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).



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).


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

May 2020 Sightings

The month kicked off with a busy first day when seawatching produced two Shelducks, 48 Eiders, three Velvet Scoters, 45 Common Scoters, 14 Long-tailed Ducks, three Red-breasted Mergansers, one Red-throated Diver, 311 Gannets, 88 Common Terns, seven Arctic Terns and ten Puffins off Kinghorn. Along at Pathhead there were 20 Velvet Scoters, 12 Common Scoters and two pairs of Long-tailed Ducks. Single Whitethroats were at Coul Den, Balmullo (where there was also a Sedge Warbler) and Ruddons Point (where there was also a Wheatear). Elie Estate hosted a Barn Owl, five singing Willow Warblers, five singing Chiffchaffs, seven singing Blackcaps, four Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and at least two Tree Sparrows. Moss Plantation held a pair of displaying Buzzards, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a pair of Treecreepers carrying food while a Nuthatch appeared in an Anstruther garden and single Garden Warblers were at Townhill CP (1st) and Kilmany where there was a very good candidate for a Hooded Crow flying over the village. Sand Martins were reported as nesting at St Andrews where observations at West Sands included a female Surf Scoter, one Velvet Scoter, c240 Common Scoters, a Slavonian Grebe, seven Long-tailed Ducks, three Red-breasted Mergansers, five Knot, one Stonechat and three Whimbrels. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen at Balgownie Woods and sightings at Townhill CP included one Grasshopper Warbler, four Sedge Warblers, a Garden Warbler, three Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs, 15 Willow Warblers, three Tree Sparrows and a pair of Bullfinches. Elie Ness hosted two pairs of Stonechats and a Sedge Warbler arrived in Anstruther. 48 Sandwich Terns were on the rocks at Seafield where the pair of Stonechats showed signs of staying to breed. A Swift was over Dunfermline and five were over Kirkcaldy (2nd) then the following day singles were over Ladybank, Bogside and Anstruther where there was also a drake Garganey. Three Ravens flew low over Balmullo. Warblers continued to feature prominently in reports, for example an excursion from Kirkcaldy’s John Smith Business Park (where there was a Grasshopper Warbler and a Water Rail) to Dunnikier Park produced 19 Willow Warblers, eight Chiffchaffs, four Sedge Warblers, a Whitethroat and 14 Blackcaps while Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR yielded three Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, two Whitethroats, two Blackcaps and two Sedge Warblers as well as two Jays and a Great Spotted Woodpecker then two Garden Warblers were at Lindores Loch. Single Whitethroats were at Barns Farm and at Wormit where there was also a Garden Warbler. Three Dippers were on the Lothrie Burn at Glenrothes. The regular reports of White Wagtails at Kilrenny Mill continued with a single there accompanied by two Wheatears and two Whitethroats. Two pairs of Shelducks were at Ruddons Point, the drake Gadwall lingered at Raith Lake and a Cuckoo was calling at Little Ballo in the Lomond Hills (3rd). A Garden Warbler was at Auchtermuchty’s Leckiebank Farm while sightings at Anstruther included nine Whimbrels, four Wheatears and a Bonxie (4th). Reports of Swifts increased with two over Cellardyke, three over both Kingsbarns and Dunfermline with singles over Dalgety Bay and Elie where there was also a Red-breasted Merganser. Kirkcaldy’s Dunnikier Park produced a Spotted Flycatcher, Falkland Hill had a male Whinchat and the coastal path between Kilminning and Fife Ness yielded eight Whitethroats, four Reed Buntings and a pair of Stonechats. Similarly, Seafield hosted four Whitethroats, two Chiffchaffs, four Sedge Warblers and two Reed Buntings while east of Markinch there were seven Whitethroats, four Blackcaps, five Sedge Warblers, nine Willow Warblers, four Chiffchaffs and ten House Martins. An Osprey was at Loch Fitty, two Whimbrels were at Kilrenny Mill and Wood Sandpipers put in an appearance with a single at Letham Pools and two at Luthrie (5th). Warbler reports continued with a Sedge Warbler at Dunshalt, a Grasshopper Warbler near Ballo and a Garden Warbler at Kirkforthar. Swift sightings included six over Auchtermuchty and eight over Kingsbarns where there were also two singing Lesser Whitethroats and two Whimbrels. A Wheatear was at Falkland Hill, 18 House Martins arrived at Gauldry and five Grey Wagtail chicks were noted at Craigtoun Park. Dunlin sightings comprised two at Wormit Bay and two at Letham Pools (where there was also a Whimbrel over) and two at Kilrenny Mill where there was also a Hooded Crow, two White Wagtails and two Wheatears. Meanwhile at West Sands, sightings included three Scaup, five Long-tailed Ducks, three Red-breasted Mergansers, two Tufted Ducks, a Red-throated Diver and c140 feeding Herring Gulls (6th). Six Canada Geese were in a field east of St Michaels, a Common Sandpiper visited Wormit Bay whilst one of this species at The Wilderness was joined by a Green Sandpiper. Two Purple Sandpipers were seen at Kingsbarns where there were also 11 Swifts. Eight singing Skylarks, two Wheatears, three Canada Geese and two Shelducks were noted in fields south of Crossgates and two first-summer Little Gulls appeared at Letham Pools. A Kestrel is always a welcome sight these days and a single was at Barns Farm. A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling at Balgownie Woods and a Garden Warbler visited a Comrie garden (7th).

A less common warbler in the form of a Lesser Whitethroat was seen and heard at the car park at Seafield. An adult Hobby in off the sea was no doubt a very enjoyable sight at Kingsbarns where there were also two Arctic Terns and a Common Tern. The Coastal Path from Elie to St Monans produced three Dunlins, eight Ringed Plovers, nine Turnstones, 12 Sedge Warblers and probably nine Whitethroats. A Common Sandpiper lingered at The Wilderness and observations at Out Head included one Osprey, one Pink-footed Goose, a Bar-tailed Godwit, two first-summer Little Gulls, 19 Whimbrels, four Dunlins and five Red-breasted Mergansers. Four Grey Herons fledging was reported as the first record of breeding at Kilrenny Mill where a circular walk round Silverdyke Caravan Park produced eight pairs of Yellowhammers (8th).

A Garden Warbler was showing well at Balmullo where there was also a pair of Grey Partridges in a field next to the village. Single Kestrels were spied at Barns Farm and at Elie where there was also a Red-breasted Merganser. Reports of Lesser Whitethroats continued with two singing at Collessie. The begging call of a young Long-eared Owl was heard in central Fife, a Cuckoo was seen at Ballo and sightings at Out Head included seven Stonechats, five Whimbrels, 33 Dunlins, 24 Ringed Plovers and a Common Tern. A Coot was close in on the sea off Kirkcaldy’s esplanade. A patrol of the Ladybank to Monkstown area produced a good selection of warblers, including two Garden Warblers, and also a Grey Heron nest with well grown-young at Innerleith (9th). A dark phase Arctic Skua and three Arctic Terns were noted from Kinkell Braes and a Great Northern Diver provided an evening fly-past at Anstruther (10th). Elie Estate hosted six Blackcaps and two male Bullfinches then three Wheatears turned up at Plains Farm, Dunshalt. The Lesser Whitethroat loitered at the car park at Seafield and a second bird was discovered further along the Coastal Path towards Abden (11th) then another of this species was found in the Shell Bay area. A Nuthatch was at Markinch and 200+ Arctic Terns frequented Anstruther (12th). Reports of Spotted Flycatchers are always welcome and least two were at Balgownie Woods where an Osprey passed overhead. An adult Little Gull in summer plumage is always good to see and one flew off north from Letham Pools. A single Red Grouse in a field to north of the A92/bridge over the River Eden was an unusual sighting, a Peregrine flew low over Formonthills and c40 Velvet Scoters seemed content to linger at Pathhead (13th). Nine singing Blackcaps were noted between Elie and Kilconquhar Loch, a Male Whinchat and a Whimbrel were on the coastal path between Randerston and Balcomie and a Cuckoo was calling at The Binn. Regular reports from Out Head continued with 11 Sanderlings, three Dunlins, eight Ringed Plovers, two Stonechats and one Whimbrel. Another  Lesser Whitethroat was found, this time at Wormit (14th), and one was see in the Shell Bay-Cocklemill Burn area again, the following day.

A Cuckoo and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were at North Cults Farm, Saline and 33 Velvet Scoters, 12 Common Scoters and a pair of Long-tailed Ducks were still at Pathhead (15th). A young Little Grebe was a welcome breeding success on a small SUDS pond on a Dunfermline housing estate and a Cuckoo was seen and heard near East Lomond (16th). Pathhead’s Velvet Scoters numbered 30, at least two pairs of Spotted Flycatchers were now at Balgownie Woods and a report from Sauchar Point, Elie included a pair of Stonechats, a Redshank, three Shelducks and a Red-breasted Merganser (17th). At least one of the Lesser Whitethroats remained at Seafield where the pair of Stonechats had at least three young, a Cuckoo was calling at Auchtermuchty and three Ravens were at Bow of Fife’s Pitlair Park. Five Goosanders and six Ringed Plovers were at Eden Estuary LNR, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were feeding young in nest-hole at Moss Plantation and a Wood Sandpiper flew past Denhead Marsh, St Andrews where there was also a drumming Snipe (20th). A Little Egret flew over Pittencrieff Park, a Raven passed east over Ladybank and 20 Swifts were over Cellardyke. Lindores Loch hosted a Cuckoo and a Garden Warbler while the Kilrenny Mill update comprised one Little Egret, a Whimbrel and three Wheatears. A Manx Shearwater east was noted as only the second of the year at Anstruther (21st) then six were in close east the next day.

A Townhill CP list included 22 Willow Warblers, six Chiffchaffs, three Sedge Warblers, two Garden Warblers and five Bullfinches while there was an apparently reliable report of a Red Kite over the loch there. A singing Cuckoo was seen at close range near Magus Muir and Out Head sightings included 195N Arctic Terns, a very distant buzzard sp. out at sea, one Osprey, 80 Common Scoters and three Stonechats with two fledglings (24th). An excursion from Elie to Ruddons Point and Cocklemill Burn yielded 17 Sanderlings, eight Turnstones, eight Shelducks, at least nine Dunlins, more than ten Ringed Plovers, three Black-headed Gulls, a pair of Grey Partridges, two Kestrels and a Red-breasted Merganser with 11 young. A Quail was calling at Auchtermuchty’s Leckiebank Farm. At Pathhead, the scoter flocks had eventually dispersed but a lone Long-tailed Duck lingered and a Kestrel and a Peregrine were in hunting mode (25th). Young Tree Sparrows were seen in a Ladybank garden (26th). A possibly pure Hooded Crow flew over Dunfermline. Letham Pools held eight first-summer Little Gulls, Out Head hosted eight Ringed Plovers and nine Sanderlings then an Osprey was high to the south of Ladybank. Back at the coast, observations at Anstruther included 99 Manx Shearwaters, 36 Common Scoters, four Sanderlings and two Dunlins. Creich Farm Pond held 22 Mallards with eight young (27th). The regular Out Head report included four Little Gulls, four Knot, 28 Sanderlings, two Little Egrets, 42 Common Scoters and three Stonechats (28th). A calling Common Crossbill flew over Dunfermline and 50+ Canada Geese were spied heading north over Coaltown of Wemyss. 228 Manx Shearwaters, 32 Common Scoters and a male Peregrine were seen at Anstruther. Single Cuckoos were calling at Maspie Den, Comrie (29th) and Bishop Hill/West Lomond where there was also a Raven over. A female Cuckoo was also at Out Head along with one Canada Goose, two Knot, five Dunlins, nine Goosanders and seven Stonechats. A Grasshopper Warbler was seen at Braes Loan, Markinch and the male Stonechat at Seafield was accompanied by four young and there were several Eider broods of varying sizes offshore (30th). A Peregrine flew west at Aberdour and a Grasshopper Warbler and two Garden Warblers were at Townhill CP. At Kinghorn Loch there were three Tree Sparrows, with two young, and a Pochard pair whilst at Lochore Meadows CP an Osprey was fishing. Perhaps the find of the month was a female Red-backed Shrike at Kilminning (31st).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

April 2020 Sightings

The last of the Daily Garden Birdwatch reports from Dunfermline comprised one Lesser Black-backed Gull, three Herring Gulls, two Carrion Crows, four Woodpigeons, three House Sparrows, one Magpie and two Starlings. In a very different part of the Kingdom, two Snow Buntings were in a field west of Anstruther while in Kirkcaldy two drake Goosanders turned up on the Beveridge Park pond while (2nd), a Kingfisher was at its customary haunt at Raith Pond (3rd) and a pair of Stonechats were at Seafield (4th). Two Crossbills were at Gale Slap Plantation and a walk west of Balmullo produced at least four Chiffchaffs, a Raven going north, at least eight Skylarks, seven Yellowhammers, four Bullfinches, four Tree Sparrows, two Grey Partridges, a Reed Bunting, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and six Linnets. An excursion from Kirkforthar to Balbirnie yielded 12 Fieldfares, one Peregrine, an unusual total of ten Great Spotted Woodpeckers and two Siskins. A report from Kilminning included two Ravens, 20 Greylags (north), three  Chiffchaffs and two Blackcaps while two Sandwich Terns were noted at Kingsbarns. A busy day continued with sightings over Dunfermline which included 16 Whooper Swans, an Osprey flying north, five Meadow Pipits, five Canada Geese a Peregrine and also nine Waxwings (5th), with eight of this species seen there again the next day. Hirundine reports became more frequent throughout the month starting with three House Martins at Auchtermuchty, a Swallow at Cellardyke and another over St Andrews where there were also four Meadow Pipits, a Raven, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Chiffchaffs and two Skylarks. In Kirkcaldy, a couple of Swallows flew over as well as seven Whooper Swans whilst a Wheatear turned up in a ploughed field. At least three Sand Martins were at Newburgh where 22 Whooper Swans and an Osprey flew north. Two Dippers and a Grey Wagtail were at Riverside Park in Glenrothes and a Green Woodpecker was at Bathmoor Plantation. A Red-throated Diver and three Long-tailed Ducks were off Pathhead (6th). Pink-footed Geese counts were 30 seen over Auchtermuchty, 70 over Dunfermline then 120+ over Ravenscraig inKirkcaldy, while 22 were counted over Balmullo where there were also two Ravens. Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were being reported on a regular basis and, to complement these, a Willow Warbler was seen at Wormit. An Osprey was seen north over Kirkcaldy, followed by another 15 minutes later whilst one was also reported over the Binnin Burntisland. A Black-throated Diver flew east at Cellardyke and seven Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk were noted at Dunfermline (7th).

Pink-footed Geese continued to be seen flying north on a regular basis starting with skeins of c80 then 49 over Wormit, c100 over Dalgety Bay, c150+ over Dunfermline and 60 over Auchtermuchty. A male Black Redstart graced the Coastal Path at St. Andrews and a Willow Warbler was noted at Dunfermline. A Greenshank and two Little Egrets were at Eden Estuary LNR and a Spotted Redshank was at Guardbridge. Pitmedden Forest held one Green Woodpecker and Magus Muir hosted a pair of Willow Warblers while a pair of Grey Wagtails and at least ten Chiffchaffs were at Crossford’s Dean Plantation then sightings at Seafield included 27 Redshanks, nine Oystercatchers, six Turnstones, a Ringed Plover, and a Stonechat (8th). Small parties of Sand Martins (c130) and Swallows (c35) were moving steadily north over The Wilderness, a Black-throated Diver flew over Anstruther and a Whimbrel was at Kenly Water in Boarhills. A list from the Ladybank to Charlottetown area included two Grey Partridges, 18 singing Skylarks, 12 Chiffchaffs, and six Yellowhammers. Pink-footed Geese continued their journey north, with skeins of 62 over Ladybank and 400+ over Dunfermline (9th) then 30 over the town the next day followed by two groups of 100 (as well as a Tree Pipit north) whilst a party of 38 flew over Wormit. Ospreys were also still on the move with reports comprising two over Grange of Lindores and a single over Kirkcaldy whilst a lone bird was circling low over Bathmoor Plantation (10th) and one was on a post at Guardbridge (where there were also five Little Egrets) then another Osprey was over Kirkcaldy, one was high over Dunfermline and one was flying north betweenAnstruther and Pittenweem. Pink-footed Geese movements continued with 80 then 105 north over Dunfermline. A report from Kilrenny Mill comprised ten Whooper Swans north, one White Wagtail and a Wheatear with a separate report of two of this species between Kilrenny and Crail where there was also a flock of 40+ Twite, a Stonechat and two Shelducks. At East Sands, St. Andrews there were two Black-throated Divers, one Red-throated Diver, a Greenshank, a Knot, 32 Turnstones, 27 Razorbills and three Guillemots (11th). Further offshore sightings were a Black Guillemot and three Red-throated Divers off Anstruther Harbour then c40 Common Scoters off Kirkcaldy’s promenade (12th) followed by six Velvet Scoters and five Long-tailed Ducks off Pathhead. A lucky observer was attending a work call on the A92 when a Spoonbill was seen between the Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly junctions. Kilrenny Mill hosted 13 Sandwich Terns, five White Wagtails and a Wheatear. There weren’t many reports from freshwater sites this month so it was a refreshing to note 11 Goldeneyes, a pair of Gadwalls and 12 Shovelers at The Wilderness where there was also a mixed flock of c40 Swallows and Sand Martins (13th). Single Ospreys were seen over Wormit Bay and Ladybank then the Black Guillemot was spied again just off Anstruther’s East Pier (14th).

Incoming Wheatears continued to be reported with a single at Dunshalt’s Plains Farm and three north of Dunfermline’sBaldridge Estate. At least 15 Willow Warblers were singing/calling at Star Moss, a Common Sandpiper was seen on the side of the River Leven at Methil and the Velvet Scoters at Pathhead increased to nine and were accompanied by a pair of Long-tailed Ducks in full summer plumage. Kilrenny Mill hosted 12 White Wagtails (15th), reducing to 11 the next day when a Whimbrel and four Wheatears were also present (16th) and the report from there the next day was five White Wagtails, two Wheatears and a more unusual first winter Iceland Gull. Guardbridge had a single Black-tailed Godwit in breeding plumage, an Osprey, one Common Sandpiper and three Little Egrets. Ten Whooper Swans flew north-west over Wormit Den (17th). Two Whimbrels flew west past Culross and two Ravens were at Cults. It had been anticipated that the reduction of fishing activity at Kirkcaldy’s Raith Lake might encourage different species to visit and, sure enough, a drake Gadwall appeared. Unspecified numbers of this species were also at Letham Pools where there were also 11 Shovelers, seven Shelducks, a Water Rail, 14 Teal and a Raven (18th). The regular reports of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers from different parts of the county were augmented by the arrival of the first Whitethroat at Auchtermuchty Common. Other firsts for the year were a Grasshopper Warbler at  Culross and a Cuckoo at Bathmoor Plantation where there was also a Woodcock and a Green Woodpecker. A Long-eared Owl at Ladybank was a good find and two Crossbills flew over St Andrews (19th). Osprey reports continued with singles flying north over Dunfermline, Balmullo then Dunfermline again. Three Wheatears arrived in Balmullo and 12 Velvet Scoters were off Pathhead (20th). Wormit claimed the first Sedge Warbler and two Cuckoos were at East Lomond. Observations at Kilrenny Mill produced one Whimbrel, three Wheatears, 50+ Linnets and a White Wagtail then a Fulmar put in an appearance over Dunfermline (21st).

Three Little Egrets were squabbling at Guardbridge where there was one Whimbrel over and a Sedge Warbler on the reeds whilst winter visitors were still around with 64 Pink-footed Geese N there, 30 Fieldfares at Craigmead and 15 Velvet Scoters at Pathhead. A Tawny Owl was calling at Dunfermline where Townhill CP hosted a Sedge Warbler, a Goosander and a Canada Goose. The Wilderness held 11 Willow Warblers and five Buzzards while species flying past Kinghorn included three Wigeon, three Common Scoters, four Whimbrel and seven Sandwich Terns (22nd). An Osprey flew over Dunfermline, a drake Shoveler was in one of the ponds at Dukes Golf Course and Kilrenny Mill hosted six Skylarks. A Tawny Owl was calling at Lochmill then a report from Valleyfield Lagoons comprised at least three Grasshopper Warblers, two Water Rails and several Snipe (23rd). A Short-eared Owl turned up near the Lighthouse at Elie Ness. A Common Sandpiper and 15 Teal were at Craigluscar Reservoir whilst two Grey Partridges and a Whitethroat were spied en route to this site. A singing Reed Warbler was a great find at Newburgh, three Wheatears were noted at Wormit and another fine discovery was a Lesser Whitethroat at the Melville Roundabout (24th). Regular reports from Kilrenny Mill continued with two White Wagtails, two Wheatears, 15 Swallows, six pairs of Grey Partridges and the first Sedge Warbler of the spring there. Six Skylarks and a Wheatear were in fields south of Crossgates while sightings of groups of hirundines included60+ (90% Swallows)at Kilconquhar Loch and a mixed group of 40-50 Swallows (the majority) and House Martins near Milton. Single Garden Warblers were heard at Kilmany Station (25th) and Kirkcaldy’s Oriel Road. Offshore sightings at Kinghorn included two Long-tailed Ducks, a Goldeneye, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 118 Gannets, 31 Common Terns, three Arctic Terns, a Puffin, one Sand Martin and two Tree Pipits with this species also being reported at Craigmead and Formonthills. Whitethroats arrived at Wormit Den,Auchtermuchty Common, and Guardbridge where there was also a Little Egret, one Peregrine, two Black-tailed Godwits, a pair of Gadwall and a Sedge Warbler with this species also seen at Calais Muir. Another Lesser Whitethroat turned up, this time in Anstruther where there was also a Redstart in a local garden (26th). Other Redstart reports were a male at Kirkcaldy’s John Smith Business Park and a female at Charlestown. At Elie Ness there were three pairs of Shelduck, a Red-throated Diver and a Red-breasted Merganser. Devilla Forest held at least ten Tree Pipits and Newburgh produced a Wheatear with a Common Sandpiper nearby at Lochmill. A report from Valleyfield Lagoons included two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Little Ringed Plover, one Whimbrel, c40 Oystercatchers, two Whitethroats, two Stock Doves and 29 Shelducks. Kilrenny Mill yielded two Whimbrels, one Common Sandpiper, three White Wagtails, two Wheatears and c150+ Common Gulls (<5% adult)( 27th). The first reported Swifts were two over Kirkcaldy and a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling at Townhill CP, 15 Velvet Scoters and ten Common Scoters lingered off Pathhead whilst 38 Common Scoters at Kinkell Braes were seen along with a female Surf Scoter E, one Black-throated Diver on the water, six Red-throated Divers, 11 Whimbrels and 45 Kittiwakes. Kilrenny Mill’s White Wagtail tally was seven and there were three Wheatears (28th). A Grasshopper Warbler and two Whitethroats were observed just north of Dunfermline’s Baldridge Estate (29th). A report from Loch Glow comprised two Ospreys, at least three Tree Pipits and a female Hen Harrier. A Manx Shearwater flew east past Anstruther, a Garden Warbler was singing in a Kilmany garden and the month closed with the last of the regular reports from Kilrenny Mill which involved two Whimbrels, four White Wagtails and three Wheatears (30th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

Sightings March 2020

The month commenced with a Greenshank at St Andrews, a Norwegian ringed plus four unringed Scandinavian Rock Pipits on the shore at Cellardyke and seven Brent Geese seen from the Eden Estuary Centre (1st) then 21 of this species were also seen there the next day. Newburgh hosted three Ravens, two Peregrines and a Sparrowhawk, a foray to West Lomond produced c30 Snow Buntings and a gull roost off Cambo held four Mediterranean Gulls (two adults and two third calendar year) (2nd) while a second winter bird was at Buckhaven the next day. A Nuthatch was discovered in Blairhall (3rd). A Long-eared Owl was heard at Kilmany, a party of around ten Bearded Tits were spied at Mugdrum Island, a Green Woodpecker was noted at Den of Lindores and the Black-necked Grebe continued its residence at Elie Bay (4th) and was seen again the next day along with 17 Red-throated Divers, four Common Scoters, seven Long-tailed Ducks, c45 Razorbills and five Velvet Scoters (5th). Snow Buntings were seen again at West Lomond, this time a party of 20, while East Lomond hosted two pairs of Red Grouse and a pair of Stonechats then five Waxwings were reported flying over the Cullaloe Hills. Back at ground level a Chiffchaff turned up at Dalgety Bay. Raptor reports included an immature Marsh Harrier, two Peregrines and eight Buzzards at Newburgh, a ringtail Hen Harrier at Blairadam Forest (6th) then a ringtail was also noted the following day at Loch Glowwhere there were also two Lesser Redpolls and one Common Redpoll (7th).

Reports from freshwater sites included five Dabchicks at Newton Farm, two Dabchicks and two Goosanders at Linkswood Pond, eight Dabchicks, nine Canada Geese, 30 Teal, 26 Tufted Ducks, 17 Goldeneyes, 13 Coots, 60 Black-headed Gulls, and three Skylarks in song at Newton Quarry. Sightings at Morton Lochs NNR included six Dabchicks, 50 Teal, 17 Wigeon, 26 Mallards, 22 Tufted Ducks, two Gadwalls and 19 Coots as well as one Kestrel. A busy day continued with an adult Mediterranean Gull at Dysart and two Little Egrets and 18 Whooper Swans seen from the Eden Estuary Centre (8th). the redhead Smew was seen again at Lochore Meadows CP where there were also five Gadwalls (9th). Elie’s Black-necked Grebe was seen again (10th). A Sandwich Tern joined it (13th) and the grebe was seen again the next day when a female Scaup was seen at Kilconquhar Loch and an adult Mediterranean Gull was on primary school playing field at Leven (14th).

An adult Mediterranean Gull flew past Dysart and a first winter bird was at Levenmouth. A Snow Bunting and a female Merlin were at Balcomie Beach, a Brambling was at Camilla Loch, a Green Woodpecker was at Devilla Forest and two Waxwings were in Dunfermline (15th). A second winter Mediterranean Gull was at the customary Buckhaven haunt (16th). The two Waxwings were seen again in Dunfermline and a Red Kite flew over Coaltown of Balgonie (17th). Culross had its first singing Chiffchaff of the year, a Glenrothes garden had a Blackcap on a feeder and a Sand Martin arrived at Mountcastle GP where there was also a Pochard. A female Merlin flew over Redwells Wood and the two Waxwings were showing well in Dunfermline (18th) and were seen again the next day. Lochore Meadows CP continued to host the redhead Smew and a Green Sandpiper dropped in. Elie’s Black-necked Grebe was joined by a Red-throated Diver and seven Razorbills. The beach at Cellardyke held two littoralis Rock Pipits and off Leven there were 15 Slavonian Grebes, 22 Long-tailed Ducks and two Black-throated Divers. Another coastal report, this time from Lower Largo, comprised 24 Slavonian Grebes, 340 Velvet Scoters, 19 Red-throated Divers, 48 Red-breasted Mergansers, ten Long-tailed Ducks and 18 Razorbills. There were also two Little Egrets and a Chiffchaff at Tayport (19th). Two Grey Partridges were seen feeding near to a building site at Inverkeithing, seven Barnacle Geese flew over Kirkcaldy and there were 30 Brent Geese at Balgove Bay. A pair of Kestrels were at Lower Largo where offshore there were four Slavonian Grebes and two Black-Throated Divers. The two Waxwings lingered in Dunfermline (20th) and were also there the following day. Seawatching from Fife Ness produced 146 Razorbills, 40 Kittiwakes and five Common Scoters. A first winter Glaucous Gull was discovered in a field near Strathmiglo and an immature Marsh Harrier was seen again at Newburgh. Chiffchaff sightings included singles at Lochore Meadows CP (where the redhead Smew remained), Cullaloe LNR, Wormit and Auchtermuchty with two noted at Kilmany (21st).

Then single Chiffchaffs were reported from Balmullo, the Eden Estuary Centre, Townhill and Moss Plantation. A different warbler, a Blackcap, was on a feeder in a Kirkcaldy garden, c60 Fieldfares were at Auchtermuchty’s Broombrae Farm and 21 Whooper Swans were spied in the bay at Culross. Green Woodpeckers were seen at Bathmoor Plantation (where a Tawny Owl was calling) and at Lochornie where there was also a Raven. A Red Kite flew over Loch Gelly, 34 Brent Geese flew past Guardbridge, and the Dunfermline Waxwings remained in place(22nd). A party of ten Canada Geese flew north over Kirkcaldy, a Chiffchaff was at Windygates and there were also four at Ferry Hills where a Sand Martin appeared (23rd) then two of this species were noted at Bathmoor Plantation. As the lockdown kicked in, observers started to focus on species seen overhead and in gardens as well as from houses and during local walks e.g. Dunfermline produced three Canada Geese south, a singing Chiffchaff, a Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard. There were also Chiffchaffs at Pitlair Park, Cairneyhill (24th) and Moss Plantation. A report from Kinghorn included 20 Eiders, nine Common Scoters, five Long-tailed Ducks, 585 Kittiwakes, one Little Gull and 155 Herring Gulls past. Torryburn Pools hosted 12 Snipe, 60+ Oystercatchers, 24 Curlews, 34 Shelducks, a Bar-tailed Godwit and six Lapwings displaying (25th). A Tawny Owl was calling at Lochmill and a Chiffchaff was singing near Hillend (26th). A Green Woodpecker was calling at Culross, an Osprey flew north over Dunfermline and one was also seen, with a fish, at Lochmill. A second calendar year Iceland Gull was at the mouth of Kenly Water at Kingsbarns where five Twite were in the dunes and two flocks of this species (20/30 in each flock) were recorded at Bow of Fife’s Pitlair Park. A male Ring Ouzel was seen on the south side of East Lomond. Checking of the skies over our towns produced two Ravens over Kirkcaldy (28th) and a Red Kite also over the Lang Toun whilst an Osprey continued its journey over Burntisland then a Short-eared Owl, a Peregrine, a displaying Sparrowhawk and a Cormorant over Dunfermline. Two Ravens were in trees at Pitlair Park and c25 Twite were at Kingsbarns (29th). More fly-overs included an Osprey over Coaltown of Wemyss, a Peregrine over Aberdour and, more unusually, an  adult Spoonbill over Dunfermline. At ground level, the first Willow Warbler report of the year came from the Rabbit Braes area of Kirkcaldy where there were also six Chiffchaffs. Wheatears turned up at at Randerston and Balcomie Beach as well as Cambo where there was also a Sand Martin (30th). The last day of the month produced a Mediterranean Gull over Aberdour, a Blackcap singing on The Binn and, to end an unusual month with a flourish, there was not only a Green Woodpecker but also a Nuthatch at Balbirnie Park (31st).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

FBC and the Coronavirus

All members are advised to follow the latest government advice about unnecessary travel, social distancing etc. so please avoid visiting our hides until further notice. Also please resist the temptation to travel to see a rarity or any species that you may have heard about.

Eden Centre Closure

Please see below from Ranald Strachan:

“Apologies to all but we will be closing the centre from 5pm on 13th March. This is potentially for up to 4 weeks however we will monitor public health advice and manage. The Evans hide will also be locked down.

We all need to do what we can to flatten the curve of infections and protect the most vulnerable. There is increasing evidence that ‘social distancing’ is the most effective way to do this, so by the Trust closing public buildings we endeavour to reduce the likelihood of any of our sites being the centre of an outbreak’.

The wee wooden hide by the centre is still available and of course, it’s not ‘Avian flu’ so there are still birds out on the estuary, which never closes”.