25 April 2024

Sorry, you don't have permission to access this content. To obtain full website access, join Fife Bird Club.

Focus On: Birds and the Law

Birds and the Law

The following is a summary of a presentation provided to Fife Bird Club members in March 2024. Refer to the respective acts for full details.

Behaviour around birds and nests

Under Section 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly —

  • take, damage, destroy or otherwise interfere with the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built – Section 1(1)(b)
  • obstruct or prevent any wild bird from using its nest – Section 1(1)(bb)
  • disturb any wild bird included in Schedule 1 (see list of Schedule 1 species below) while it is building a nest or is in, on or near a nest containing eggs or young – Section 1(5)(a)
  • disturb dependent young of a Schedule 1 bird – Section 1(5)(b)
  • disturb any wild bird included in Schedule 1 which leks while it is doing so – Section 1(5A)
  • harass any wild bird included in Schedule 1A – Section 1(5B). 
  • take, damage, destroy or otherwise interfere with when not in use in Schedule A1

Schedule 1A include Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Red Kite, Hen Harrier         

Possession of avian parts and derivatives

It is an offence to be in possession or control of —

  • any live or dead wild bird or any part of, or anything derived from, such a bird – Section 2(a)
  • an egg of a wild bird or any part of such an egg – Section 2(b)

unless it can be shown that:

  • the bird or egg had not been killed or taken, or had been lawfully killed or taken – Section 3(a); or
  • the bird, egg or other thing in his possession or control had been lawfully sold – Section 3(b)

Interpretations

Wild bird” means any bird of a species which is ordinarily resident in or is a visitor to the United Kingdom or any member State or the European territory of any member State in a wild state but does not include poultry.

Reckless” undefined but consider it as behaving with prior knowledge that one’s actions are likely to cause interference or obstruction to a nest.

 Disturbance” undefined but consider it as an involuntary change in an animal’s behaviour caused by human presence.

 Harasses” undefined but consider it as a series of incidents of disturbance.

Access rights to land

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 provides everyone with the statutory right to be on or cross land for recreational or educational purposes.  These rights are known as “access rights” – Section 1(1)

Access rights can only be exercised responsibly and without unreasonable interference with anybody else’s rights – Section 2(1)&(2)

The following activities are not considered as acting responsibly:

  • not keeping your animal under proper control
  • driving a motorised vehicle or vessel without permission
  • accessing a golf course – Section 9

 Access rights are not exercisable on land which contains:

  • a building or other structure or works, plant or fixed machinery, or a curtilage or enclosure containing any of these
  • a caravan, tent or other place affording a person privacy or shelter
  • the curtilage of a building
  • school grounds
  • private house and garden so that the occupiers have reasonable privacy without unreasonable disturbance – Section 6

Schedule 1 Bird Species:

  • Avocet
  • Bee-eater
  • Bittern
  • Bittern, Little
  • Bluethroat
  • Brambling
  • Bunting, Cirl
  • Bunting, Lapland
  • Bunting, Snow
  • Buzzard, Honey
  • Capercaillie
  • Chough
  • Corncrake
  • Crake, Spotted
  • Crossbills (all species)
  • Curlew, Stone
  • Divers (all species)
  • Dotterel
  • Duck, Long-tailed
  • Eagle, Golden
  • Eagle, White-tailed
  • Falcon, Gyr
  • Fieldfare
  • Firecrest
  • Garganey
  • Godwit, Black-tailed
  • Goshawk
  • Grebe, Black-necked
  • Grebe, Slavonian
  • Greenshank
  • Gull, Little
  • Gull, Mediterranean
  • Harriers (all species)
  • Heron, Purple
  • Hobby
  • Hoopoe
  • Kingfisher
  • Kite, Red
  • Merlin
  • Oriole, Golden
  • Osprey
  • Owl, Barn
  • Owl, Snowy
  • Peregrine
  • Petrel, Leach’s
  • Phalarope, Red-necked
  • Plover, Kentish
  • Plover, Little Ringed
  • Quail, Common
  • Redstart, Black
  • Redwing
  • Rosefinch, Scarlet
  • Ruff
  • Sandpiper, Green
  • Sandpiper, Purple
  • Sandpiper, Wood
  • Scaup
  • Scoter, Common
  • Scoter, Velvet
  • Serin
  • Shorelark
  • Shrike, Red-backed
  • Spoonbill
  • Stilt, Black-winged
  • Stint, Temminck’s
  • Swan, Bewick’s
  • Swan, Whooper
  • Tern, Black
  • Tern, Little
  • Tern, Roseate
  • Tit, Bearded
  • Tit, Crested
  • Treecreeper, Short-toed
  • Warbler, Cetti’s
  • Warbler, Dartford
  • Warbler, Marsh
  • Warbler, Savi’s
  • Whimbrel
  • Woodlark
  • Wryneck

April 2024

August 2023 Sightings

August was a busy birding month and saw a good spread of interesting birds right across the county, with waders, raptors, passerines and seabirds all putting on a good show.

The month began with a Whinchat and two Spotted Flycatchers at Kilmany, two Arctic Skuas at Carlingnose Point, 35 Mediterranean Gulls at East Wemyss, a Sooty Shearwater, 149 Manx Shearwaters, four Arctic Skuas, seven Great Skuas, seven Whimbrels and 163 Little Gulls at Fife Ness, and a Little Tern and an Arctic Skua at Kinghorn. On the 2nd, an adult Long-tailed Skua, an Arctic Skua, a Great Skua, 111 Manx Shearwaters, three Sooty Shearwaters, 29 Little Gulls and two Whimbrels were at Fife Ness, and 11 Little Egrets, two Greenshanks and an Arctic Skua were at Guardbridge. The following day, a Cory’s Shearwater, a Roseate Tern, 46 Little Gulls, a Sooty Shearwater, 25 Little Gulls, two Great Skuas, one Arctic Skua and 87 Manx Shearwaters were at Fife Ness, at Kinghorn there were a Sooty Shearwater, six Manx Shearwaters, and a Great Skua, at Ferry Hills a Marsh Harrier, a Great Skua, 71 Tree Pipits and 12 Crossbills were seen, at East Wemyss 32 Mediterranean Gulls were noted, a Red Kite was at Drumcarrow, a Green Sandpiper and  two Greenshanks were near Drumoig, and six Greenshanks and two Crossbills were at The Wilderness. On the 4th, at Fife Ness five Sooty Shearwaters, 63 Manx Shearwaters, three Great Skuas, three Arctic Skuas, 168 Little Gulls and three Whimbrels were seen, the Green Sandpiper and two Greenshanks remained near Drumoig, a Little Egret, 53 Tree Pipits and five Crossbills were at Ferry Hills, eight Crossbills were at Cameron Reservoir, three Ruff were at Guardbridge, and a Short-eared Owl was near the Rossie Estate. The 5th saw 18 Manx Shearwaters, an Arctic Skua, a Great Skua and three Little Gulls at Kinghorn, two Storm Petrels, two Sooty Shearwaters, 193 Manx Shearwaters, a Roseate Tern, seven Great Skuas, eight Arctic Skuas and 101 Little Gulls at Fife Ness, a Hen Harrier at Crail Airfield, and three Ruff, 13 Little Egrets and a Mediterranean Gull at Guardbridge. On the 6th there was a Marsh Harrier at Wormiston, at Fife Ness were 167 Manx Shearwaters, two Great Skuas and two Arctic Skuas, at East Wemyss were 20 Mediterranean Gulls, with two Greenshanks and two Crossbills at Cameron Reservoir, a Marsh Harrier at Crail Airfield, and a Green Sandpiper and two Greenshanks remained near Drumoig. The following day a Cetti’s Warbler was reported from Cameron Reservoir, and a Green Sandpiper was at Guardbridge.

On the 8th, 54 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss and the following day two Balearic Shearwaters, a Storm Petrel, 515 Manx Shearwaters, six Little Gulls, two Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua were seen at Fife Ness. The 10th saw a 3cy Pomarine Skua, three Sooty Shearwaters, five Arctic Skuas, nine Great Skuas and 167 Manx Shearwaters pass Fife Ness, 59 Tree Pipits pass over Ferry Hills, three Little Gulls, six Little Egrets and a Whimbrel at Out Head, three Ruff and ten Little Egrets at the Eden Estuary Centre, and a Red-rumped Swallow reported from St Andrews. Sixty Tree Pipits were seen at Ferry Hills on the 11th, the same day that a Crossbill was at Craigtoun, an adult Spotted Flycatcher was feeding chicks at Cameron Reservoir, where four Crossbills and a Greenshank were also seen, a Marsh Harrier was at Kilconquhar Loch, whilst 70 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss. On the 12th, two Ruff, a Greenshank, 13 Little Egrets and a Mediterranean Gull were at the Eden Estuary, and Marsh Harriers were at Letham Pools and Carnbee. The next day, 106 Tree Pipits and 10 Crossbills were at Ferry Hills, at Fife Ness 13 Manx Shearwaters, three Whimbrel, a Merlin, a possible Cory’s Shearwater, two Great Skuas and four Arctic Skuas were seen, a Marsh Harrier was at Letham Pools, and a Tree Pipit, a Whimbrel, five Crossbills and three Goshawks were at St Andrews. On the 14th, a Marsh Harrier was at Letham Pools, a huge total of 334 Tree Pipits passed over Ferry Hills alongside two Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua, a Marsh Harrier was near Anstruther, a Little Egret was at Dalgety Bay, and 17 Little Egrets and six Ruff were at the Eden Estuary.

The 15th saw, a Whinchat at Out Head, 21 Little Egrets, 18 Greenshanks, 12 Common Sandpipers, 380 Canada Geese and a Ruff at the Eden Estuary, a Marsh Harrier at Letham Pools, seven Sooty Shearwaters, 131 Manx Shearwaters, 17 Teal, four Great Skuas and two Arctic Skuas at Fife Ness, a Little Egret and Ruff at Anstruther, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, a  juvenile Spotted Redshank, eight Greenshanks and 43 Grey Plovers were at Tayport,  and 74 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss. The next day, two Balearic Shearwaters, three Sooty Shearwaters, 284 Manx Shearwaters, nine Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas, a 3cy Pomarine Skua, a Black Guillemot and a juvenile Little Gull  passed Fife Ness , a Red-throated Diver and 150 Canada Geese were at Out Head, a Marsh Harrier was at Letham Pools, an Arctic Skua was at Dalgety Bay, two Green Sandpipers were at Guardbridge, 126 Goosanders, seven Canada Geese and 26 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss, an Osprey visited Letham Pools, three Arctic Skuas, 31 Manx Shearwaters and a Great Skua were at Kinghorn, and the juvenile Spotted Redshank was still at Tayport. On the 17th, an immature Brown Booby, six Cory’s Shearwaters, 12 Sooty Shearwaters, 379 Manx Shearwaters, one Balearic Shearwater, 20 Great Skuas, 27 Arctic Skuas and six Little Gulls passed Fife Ness. At Kinghorn, three Arctic Skuas and a Manx Shearwater were present, three Crossbills were at Balgownie Woodland, a Great Skua, five Arctic Skuas, six Whimbrels and a Raven were at Carlingnose Point, and at Tayport were a Little Stint, a Spotted Redshank, six Greenshanks and eight Whimbrels.  The following day, three Cory’s Shearwaters, 20 Sooty Shearwaters, five Storm Petrels, 250 Manx Shearwaters, 63 Arctic Skuas, 32 Great Skuas, one Long-tailed Skua, 44 Little Gulls, a Black Tern, four Red-throated Divers, 97 Common Scoters, four Velvet Scoters, a Whimbrel, a Greenshank, 112 Teal and a Tufted Duck passed Fife Ness, nine Greenshanks were at The Wilderness, two Long-tailed Skuas, four Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua and 185  Little Gulls were in St Andrews Bay, a Long-tailed Skua, a Pomarine Skua, 12 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua were at Carlingnose Point, and 77 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss.

The 19th saw an Osprey at Kilmany, three Long-tailed Skuas, four Sooty Shearwaters, 26 Manx Shearwaters, nine Great Skuas, three Arctic Skuas, five Little Gulls, a Merlin and nine Knot at Fife Ness, a Black-throated Diver, two Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas, and 21 Whimbrels at Carlingnose Point, two Pied Flycatchers, a Redstart and a Green Sandpiper at Boarhills pond, a Green Sandpiper at Fife Ness and Lower Kilminning, three Redstarts, four Pied Flycatchers and a Spotted Flycatcher at Fife Ness, a male Red-backed Shrike, a Barred Warbler, a Wood Warbler, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher and two Redstarts at Lower Kilminning, eleven Wheatears and a four Greenshanks at Coble Shore, a Redstart at St Andrews, a Pied Flycatcher at Craighead cottages near Fife Ness, a Black Tern, three Arctic Skuas, four Manx Shearwaters and 94 Little Gulls in St Andrews Bay, three Ruff and a Mediterranean Gull at Dalgety Bay, four Ruff, seven Greenshanks and six Ospreys were at Guardbridge, a juvenile Whinchat was at Out Head, and nine Pied Flycatcher, two Whinchats, and a Little Gull were in the Kingsbarns area. On the 20th, 340 Goosanders were at Tayport, a Marsh Harrier was at Crail airfield, two Pied Flycatchers were at Lower Kilminning, an adult Roseate Tern was off Boarhills, two Pied Flycatchers were at Fife Ness, four Arctic Skuas were at Kinghorn, 40 Arctic Skuas, a Long-tailed Skua and two Black Terns were at Fife Ness, a Nuthatch was at Crombie, a juvenile Little Stint, a Greenshank and 10 Ruff were at Guardbridge, and three Little Terns, two Arctic Skuas and 14 Little Gulls were at Out Head. The Following day, two Pied Flycatchers and a Yellow Wagtail were at Lower Kilminning, a Pied Flycatcher was at Fife Ness, two Little Stints were at Guardbridge, a Roseate Tern was at Tentsmuir Point NNR, and 84 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss.

On the 22nd, two Green Sandpipers were near Drumoig, two Little Stints, nine Ruff, two Greenshanks, and three Whimbrels were at Guardbridge, a Marsh Harrier and Swift were at Letham Pools, and at East Wemyss there were 107 Mediterranean Gulls. The next day, a Black Tern and two Arctic Skuas were seen at Dalgety Bay, two dark juvenile Honey-buzzards, an Osprey, a Merlin, three Whimbrels, a Whinchat, a Spotted Flycatcher, 138 Tree Pipits , 188 Siskins and 11 Crossbills were at Ferry Hills, a Hobby was at Kilrenny, a Spotted Flycatcher at Barns Farm, three Little Stints, 21 Little Egrets and a Green Sandpiper at Guardbridge, a Little Stint east of Tayport, three Roseate Terns at Tentsmuir Point NNR, and four Tree Pipits, a Whimbrel and a Raven at Boarhills. On the 24th, a dark juvenile Honey-buzzard was at Ferry Hills, two Little Stints and the first Gadwall and five Wigeon of the autumn were at Tayport, a Cory’s Shearwater was feeding off Kinghorn where a Sooty Shearwater, 10 Manx Shearwaters and three Arctic Skuas were also present, and at Fife Ness a Short-eared Owl, a Little Egret, one Sooty Shearwater, nine Little Gulls and two Manx Shearwaters were seen. The next day, the Cory’s Shearwater was seen briefly again at Kinghorn, where also seen were 10 Manx Shearwaters. At Ferry Hills there were a Yellow Wagtail, a Redstart, four Spotted Flycatchers, 364 Siskins, 50 Tree Pipits, a Great Skua and a Whimbrel, at Newmills Bay there were two Greenshanks, at Fife Ness 300 Little Gulls, a Sooty Shearwater, a Great Skua and 31 Manx Shearwaters passed by, and a Green Sandpiper, a Great Skua, 80 Little Gulls and three Manx Shearwaters were in St Andrews Bay.

On the 26th, a Crossbill and 10 Ravens were at Kilmany, six Whooper Swans headed over Pitlair Park, a Spotted Redshank was at Tayport, eight Ravens were at Lindores Loch, four Green Sandpipers and a Greenshank were at Stenhouse Reservoir, a Black Tern, two Arctic Skuas and nine Manx Shearwaters were at Kinghorn, five Ruff were at the Eden Estuary Centre, and a Balearic Shearwater, three Sooty Shearwaters, 242 Manx Shearwaters, two Whimbrels and 204 Little Gulls were at Fife Ness. At Fife Ness on the 27th, a Long-tailed Skua,  four Sooty Shearwaters, five Great Skuas, five Arctic Skuas, 40 Manx Shearwaters, 174 Little Gulls, a Little Egret, a Ruff and 11 Whimbrels were seen, the same day that a Ruff was at Leven, a Spotted Redshank, 13 Whimbrels, eight Red-throated Divers, a Little Egret, a Tree Pipit, a Great Skua and a Ruff were at Ruddons Point, two Short-eared Owls were at Balcomie beach, two Little Stints and three Arctic Skuas were at Out Head, an Osprey was over Dunfermline, two Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua were at Kinghorn, a Green Sandpiper was near Drumoig, five Ruff were at Guardbridge, a Little Stint was at Tayport, four Green Sandpipers and a Greenshank were at Stenhouse Reservoir, a Redstart was in a Crail garden, and a Pochard and a Little Egret were at Kilconquhar Loch. On the 28th, a Green Sandpiper was at Angle Park, a Little Stint and 54 Greenshanks were at Coble Shore, the Redstart remained in Crail, a Green Sandpiper and Crossbill were at Cullaloe LNR.

The following day, seven Ruff were at Stenhouse Reservoir and a Long-tailed Skua and two Sooty Shearwaters were at Fife Ness. On the 30th, 11 Manx Shearwaters, five Great Skuas, 157 Little Gulls, one Whimbrel were at Fife Ness,  a Marsh Harrier, six Ruff and two Green Sandpipers were at Stenhouse Reservoir, a Pomarine Skua, three Arctic Skuas and a Manx Shearwater were at Kinghorn, a Little Stint was at Out Head, a Black Tern, a Long-tailed Skua, five Arctic Skuas, four Little Gulls and three Whimbrels were at Out Head, and a Little Stint and the first Pintail of the autumn were at Tayport. The month closed with nine Sooty Shearwaters, 64 Manx Shearwaters, 491 Little Gulls, one Long-tailed Skua, eight Arctic Skuas, four Great Skuas, a Little Egret, three Pintails, 55 Bar-tailed Godwits and four Whimbrels at Fife Ness, two Ruff on Craighead Golf Course, 23 Little Egrets, seven Pintails, six Ruff and 20 Greenshanks at the Eden Estuary, and a Yellow Wagtail at Tayport.

Monthly sighting summaries are based on information submitted to the Fife Bird News WhatsApp group. A list of species which are sufficiently scarce to be reported on the Fife Bird News (FBN) WhatsApp Group can be found here . These are in addition to the rare or unusual species listed on the Local and National Rarities page.

 

 

 

July 2023 Sightings

July saw the beginnings of autumn migration, with returning waders and seabirds starting to appear. A Whimbrel and 11 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss on the 1st, two Quail were calling from fields near Kingsbarns on the 2nd, when 18 Mediterranean Gulls and a Whimbrel were at East Wemyss. At Fife Ness on the 3rd, 204 Manx Shearwaters and a Red-throated Diver were seen. On the 5th, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 10 Greenshanks, a Little Egret, 38 Black- tailed Godwits and four Whimbrels were at Guardbridge, whilst at Fife Ness 32 Manx Shearwaters, five Goosanders, 2000 Guillemots, 1400 Puffins, a Common Scoter and a Whimbrel passed by. At Ferry Hills on the 6th, four Red-throated Divers, a Tree Pipit, 60 Sand Martins, 19 Crossbills and 17 Siskins were seen, whilst the same day at St Margaret’s Marsh there were a Common Sandpiper and a Mediterranean Gull. A Quail was heard near the Fairmont, St Andrews on the 7th, when at Dalgety Bay two Mediterranean Gulls were present.

 

On the 8th a dark morph male Honey-buzzard was watched at Kinghorn as it circled Pettycur Harbour, a Quail was flushed from a farm track near Kingsbarns, four Black- tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper, and two juvenile Crossbills were at The Wilderness, and at Fife Ness there were 6130 Gannets, 37 Manx Shearwaters, 11 Fulmars, two Whimbrels, 95 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, and a Red-throated Diver. The next day, a Green Sandpiper was at Angle Park, a Spotted Redshank flew over Kinghorn, a Little Egret was seen from the train at Burntisland, a Mediterranean Gull was at North Queensferry, and a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua and two Manx Shearwaters were at Fife Ness. On the 10th, three adult Roseate Terns were at Kinghorn, and a Quail was heard at Kilmany. At East Wemyss on the 11th, 14 Mediterranean Gulls were present. Six Common Sandpipers were at the Eden Estuary and 16 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss on the 13th, and a Whinchat was near Kirkcaldy. At Fife Ness on the 14th, 159 Manx Shearwaters, a Great Skua, eight Whimbrels, 43 Common Scoters, and 31 Fulmars passed by. A Mediterranean Gull was at Luthrie on the 15th, when at Fife Ness there were a Roseate Tern, a Sooty Shearwater, 62 Manx Shearwaters, 19 Common Scoters, a Teal, 14 Arctic Terns, three Common Terns, 41 Redshanks, two Knots, a Red-throated Diver, and five Red-breasted Mergansers. At the Eden Estuary there were two Ospreys, and at Durward’s Scalp there were 37 Common Sandpipers and five Greenshanks.

 

On the 16th a Quail was heard at Craigrothie, two Crossbills, a Common Sandpiper and four Greenshanks were at The Wilderness, then the next day at the same location a Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and four Crossbills were seen. 338 Sand Martins, 11 Crossbills and 10 Tree Pipits migrated through Ferry Hills on the 18th, and the next day a Night Heron was found roosting along the River Leven near Methil, five Ruff were at Morton Lochs, a Greenshank and a Snipe were at Letham Pools, and two Crossbills and a Greenshank were at The Wilderness. On the 20th, a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua, 77 Manx Shearwaters and 28 Common Scoters were at Fife Ness, and 68 Goosanders, three Common Sandpipers and a Mediterranean Gull were at East Wemyss. Five Little Gulls were at Out Head on the 22nd, whilst the following day 35 Manx Shearwaters, a Mediterranean Gull and a Greenshank were at Kinghorn, two Mediterranean Gulls and four Common Sandpipers were at Dysart, two calling Quails and seven Ravens were at Carnbee Reservoir, four Arctic Skuas and 31 Manx Shearwaters were at Fife Ness, and at Out Head there were an Arctic Skua, two Little Gulls, and four Bar-tailed Godwits.

 

On the 24th, an Osprey and Water Rail were at Letham Pools, the Mandarin Duck and two Crossbills were at The Wilderness, and at Fife Ness there were two Arctic Skuas, 12 Little Gulls and 76 Manx Shearwaters. The following day at East Wemyss there were 32 Mediterranean Gulls, 32 Goosanders, and 80 Sandwich Terns, whilst at Kinghorn there were 17 Manx Shearwaters, a Mediterranean Gull, seven Common Scoters, and a Whimbrel, and at Letham Pools there were a Kingfisher and four Black-tailed Godwits. At Fife Ness on the 26th an adult Long-tailed Skua, a Roseate Tern, a Little Tern, 43 Little Gulls, six Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, a Sooty Shearwater, 428 Manx Shearwaters, two Teal, 13 Common Scoters, three Whimbrels, 24 Arctic Terns, five Common Terns and a Sandwich Tern were seen. On the 27th, 47 Little Gulls, two Manx Shearwaters and a Whimbrel were in St Andrews Bay, five Sooty Shearwaters, 293 Manx Shearwaters, 74 Little Gulls, seven Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, 55 Common Scoters, a Long-tailed Duck, 4112 Gannets, two Sanderlings, seven Whimbrels, 34 Arctic Terns, 16 Common Terns and 26 Sandwich Terns passed Fife Ness, five Arctic Skuas, a Red-throated Diver, 400 Razorbills, 150 Guillemots, 52 Common Terns, 102 Sandwich Terns and three Common Sandpipers were at Dalgety Bay, four Manx Shearwaters, 45 Gannets, 12 Sandwich Terns, 48 Goosanders, 108 Black-headed Gulls, 19 Common Gulls, 15 Kittiwakes, eight Eiders, 23 Shags, 600 large auks were at Kinghorn, and at East Wemyss there were six Mediterranean Gulls, 21 Black-headed Gulls, one Shelduck, 42 Sandwich Terns, a Common Sandpiper, 17 Oystercatchers, and two Curlews. Near Kinghorn on the 28th were six Tree Pipits, three Crossbills and a Lesser Whitethroat, and on the same day an Arctic Skua and three Teal were at Pettycur Bay, and at Fife Ness were nine Velvet Scoters, 47 Common Scoters, 10 Whimbrels, a Greenshank, 16 Little Gulls, two Common Terns, four Arctic Terns, 25 Sandwich Terns, and 45 Manx Shearwaters. At Fife Ness on the 29th a Balearic Shearwater, a probable Cory’s Shearwater, 41 Manx Shearwaters, 80 Arctic Terns, 25 Common Terns, 25 Sandwich Terns, 1119 Gannets, one Arctic Skua, 135 Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver, and six Knots were observed. Also on the 29th were an Osprey and a Raven at Coble Shore, a Ruff, four Knots, ten Black-tailed Godwits, 11 Little Egrets and two Ospreys at the Eden Estuary, and a Wood Sandpiper at Cocklemill Burn. On the 30th, a Hen Harrier flew north near Colinsburgh, the Little Egret remained at Cocklemill Burn, and two Little Gulls and a Whimbrel were at St Andrews. July ended with a Wood Sandpiper, 13 Little Egrets and a Ruff at Guardbridge, a Whimbrel and 97 Black-tailed Godwits at Culross, and at Fife Ness there were a Sooty Shearwater, 19 Manx Shearwaters, an Arctic Skua, 245 Arctic Terns, 30 Common Terns, a Little Gull, two Greenshanks and 64 Common Scoters.

 

Monthly sighting summaries are based on information submitted to the Fife Bird News WhatsApp group. A list of species which are sufficiently scarce to be reported on the Fife Bird News (FBN) WhatsApp Group can be found here . These are in addition to the rare or unusual species listed on the Local and National Rarities page.

 

Information from the Fife Bird News (FBN) WhatsApp group supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

For information on which species to report on the FBN WhatsApp group see list here

June 2023 Sightings

On the 1st two Quail Dunino and a Wood Sandpiper was at Wilderness, with a Corn Bunting near Kinghorn Loch, an Osprey at Cameron Reservoir and nine Black-tailed Godwit at Letham the following day. On the 4th a Snipe drumming at Kinshaldy and a Greenshank was at Letham, with nine Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank at Letham on the 6th. The following day a Little Gull, Greenshank and Cuckoo were at Letham, whilst on the 8th a Mediterranean Gull at Anstruther. A blue-headed type Yellow Wagtail was at Caiplie and two Great Skua were over Coaltown of Wemyss on the 9th, on the 10th a Quail was calling at Kingsbarns, nine Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank were at Letham and a Mediterranean Gull was at Billoness beach, whilst the following day an  Osprey was over Cults and a Whimbrel was at Outhead.

Oh the 13th the Little Gull was at Letham, the next day a Mediterranean Gull and seven Manx Shearwater were at Anstruther, the Little Gull was again at Letham on the 15th, and the next day a a Hobby flew out to sea at Fife Ness. On the 17th Bee-eater flew south at Strathkinness and the Little Gull was at Letham, the 18th had two Manx Shearwater and a Great Northern Diver at Kinghorn, a Whimbrel at Tentsmuir and three Whimbrel past Cellardyke. Five Whinchat were in the Lomond Hills on the 19th, when a male Green-winged Teal, a Ruff and a Greenshank were at the Eden. A Red Kite was at Seafield on the 22nd, the Little Gull was at Letham the next day, on the 24th an Arctic Skua, eight Red-throated Diver, 500+ Common Scoter and 25 Velvet Scoter were at Ruddon’s Point, and a Great Skua flew over Crail. On the 25th 157 Manx Shearwater passed Fife Ness, the next day a Mediterranean Gull  was at Wast Wemyss, and on the 28th 52 Manx Shearwater and two Red-throated Diver, a Black Guillemot, 26 Whimbrel, two Red-throated Diver and 2000 Scoter sp were at St Andrews.

Information from the Fife Bird News (FBN) WhatsApp group supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

For information on which species to report on the FBN WhatsApp group see list here

May 2023 Sightings

The Stejneger’s Scoter, two White-winged Scoter, and a pair of Surf Scoter remained at Lower Largo on the 1st, when a Wood Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover were at Luthrie, a Lesser Whitethroat was at Burntisland, at Coble Shore the American Wigeon, two Little Egret, three Pintail and a Northern Wheatear were present, and a hybrid Hooded Crow was at Springfield. On the 2nd, a Wood Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover were at Letham, a Wood Sandpiper was at Luthrie, a male Ring-necked Duck and two Whooper Swan were at Wilderness, the Stejneger’s Scoter, at least one White-winged Scoter, three Surf Scoter and 4000+ Common Scoter were at Lower Largo, and a Grasshopper Warbler was at Rossie Bog. The following day the Wood Sandpiper and male Ring-necked Duck were still at Luthrie and Wilderness respectively, as were the Stejneger’s Scoter, a White-winged Scoter, five Surf Scoter, two Red-necked Grebe, three Black-throated Diver, and a Lesser Whitethroat at Lower Largo, a Garden Warbler was at Redmyre, a Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver and Grasshopper Warbler were at Outhead, two Grasshopper Warbler and two Common Whitethroat were at Rossie Bog, and single Cuckoo were at West Lomond, Ballo and Craigmead.

On the 4th, an second calendar year male American Wigeon and a Whimbrel were at the Eden and two Dunlin were at Wilderness. The next day, a female type Red-breasted Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler and at least three Lesser Whitethroat were at Lower Kilminning, a Garden Warbler was at Cullaloe, two Dunlin remained at Letham, a Common Sandpiper was at Luthrie, the male Ring-necked Duck and a Cuckoo were at Angle Park, and two Swift and a Lesser Whitethroat were at Cellardyke. A Tree Pipit and a Jay were at Boarhills on the 6th, the day a Marsh Harrier was at Otterston Loch, a Garden Warbler was a Blairhall, at Lower Kiliminning there were the Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Tree Pipit, three Lesser Whitethroat, and a Blackcap, a Cuckoo was at Falkland, a Lesser Whitethroat was at Balcomine, a singing Reed Warbler was at the Howe of Fife, the male Ring-necked Duck was at Angle Park, a Common (Mealy) Redpoll, a Fieldfare, eight Whimbrel and two Lesser Whitethroat were at Fife Ness, the American Wigeon and a male Green-winged Teal were at Guardbridge, a Lesser Whitethroat was at Boghall Farm, a Lesser Whitethroat and two Common Whitethroat were at Seafield Tower, and a Lesser Whitethroat was at the Fairmont. 

On the 7th, a Cuckoo, two Common Sandpiper, 100 Sand Martin, 70 Swallow and a Garden Warbler were at Loch Gelly, single Tree Pipit, Northern Wheatear and Fieldfare were at Wormiston, the Red-breasted Flycatcher, a male Pied Flycatcher, three Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Sedge Warbler, a Whinchat, ten Common Whitethroat and three Lesser Whitethroat were at Lower Kilminning, the Stejneger’s Scoter, two White-winged Scoter, four Surf Scoter and two Red-necked Grebe were at Dunbarnie Links, a Tree Pipit was in St Andrews, two Jack Snipe and  a Grasshopper Warbler were at Letham, a Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser Whitethroat, five Willow Warbler and a Whimbrel were at Upper Kilminning, at Loch Gelly there were two Whimbrel, 14 Curlew, two Goldeneye, and a Garden Warbler, whilst 11 Whimbrel and two Sandwich Tern, five Blackcap, three Common Whitethroat, and a Sedge Warbler were at Fife Ness, the male Ring-necked Duck was at Angle Park, the American Wigeon as at the Eden Centre, a Common Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler were at Balcomie, and a Common Redstart was by Crail Golf Course.

On the 8th, a Wood Sandpiper and Jack Snipe were a Letham, a pair of Whinchat were at Lower Kilminning, the male Ring-necked Duck was at Angle Park, the American Wigeon, a Ruff, two Whimbrel, two Greenshank, two Whooper Swan, and two Pink-footed Goose were at the Eden, a Jack Snipe and a male Whinchat were at Letham, the Stejneger’s Scoter and three Surf Scoter were at Dunbarnie Links, a male Mandarin Duck was at Wilderness, the Ring-necked Duck and a Common Sandpiper were at Angle Park, two Lesser Whitethroat and three Whimbrel were at Seafield, the Pied Flycatcher was at Lower Kilminning, whilst 20 Whimbrel, a Raven and an Osprey were at Cameron, the Green-winged Teal and a Greenshank were at the Eden, and the Stejneger’s Scoter, Surf Scoter and a Grey Plover were at Dunbarnie Links. On the 10th there were three Wood Sandpiper at Luthrie, a Little Stint at Outhead, a Hoopoe at Anstruther, a Marsh Harrier at Letham, and the American Wigeon, two Pintail, a Greenshank and six Whimbrel at the Eden. A Wood Sandpiper remained at Luthrie on the 11th, when the American Wigeon was again at the Eden. Although news on emerged on the 29th, a Grey-headed Lapwing was present near Crail on the 11th. On the 12th a Grasshopper Warbler was at Outhead and 150 Swift were at Wormit, whilst the next day the Stejneger’s Scoter, one White-winged Scoter, Surf Scoter, Pacific Diver, and a Red-necked Grebe were all just east of Lower Largo, at Loch Gelly were three Pochard, five Goldeneye, three Goosander, two Common Sandpiper and a Garden Warbler, and a Cuckoo was at Fife Ness.

On the 14th there was an adult Little Gull and a Pochard at Letham, and an adult Iceland Gull, Great Northern Diver and five Black-throated Diver at St Andrews Bay. The next day two Raven were at Dalgety Bay and the Little Gull was at Letham. On the 16th the Little Gull was again at Letham, whilst the next day three Whimbrel were at Outhead, and the following day two Whimbrel were at Cellardyke. On the 19th a Black Guillemot was at Kinghorn and a Roseate Tern at Pettycur, and two Cuckoo were at Falkland, whilst on the 20th a Grasshopper Warbler was at Kilmany and at Lower Largo there were a Great Northern Diver, 35 Red-throated Diver and c. 300 Velvet and Common Scoter. On the 21st a White-winged Scoter and a Surf Scoter were at Leven, and a pair of Garganey were at Clatto Reservoir, whilst the next day two Whinchat were at Glenvale, the Mandarin Duck was at Wilderness, and the Little Gull at Letham.

On the 24th, a Cuckoo was at Kilmany, two Grasshopper Warbler were at Bankhead Moss, and on the 25th a Great Skua was just offshore from Anstruther. A Little Gull was at Kinghorn on the 27th, when three Whinchat and a Raven were at Glenvale, a Barnacle Goose and two Pink-footed Goose were at Letham, at Ruddon’s Point there were a Surf Scoter, two Velvet Scoter, 1000 Common Scoter and nine Red-throated Diver, and at Fife Ness 61 Manx Shearwater and a Red-throated Diver were seen. On the 29th an Osprey was at Cameron Reservoir, a Quail was near Boarhills on the 31st when three Osprey, two Garden Warbler, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Jay were at Cameron Reservoir, and at Lower Kilminning were a Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher and Cuckoo.

Information from the Fife Bird News (FBN) WhatsApp group supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

For information on which species to report on the FBN WhatsApp group see list here

Mainland Fife List -June 2023 update

The mainland Fife Bird List has been updated and  as of 30 June 2023 stood at 342 species (pending acceptance of some records by the relevant rarities committees). The full list can be viewed here.  

April 2023 Sightings

Continued signs of spring on the 1st when an Osprey flew over Dunfermline. On the same day, a Black Redstart and Hooded Crow were at Kenly Water, a Hawfinch was in Crail, and at Loch Fitty were a Russian White-fronted Goose, 13 Pink-footed Goose, 150 Greylag Goose, 47 Sand Martin, five Chiffchaff and 20 Meadow Pipit.  The male Smew and an Osprey were at Cameron Reservoir on the 2nd, when the Hawfinch was again present in Crail, an Osprey was at Reedieleys Farm, and the female Ring-necked Duck remained at Angle Park. On the 3rd the Ring-necked Duck was again at Angle Park, a Red Kite and Raven were at Mount Hill near Cupar,  a Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Chiffchaff were all at Inverkeithing, a Black Redstart was in Crail, a Swallow and a few Sand Martin were at Letham Pools, a Wheatear was at East Lomond, a male Mandarin Duck was at Wilderness, and an extremely early Sedge Warbler was at Crossford reedbeds. On the 4th, the male Smew, an Egyptian Goose, a Common Redpoll and 18 Lesser Redpoll were all at Cameron Reservoir, a pale-bellied Brent Goose and a Little Gull were at Kirkcaldy, and a Puffin was at Seafield. Thirty Whooper Swan were at Kingskettle, 38 Whooper Swan and 12 Common Snipe were at Wilderness, and the Hawfinch was again at Crail on the 5th. On the 6th, two Red Kite were over Dalgety, and two Ringed Plover and four Common Snipe were at Letham Pools.

A Red Kite, four Willow Warbler and seven Chiffchaff were at Loch Fitty on the 7th, the same date that a Red Kite was at Cupar, a Red Kite was at Morton Lochs, a Greenshank, two Common Snipe, a Jack Snipe, three Swallow, ten Sand Martin, two Shoveler, four Gadwall and 25 Fieldfare were at Letham Pools, and the male Mandarin Duck and 54 Whooper Swan were at Wilderness. On the 8th, the female Ring-necked Duck remained at Angle Park, a Marsh Harrier was at Letham Pools, an adult male Surf Scoter was at Ruddon’s Point, a Raven was at Crail, Barn Swallow and Blackcap at Boarhills, White Wagtail and two Sandwich Tern at Kingsbarns, and a Northern Wheatear at Balcomine. The male Surf Scoter was again at Ruddon’s Point along with 2750 Common Scoter, 260 Velvet Scoter, 110 Long-tailed Duck, a Black-throated Diver, six Sandwich Tern, a  Great Crested Grebe and a Gadwall on the 9th, whilst at Lower Largo were a Red-necked Grebe,  a Slavonian Grebe,  25 Red-throated  Diver, two Black-throated Diver,  290 Velvet Scoter,   eight Long tailed Duck,  and four Mute Swan. On the same date there was  a House Martin at Dunfermline, a Jack Snipe and Whimbrel at Ruddon’s Point, a White Wagtail and two Northern Wheatear at Fife Ness, two Swallow at Burntisland,  three Swallow at Falkland, a Common Crossbill at Tentsmuir, 40 Sand Martin, three Shoveler, eight Gadwall, two Redshank, two Jack Snipe, four Common Snipe and three Ringed Plover at Letham Pools. On the 10th, a Great White Egret, Jack Snipe and Merlin were at Letham Pools, the male Surf Scoter and a Whimbrel were at Ruddon’s Point, a House Martin was at Dunshalt, a Northern Wheatear was at Kilrenny, the Great White Egret moved to the Eden where two Little Egret were also present, 32 Little Gull, two Brent Goose and two Pintail were at Tayport and  a Stone Curlew was at Anstruther. The male Surf Scoter and a Whimbrel were at Ruddon’s Point on the 11th, with the Ring-necked Duck and two Pochard at Angle Park that day. On the 12th a Red Kite was at Kirkcaldy, the female Ring-necked Duck was at Angle Park, and a Willow Warbler and two Blackcap were at Birnie Loch. The following day, the male Surf Scoter was again at Ruddon’s Point and a Northern Wheatear was at East Lomond.

On the 14th, an Osprey, 22 Swallow, two Sand Martin, two Willow Warbler, two Blackcap and six Chiffchaff were at Cameron Reservoir, the female Ring-necked Duck and a male Pochard were at Angle Park, the male Surf Scoter was at Ruddon’s Point, ten Shoveler were at Letham Pools, a 2nd calendar year male Lesser Scaup was at Loch Gelly, and three White Wagtail were at Rossie Bog. A summer plumage Black Guillemot and three Black-throated Diver were at Lower Largo on the 15th, on which date the male Surf Scoter, 2000 Common Scoter, 500 Velvet Scoter, a Red-necked Grebe, two Great Crested Grebe, a Black-throated Diver, ten Red-throated Diver, seven Long-tailed Duck and two Puffin were at Ruddon’s Point, the female Ring-necked Duck and a male Pochard were at Angle Park, a White Stork was over Guardbridge, a Long-eared Owl was at Fife Ness, and an Osprey was at Dunfermline. At Lower Largo on the 16th were a Black Guillemot, two Black-throated Diver and 354 Long-tailed Duck, with elsewhere on that date a Great Northern Diver, two Black-throated Diver, 43 Red-throated Diver, two Greater Scaup, 141 Velvet Scoter, 29 Long-tailed Duck, 22 Red-breasted Merganser, a Raven, and two Purple Sandpiper at St Andrews, the male Lesser Scaup remained at Loch Gelly where two Grey Partridge and two Whooper Swan were also seen. On the 17th the male Lesser Scaup was still present at Loch Gelly, alongside 36 Tufted Duck, 40 Goldeneye, a Goosander, two Canada Goose, and 51 Sand Martin. The following day the Lesser Scaup and a House Martin were at Loch Gelly, a Green Woodpecker and four Common Crossbill were at Tentsmuir, and a male Pochard and eight Common Snipe were at Letham Pools. A Spotted Redshank, ten Bar-tailed Godwit and 12 Black-tailed Godwit were at Tayport on the 19th, when five Northern Wheatear were at Outhead, the male Lesser Scaup was at Loch Gelly, three Whimbrel and a  Northern Wheatear were at Caiplie shore, and two Ringed Plover were at Letham Pools.

On the 21st there were a Merlin, a Grasshopper Warbler, two Common Sandpiper, 45 Fieldfare, and a Redwing at Loch Fitty, the same date that a male Ring Ouzel was at Buddo Ness, a House Martin and two Sand Martin were at Loch Fitty, a Black Guillemot, Whimbrel, four Bar-tailed Godwit, two Sandwich Tern, an Arctic Skua, three Manx Shearwater, 38 Black-tailed Godwit and a Great Northern Diver were at Fife Ness. Five Whimbrel were at Ruddon’t Point on the 23rd, as was a white-headed Velvet Scoter, a male King Eider was at Earlsferry, a Short-eared Owl was near St. Monans, and a Grasshopper Warbler at Letham Pools. On the 24th  a Redwing was at Cupar, the male King Eider and a Black Guillemot were at Earlsferry, a Little Gull was at Letham Pools. The following day the male King Eider was still present at Earlsferry, a Green Sandpiper was at Lochore Meadows, 9 Manx Shearwater, an Arctic Skua, nine Whimbrel, four Sandwich Tern, 14 Common Scoter, four Black-throated Diver and 23 Red-throated Diver passed Fife Ness, a Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper were at Loch Gelly, and a Jack Snipe was at Letham Pools. The male King Eider was at both Ruddon’s Point and Earlsferry on the 26th, a Red Kite was over Flisk, an adult male and a female Surf Scoter were at Lower Largo, a second calendar year Iceland Gull was at Leven, and the Little Gull remained at Letham Pools. The following day a 2nd calendar year American Wigeon was at the Eden, and the male and female Surf Scoter and a Red-necked Grebe were at Lower Largo.  

On the 28th, a Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat and Grasshopper Warbler were at Lower Kilminning, the Little Gull, four Common Sandpiper and three Sedge Warbler were at Letham Pools, a Red Kite was at Kilmany, a Grasshopper Warbler, two Northern Wheatear, eight pale-bellied Brent Goose and an Osprey were at Outhead, an Osprey, three Grasshopper Warbler and four Sedge Warbler were at Loch Fitty, a Tree Pipit and four Willow Warbler were at Blairadam, a Great  Northern Diver was at West Sands, an immature male and adult Surf Scoter and an adult male Stejneger’s Scoter were at Lower Largo,  the male King Eider, a Black-throated Diver, nine Red-throated Diver, three Whimbrel and 22 Purple Sandpiper were at Earlsferry, and a Garden Warbler and a Common Whitethroat were at Birnie and Gaddon Lochs. On the 29th the Stejneger’s Scoter, at least three adult male White-winged Scoter, two adult male, an immature male and a female Surf Scoter, three Red-necked Grebe, 1000 Velvet Scoter, 50 Common Scoter, Peregrine Falcon and a Common Swift were at Lower Largo, the American Wigeon, eight pale bellied Brent Goose, 5 Whimbrel and an Osprey were at Coble Shore,  two Osprey, a Jack Snipe, and two Sedge Warbler were at Lindores Loch, the male King Eider was at Earlsferry, and a Marsh Harrier was at Luthrie. April ended with the adult male Stejneger’s Scoter, four adult male White-winged Scoter, two adult male, an immature male and a female Surf Scoter, 1000 Velvet Scoter, 3000 Common Scoter, four Red-necked Grebe and 11 Black-throated Diver at Lower Largo, the American Wigeon, Osprey, Merlin and Wheatear at Coble Shore, Wood Sandpiper at Luthrie, and Cuckoo, three Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Raven, drumming Snipe and five Lesser Redpoll at Loch Fitty on the 30th.

Information from the Fife Bird News (FBN) WhatsApp group supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

For information on which species to report on the FBN WhatsApp group see list here