel on the shore. Seawatching on the last day of the month produced a Bonxie, a Velvet Scoter and a Whimbrel at Fife Ness, 91E Manx Shearwater past Crail and three Arctic Skuas, 348 Manx Shearwaters, 32 Common Scoters and three Whimbrels, all east past Anstruther (31st).

NOCTURNAL MIGRATION

17th July

St Andrews:a fly over Water Rail was heard through an open window during the night.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

June 2020 Sightings

The first day of the month saw single Cuckoos calling at East Lomond and Loch Fitty where there was also a Grasshopper Warbler and a Snipe overhead then a

Whimbrel was noted at Kilrenny Mill (1st). Four Crossbills flew past Braefoot Point, breeding successes were noted at Kilconquhar Loch in the form of two Little Grebes each with one chick and two Mute Swan broods (b9 and b6) while three Pochards (two drakes) was an interesting record there for the time of year. Torry Bay held one Whimbrel, ten Bar-tailed Godwits, five Curlews, two Sandwich Terns, three Common Terns, 20 Common Gulls (all first-summer), a drake Gadwall and c20 Shelducks. Valleyfield Lagoons hosted 11 Bar-tailed Godwits, four Dunlins, four Ringed Plovers, eight Curlews, 50 Common Gulls (virtually all first-summer), eight Black-headed Gulls and one Sanderling (2nd). 48 Canada Geese flew over Auchtermuchty and a Reed Warbler was singing at Kilconquhar Loch where there was evidence of breeding success of both Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe (4th). Kilmany’s first Grasshopper Warbler of the year was heard, a lone Knot was at Elie, one Bar-tailed Godwit was at Cellardyke and a Little Gull was spied off Limekilns (6th). Blackcap, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat were all noted as singing in the Dunfermline area. 17 Goosanders were offshore at Ravenscraig and 12 Canada Geese flew north over Boglily Braes where there was one Jay (7th).

292 Manx Shearwaters and four Common Scoters passed east of Anstruther, a Cuckoo was heard at Lochore Meadows CP (8th) where an Osprey was fishing over the loch the next day. A Cuckoo was also heard at Morton Lochs NNR, c70 Canada Geese flew north over Strathkinness and a walk along the Fife Coastal Path from Wormit to Balmerino produced two Garden Warblers, eight Chiffchaffs, five Great Spotted Woodpeckers, two Willow Warblers, four Bullfinches and five Long-tailed Tits (9th). There were 184 drake Eiders and ten females, as well as six Shelducks, along the Elie to Cocklemill Burn stretch of coast. Two Ravens and a possible Hooded Crow were reported from Newburgh where there was also a Kestrel, a Peregrine and a Garden Warbler (11th). 14 Crossbills were noted heading east low over Burntisland whilst at St Andrews there were four Manx Shearwaters moving east, two Arctic Terns and a steady movement of Guillemots, Razorbills and Kittiwakes (12th). One adult and two second year Little Gulls were seen at The Wilderness and five Corn Buntings turned up east of Freuchie (13th). A Quail was disturbed from a Ladybank garden and Fife’s share of the Rose-coloured Starling influx included one at Crail which seemed to like visiting garden feeders (14th).

A Garden Warbler was still on site along the Wormit to Balmerino stretch and another Quail was singing at lower Kilminning (16th). A Red Kite, in heavy moult, flew north over Dunfermline and at least four pairs of Fulmars and a Peregrine were seen from Elie to Kincraig Point. One of the Seafield Lesser Whitethroats was still calling and showing well and the Crail Rose-coloured Starling lingered. Also at Crail a Channel Wagtail (Motacilla flava flava x flavissama) was present near the village and was also recorded the next day. This is the first record for Fife (17th). A Kingfisher flew over Angle Park while a Tree Pipit was performing a song flight at 

Formonthills (18th). Three Snipe were at Ballo Reservoir and at least one young Dipper accompanied an adult at Kirkcaldy’s Tiel Burn (19th). Two White-tailed Eagles were on the beach at St Andrews (green and blue wing tags). A pair of Canada Geese had four young at Townhill Loch, Kilmany’s first Spotted Flycatcher of the year appeared, a flock of 19 Mistle Thrushes were observed at Ladybank GC and 12+ of this species were reported from the Lomond Hills where there were also a pair of Snipe (20th).

A resumption of observations at Ferry Hills brought a report of 39 Crossbills, 70 Siskins, two Tree Pipits, two Grey Wagtails, 23 Swifts, 14 Curlews, one Whimbrel and two Great Crested Grebes all flying south-west or west. A Grasshopper Warbler was seen near Seafield Tower, a Shoveler and a Teal were at Letham Pools, single Peregrines were over Glenrothes and Glen Vale where there were also four adult and one juvenile Stonechats and a Kestrel. Sightings at Kilconquhar Loch included ten Swifts, two Mute Swan broods of five each, five Little Grebes including one with two young, a Sedge Warbler with fledglings and five male Reed Buntings (22nd). The Wilderness held seven drake Pochards (23rd) and there were also two drakes at Letham Pools where there were around four Water Rail territories and a Common Sandpiper. A Peregrine was seen circling over Glenrothes again (24th). There were estimates of 13 Curlews, six Razorbills and five Guillemots between Elie and Ruddons Point as well as a Goosander with six ducklings (25th). Single Cuckoos were at Anstruther and Kilminning, a Quail (singing) and a Common Sandpiper were at Kilrenny Mill and The Wilderness hosted 60 Lapwings, 15 Teal, and six Shovelers (26th). A Cuckoo was at Kilminning again and there were also two at Moonzie while Balcomie Beach hosted three Bar-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel (27th). Mediterranean Gulls re-emerged with an adult, five second-summer and one first-summer at the East Wemyss hotspot and a third calendar year bird at Kingsbarns. Three Crossbills flew over St. Andrews and 12 Manx Shearwaters were offshore at Kinghorn (28th). Ferry Hills sightings continued with one sub-adult Long-tailed Skua flying inland and also one flava wagtail, 24 Crossbills and 45 Lapwings. A Quail was singing at Pittenweem and to close the month a report from Elie included c40 Turnstones, c13 Lapwings, c15 Curlews, one Ringed Plover, a juvenile Dunlin, a Redshank, two Common Terns, four Puffins and ten Razorbills (30th).

Nocturnal Migration Notes June 2020

15th Dunfermline: A Snipe was sound recorded (drumming!) over suburbia after dark.

20th Ferry Hills: 13 Crossbills flying south-west and also a Green Sandpiper sound recorded there overnight.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott