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

February 2020 Sightings

The month commenced with two Ravens at Balgownie, a Kingfisher at Cocklemill Marsh and an immature Marsh Harrier at Newburgh where there was also a Peregrine (1st). A pair of Goosanders on the Motray Burn, Kilmany was noted as only the second record of this species there in the last 24 years. The Green-winged Teal was still visible from the Eden Estuary Centre, three Pintails, one Pink-footed Goose and a Whooper Swan were at Wilderness while Dunshalt’s Plains Farm hosted five of the latter species along with 12 Grey Partridges and c50 Yellowhammers (2nd). The redhead Smew was still at Lochore Meadows CP and six Crossbills and c35 Siskins were seen at Loch Glow (4th). Single adult Mediterranean Gulls appeared at Kinghorn Loch and Levenmouth then two Green Woodpeckers graced Tentsmuir Point NNR where there were also three Ravens and one Snow Bunting (5th). The redhead Smew lingered at Lochore Meadows CP (6th) and the ‘black-bellied’ Dipper was still present at Hallow Hill, St Andrews.A report from Newton Quarry included 11 Canada Geese, 14 Wigeon, 11 Tufted Ducks, four Gadwalls and c25 Goldeneyes. (7th).

A first winter Mediterranean Gull was at East Wemyss. Ravens were seen in the Lomond Hills at Lower Ballo, where there were three, and there was a single at Rossie Bog where there was also a male Hen Harrier. An adult Black Guillemot in summer plumage was noted off Kingsbarns and sightings at Morton Lochs NNR included one Little Egret, three Dabchicks, three Canada Geese, 38 Teal, 14 Wigeon, c40 Tufted Ducks, two Gadwalls, three Goldeneyes and a Great Spotted Woodpecker (8th). Magpies gathered in an unusually large group of c60 at Dalgety Bay, 28 Brent Geese were noted at Eden Estuary LNR (9th) and a first year Glaucous Gull was at Anstruther (10th). An adult and a second winter Mediterranean Gull were at Buckhaven (11th). Balbuthie Farm held c500 Pink-footed Geese, Ruddons Point continued to host a Whimbrel along with four Twite and observations from the Eden Estuary Centre included 20 Teal, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 12+ Tree Sparrows (12th). Two Merlins were seen at Crail Airfield (14th).

One adult and one first summer Mediterranean Gull were at East Wemyss (15th). Kirkcaldy’s Ring-necked Parakeet was reported in the Bennochy Cemetery area that was frequented regularly by an individual of this species from 2004-2010 (18th). An adult Mediterranean Gull at Buckhaven had gained almost a full hood, three Ravens were at Knockhill and two male Crossbills were feeding on a pine cone on the road near the Craigmead car park. 26 Scaup were spied off West Sands, St Andrews, c300 Wigeon congregated at Luthrie Floods and a report from Letham Pools included c50 Wigeon, six Gadwalls and seven Goldeneyes (19th).

Mediterranean Gulls were reported at Dysart (adult with almost complete hood) and Buckhaven (one second winter). 14 Bramblings were found at Camilla Loch and sightings from the Eden Estuary Centre included one Little Egret, 16 Teal, two Goldeneyes, ten Black-tailed Godwits, c300 Redshanks, a Sparrowhawk and around ten Tree Sparrows (23rd). A male Blackcap was in a Dunfermline garden (24th) and Buckhaven’s Mediterranean Gulls were an adult with a black hood (25th) then an adult and a second winter bird whilst there was also a Black-throated Diver in the bay (26th). A Dipper was spotted from a bridge in Inverkeithing, a Whimbrel was seen at the mouth of Cocklemill Burn and 24 Fieldfares were in a field at Balhelvie (27th). Another large gathering of Magpies was 34 at Balbeggie (28th), two Ravens were at Elie Ness, 17 Grey Plovers were at Ruddons Point, an adult male Hen Harrier was in the air at Lethans Muir and a Song Thrush decided it was spring by bursting in to song at Gauldry (29th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

January 2020 Sightings

The year commenced with a Little Egret at Tayport, three Crossbills at Morton Lochs NNR and an adult Mediterranean Gull at Kinghorn Loch. A favourite from last year, a drake Smew, continued its tenure at Cameron Reservoir whilst, new for the season, was a first winter Glaucous Gull at Angle Park GP (1st) which was noted again the following day along with a first winter Iceland Gull. As well as Cameron Reservoir’s Smew another long stayer was the Black Redstart at Crail’s Roome Bay (2nd) which was seen again the next day when other sightings were an immature Marsh Harrier, and a Peregrine at Newburgh and an adult Mediterranean Gull at West Wemyss (3rd). Another lingering bird from 2019 was the Ring-necked Parakeet at Kirkcaldy’s  Beveridge Park. The Smew at Cameron Reservoir had two Crossbills for land based company then adult Mediterranean Gulls were reported at Kilconquhar Loch (4th) and Pathhead where there were also 14 Whooper Swans east. The Crail Black Redstart lingered and eight Snow Buntings wereat West Sands, St Andrews, this being the first of regular reports throughout the month. Sightings at Edenside included one Slavonian Grebe, three Little Egrets, 11 Scaup and c60 Black-tailed Godwits (5th). Buckhaven hosted an adult Mediterranean Gull and the redhead Smew at Lochore Meadows CP made its first appearance of the year (6th). A Slavonian Grebe, 12 Scaup and seven Brent Geese were observed from the Eden Estuary Centre (7th).

The eight Snow Buntings at Out Head were joined by two Stonechats and 13 Ringed Plovers then 12 Crossbills were noted at Morton Lochs NNR and an adult Mediterranean Gull turned up in Anstruther (8th). Eden Estuary Centre sightings included one White-tailed Eagle, a Sparrowhawk, 13 Brent Geese, ten Grey Plovers, 40 Knot and a Treecreeper. The drake Smew was still present at Cameron Reservoir, at least 14 Purple Sandpipers were spied from the Museum car park at St. Andrews and the eight Snow Buntings were seen again at both Out Head (9th) and then at West Sands the following day when there were 12 Scaup off the Museum car park at St Andrews. At least eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Eden Estuary LNR and 65 Pink-footed Geese were over Strathkinness where a female Merlin flew past twice. A Little Egret was at Edenside, a Great Northern Diver was on the sea close in at Fife Ness and four Stonechats were at Kilmany. The Cameron Reservoir Smew was still present as was the Black Redstart at Roome Bay (10th). The eight Snow Buntings were reported at West Sands and Out Head where there were also 22 Ringed Plovers, Letham Pools held up to six Whooper Swans, the Cameron Reservoir drake Smew population returned to two, Loch Glow hosted a Merlin, two Stonechats, 60+ Pink-footed Geese and several small groups of Crossbills then a juvenile male Goshawk was reported circling over St Monans. 17 Scaup and five Long-tailed Ducks were spied off St Andrews where there were 150+ Fulmars on the cliffs. Cocklemill Marsh hosted a Little Egret and Ruddons Point held one Whimbrel. Single adult Mediterranean Gulls were seen off Seafield Tower (12th) and at the customary Buckhaven haunt. A flock of 50+ Goldfinches in a Dunfermline town centre garden was a noteworthy total and 14 Mute Swans, ten Whooper Swans and 25 Greylag Geese were at Letham Pools. Out Head’s eight Snow Buntings lingered (13th) and were seen again a couple of days later.

A Red-throated Diver was off Fife Ness (15th), a male Blackcap appeared in a Glenrothes garden and c1000 Pink-footed Geese, a Greenland White-fronted Goose and one Barnacle Goose were reported at Letham Pools. Buckhaven’s adult Mediterranean Gull was joined by a second winter bird (16th). A Little Egret was at Lochore Meadows CP, 700 to 800 Pink-footed Geese were at Bowhouse Farm whilst nearby there were 18 Corn Buntings at Coal Farm and a Tawny Owl sitting on a wall north of Elie. The Black-bellied Dipper joined the local Dippers at Hallow Hill, St Andrews, 12 Snipe, one Woodcock (uncommon here) and a Greenshank were at Valleyfield Lagoons and the Out Head Snow Buntings were still present (17th) and were seen again on the following two days. Two Greenland White-fronted Geese were at Letham Pools and a drake Pintail was at Wilderness (18th). The FBC outing confirmed two drake Smew at Cameron Reservoir and one adult and one second winter Mediterranean Gull at Buckhaven whilst this species was also noted at East Wemyss where there were three adults and four first winter birds. Two Crossbills were at Kilmany Station and up on West Lomond there were 13 Snow Buntings and two Red Grouse with an unusually high count of at least 35 Snipe at Millers Loch. A report from Kinghorn included a Red-throated Diver, one Manx Shearwater and 541 Black-headed Gulls offshore with seven Purple Sandpipers on the rocks (19th). Eight Red-legged Partridges were at Gauldry (20th). Buckhaven held one adult and one second winter Mediterranean Gulls while c25 Waxwings at Ladybank Bowling Club were almost bowled over by a Sparrowhawk (21st). 

About 60 Redwings were at the Bowling Club the next day but only four Waxwings were left. Nine of this species flew west over Wilderness where there were also three Pintails, c400 Teal, a Shelduck, one Greenland White-fronted Goose, one Barnacle Goose and 71 Whooper Swans with c100 Greylag Geese and c650 Pink-footed Geese in fields just east of Ramornie Mains. At Out Head the Snow Bunting count was still eight whilst offshore there were about ten Great Crested Grebes and one Red-throated Diver with a Common Scoter flock. Mediterranean Gull sightings continued with one second winter at Buckhaven and one adult and one first winter at Dysart. Kirkcaldy’s Ring-necked Parakeet was flying about over the town (22nd). A Little Egret was at Cocklemill Marsh and an immature female Goshawk was reported at Cameron Reservoir where there also two Ravens (23rd). Torry Bay hosted about seven Greenshanks and four Black-tailed Godwits then a Barn Owl was seen hunting along a roadside verge on the road between Freuchie and Dunshalt (24th). An adult Mediterranean Gull flew west past Seafield, a Jack Snipe was at Camilla Loch and an adult Tystie in near summer plumage was spied off Kingsbarns where a Black-throated Diver flew north. A Barnacle Goose was still present with hundreds of Pink-footed Geese, c50 Whooper Swans and c40 Greylag Geese at Wilderness (25th) with the Whooper Swan tally increasing to 73 the next day. A second winter Mediterranean Gull was at Buckhaven again and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew into Balgove Bay with 26 of this species being seen in an adjacent cereal field later on. Dunshalt’s Plains Farm hosted five Whooper Swans, c500 Pink-footed Geese and 32 Yellowhammers (26th). Mixed finch flocks comprised 50 to 60 Linnets, two Corn Buntings and ten Chaffinches at Pittenweem’s Coal Farm and Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Linnets, Yellowhammers, four Skylarks and three Corn Buntings at Bowhouse Farm where there was also one Grey Partridge. The redhead Smew continued its  residence at Lochore Meadows CP (27th). There were only four Snow Buntings at Out Head, a Kingfisher was at Tayfield and 20+ Brent Geese and one Little Egret were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre (28th). Two Waxwings were noted in Glenrothes (30th) and the month closed with a female Merlin seen from the Eden Estuary Centre (31st)

Information supplied courtesy of Malcom Ware and Graham Sparshott

December 2019 Sightings

Waxwings continued to be a feature of reports, particularly in Kirkcaldy where the congregation in the Victoria Road car wash area increased to c170 but seemed to be quite mobile since c100 were spotted flying over Pathhead towards Dysart. Meanwhile two were present at Torryburn. A Water Pipit was on the beach at Shell Bay and 13 Twite were nearby at the bridges over Cocklemill Burn and a report from the general Ruddons Point/Cocklemill Marsh/St Ford Links area included one Jack Snipe, eight Snipe, one Purple Sandpiper, 150 Velvet Scoters, five Crossbills and 260 Fieldfares then up at Crail a Woodcock was noted (1st). Five Waxwings were on Smithy Road at Balmullo and two drake Surf Scoters were in St Andrews Bay as well as 86 Scaup and c140 Long-tailed Ducks (2nd). There were still two Smew at the far end of Cameron Reservoir and a redhead was seen by the visitors centre at Lochore Meadows CP whilst one Pintail was in the reserve area. Edenside hosted nine Tree Sparrows and a Brambling. Waxwing sightings included 19 in South Fergus Place, Kirkcaldy, at least 14 on Smithy Road and two on Lucklaw Road, Balmullo. A Short-eared Owl was seen from the track behind the golf course at Kingsbarns and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in the Shell Bay roost in the afternoon (3rd). The Water Pipit was at the bridges at Cocklemill Burn, a Black-necked Grebe was just outside Elie harbour, a redhead Smew was present at Kilconquhar Loch then c80 Golden Plovers were spied in a field east of Kilminning. Six Greenshanks were in the high tide roost just east of Kinkell Harbour (4th). There was still a redhead Smew at the dam end of Cameron Reservoir and there was also one at Dalgety Bay where 16 Waxwings were at the west end of Ridge Way, near Asda (6th). A Short-eared Owl and 34 Purple Sandpipers were noted at Kingsbarns (7th).

A Water Pipit was still present at Cocklemill Burn whilst nearby, a Whimbrel and three Purple Sandpipers were at Ruddons Point with a Raven at Kincraig Point. Two redhead Smew and a female Goosander were at Cameron Reservoir. A report from Newton Sandpit included eight Dabchicks, two Mute Swans (with seven young), 31 Greylag Geese, 38 Wigeon, 24 Mallards, 33 Teal, 18 Tufted Ducks, two Gadwall, 14 Goldeneyes, three Moorhens, 25 Starlings and c30 Fieldfares whilst six Dabchicks were at Newton Farm then Linkswood held eight Wigeon, 24 Mallards, four Moorhens and two Gadwall (8th). A redhead Smew was at Kilconquhar Loch again, the Black-necked Grebe lingered at Elie as did the Water Pipit at Cocklemill Burn where it was joined by another. A Little Egret was at Edenside and Morton Lochs NNR hosted two Mute Swans, two Canada Geese, c140 Teal, 50 Mallards, four Moorhens, a Jay, eight Long-tailed Tits and two Bullfinches with 17 Whooper Swans over. Two Waxwings were on west side of coastal car park at Torryburn, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach at Dysart and 43 Purple Sandpipers were counted Kingsbarns (9th) where, the following day, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the shore just north of the coastal path car park and also present were 21 Purple Sandpipers with five Twite seen two fields north of the golf course on the coastal path, then a further 34 of this species circling over the coastal path there. c1000 Pink-feet were in fields opposite the police station at Anstruther. The two Water Pipits at Cocklemill Burn were seen with many Rock Pipits including a yellow Darvic ringed individual (10th).Two redhead Smew were still present at Cameron Reservoir (11th). A juvenile Hen Harrier and six Twite were in fields just north of the golf course at Kingsbarns and the two Water Pipits were still around the mouth of Cocklemill Burn with 12 or more Rock Pipits (12th). A redhead Smew loitered at Cameron Reservoir and c12 Slavonian Grebes, c10 Long-tailed Ducks, 30 Scaup, nine Brent Geese, ten Pintails and 200 Knot were seen at Out Head. Sightings at Edenside included two Little Egrets, three Herons, 53 Shelducks, 63 Teal, 32 Mallards, six Goldeneyes, 55 Lapwings and 12 Tree Sparrows (13th). A Chiffchaff was at Kilrenny (14th).

One Water Pipit was still at Cocklemill Burn (15th). Six Dabchicks, a Little Egret, c110 Lapwings and 12 Tree Sparrows were recorded at Edenside, two redhead Smew were still present at Cameron Reservoir and two drake Surf Scoters, a female Scaup and c200 Long-tailed Ducks were noted off the Golf Museum car park at St Andrews whilst a Short-eared Owl was seen again at Kingsbarns (17th). The two Water Pipits continued their residence at Cocklemill Burn, singles of Great Northern Diver, Little Auk and Slavonian Grebe were noted in Largo Bay then observations at Out Head included nine Slavonian Grebes, 53 Pintails, 24 Scaup and 18 Long-tailed Ducks (19th). A Red-necked Grebe was off Dalgety Bay Sailing Club (20th) (A useful image of this species alongside a Great Crested Grebe can be found in the December album on the website gallery). A juvenile Marsh Harrier was seen on Mugdrum Island, viewed from the pier at Newburgh (21st).

An adult Mediterranean Gull was in a feeding flock of c450 Black-headed Gulls at Seafield where two Red-throated Divers and 12 Purple Sandpipers were also seen. 75 Whooper Swans were in fields between Freuchie and Kettlebridge and a count at Out Head / Balgove included 27 Pintails, 35 Scaup, 18 Brent Geese, one White-tailed Eagle, ten Slavonian Grebes, two Great Crested Grebes and 12 Long-tailed Ducks (22nd). A Red-necked Grebe and 22 Long-tailed Ducks were seen off the Tiel Burn at Kirkcaldy’s promenade whilst along at Kinghorn a Black-throated Diver and eight Purple Sandpipers were seen. The Black Necked Grebe and a Great Northern Diver were off the sailing club car park at Elie. A White-tailed Eagle, five Red-throated Divers and a pair of Stonechats were noted at Out Head and another pair of the latter species were seen at Kingsbarns as well as, presumably, the lingering Short-eared Owl. The two drake Surf Scoters off the St Andrews Golf Museum car park were accompanied by c1800 Common Scoters, six Velvet Scoters, 200 Long-tailed Ducks, 60 Scaup, and one Great Crested Grebe whilst ten Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks and a  Peregrine was on the cliffs. Four Crossbills were seen at Morton Lochs NNR (23rd). The two drake Surf Scoters in St Andrews Bay were joined by a Great Northern Diver and 11 Red-throated Divers then c18 Waxwings were reported at the bottom of Oriel Road, Kirkcaldy (24th). 17 Purple Sandpipers and a Slavonian Grebe were noted at Anstruther (25th). At Pathhead an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the sea first thing and 32 Waxwings passed over heading east. At Kingsbarns 18 Twite were between the golf course and the Kenly Water. A Woodcock was recorded at Kilrenny and the two drake Surf Scoters remained at St Andrews (26th). 12 Waxwings were briefly in trees at rear of Sainsbury’s in Kirkcaldy and three were in Crossford then c20 Corn Buntings, c15 Yellowhammers, ten Reed Buntings, c100 Linnets were all counted at Kingsbarns and the two drake Surf Scoters lingered at St Andrews. A female Marsh Harrier graced  Rossie Bog and c2500 Pink-feet were in fields at the west end of the Standing Stane road (27th). The Black-necked Grebe was still present at Elie Harbour, the two drake Surf Scoters looked set for a long stay at St Andrews and c20 Waxwings were seen again at the bottom of Oriel Road, Kirkcaldy (28th).

A Chiffchaff was seen and a probable Siberian Chiffchaff was calling and seen briefly in the same area of Dysart where a couple of likely candidates turned up in mid-winter 2016/2017. At Luthrie there were three Black-tailed Godwits, a Redshank, 40 Lapwings, 470 Wigeon, 180 Teal, 15 Mallards and a Raven (29th). 80 Corn Buntings were counted at the waterless bridge by Pittenweem and 12 of this species were seen at Ardross Farm, St Monans. Balgove Bay/Out Head hosted a Little Egret, 15 Brent Geese (including one dark-bellied), good numbers of Pintail and two Slavonian Grebes. The year ended with c80 Scaup and the two drake Surf Scoters off St Andrews and one Water Pipit still at Cocklemill Burn (30th) and also on Hogmanay (31st).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

November 2019 Sightings

A possible Red-throated Pipit had been reported on the last day of October at Tentsmuir Point NNR and was found again but with no conclusive ID. A Woodcock was flushed at Auchtermuchty Common with two of this species also noted at Kilminning as well as one Long-eared Owl and two Blackcaps. A single Blackcap was also seen at Fife Ness Muir where there was one Short-eared Owl in off the sea. Reports from Out Head included two Snow Buntings, two Black-necked Grebes, one Slavonian Grebe, six Long-tailed Ducks, and a Little Gull. Camilla Loch hosted two Jack Snipe and a single Brambling then flocks of Fieldfares were noted with 250 over Dalgety Bay and 190 feeding on the golf course at Burntisland (2nd). Seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew west at Seafield where there was also a first winter Little Gull then along at Kinghorn, seawatching produced 29 Common Scoters, 55 Long-tailed Ducks, two Goldeneyes, 74 Gannets, 83 Shags and 203 Kittiwakes past as well as 216 Eiders and 144 Common Scoters offshore. A Fife Ness count included six Red-throated Divers N, one Manx Shearwater N, one Bonxie S and one Velvet Scoter N. Kilminning held a Waxwing and a Woodcock while 17 Twite frequented the coastal path at Kingsbarns (3rd). A very pale Mealy Redpoll was found at Balcomie and a redhead Smew put in her first appearance of the autumn at Lochore Meadows CP (4th). An adult Mediterranean Gull, two Little Gulls and a Sandwich Tern were seen at Pathhead, 13 Waxwings were found in St Andrews and the regular count from Fife Ness was five Little Auks, 14 Velvet Scoters, 18 Long-tailed Ducks and ten Red-throated Divers. Kilminning held five Chiffchaffs, 60 Fieldfares, 12 Long-tailed Tits and five Treecreepers (5th) then a morning report from this site the next day included a Siberian Chiffchaff , a Woodcock, a Brambling, at least ten Goldcrests, six Corn Buntings, a Blackcap, and a Great Northern Diver before further afternoon sightings included a male Redstart, two Blackcaps and a Woodcock. Nearby at Balcomie there was a first winter Black Redstart while Fife Ness produced an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Little Auk. 27 Whooper Swans flew in to Kilconquhar Loch where a Water Rail was calling. Four Snow Buntings and four Stonechats were at Out Head then a Black-necked Grebe was at Elie Harbour (6th). At Buckhaven there were one adult, one second winter and two first winter Mediterranean Gulls, there was a mobile flock of 12 Waxwings over Wormit and a Great Northern Diver was off Dalgety Bay Sailing Club (7th).

Out Head hosted a Whinchat, three Snow Buntings, a White-tailed Eagle and c15 Sanderlings, Buckhaven held two second winter Mediterranean Gulls then a Great Northern Diver was seen offshore at East Wemyss. 21 Whooper Swans and a first calendar year Marsh Harrier were noted at Newburgh (8th). At Dysart there were five Waxwings flying west then seawatching at Kinghorn yielded 21 Eiders, 114 Common Scoters, 31 Long-tailed Ducks, four Red-throated Divers, two Bar-tailed Godwits, 98 Black-headed Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull all past as well as c30 Long-tailed Ducks, c80 Common Scoters and c150 Eiders offshore. Five Little Auks were off Anstruther, three Scaup were spied from Ruddons Point and c150 of this sea duck were off the Golf Museum car park at St Andrews where there was also a Kingfisher at the harbour. A male Northern Bullfinch turned up at Shell Bay caravan park, a Merlin flew over Balcomie and this species of raptor was also seen at Tentsmuir Point NNR as well as a Greenshank and two Little Egrets. Observations from Fife Ness included seven Little Auks N and a single just offshore in addition to one Pomarine Skua N, six Common Scoters N and a Velvet Scoter N while a Swallow at Crombie Point didn’t seem to have read the migration manual (9th). A similarly confused Swallow was at Elie where the Black-necked Grebe seemed to be settling in for the winter and there were 27 Golden Plovers. A redhead Smew was at Cameron Reservoir, an adult Mediterranean Gull was at the east end of Dysart as well as a Little Auk close inshore, not in the best of health. A report from Ferry Hills included 1066 Pink-footed Geese, two Whooper Swans, three Goldeneyes, 11 Red-throated Divers, a Merlin, four Waxwings and two Bramblings over. At Out Head, sightings included six Slavonian Grebes, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, one White-tailed Eagle, two Snow Buntings, five Stonechats and three Brent Geese. Balgownie Woods held two Ravens and two Bramblings then two Little Egrets graced Tentsmuir Point, five Jack Snipe and 17 Snipe were at Cocklemill Marsh and a Short-eared Owl patrolled Ruddons Point. An unseasonable Puffin was spied off Kincraig Point, a Red-necked Grebe was in the harbour at Inchkeith and the tally from Fife Ness ‪was one Great Northern Diver, a Mediterranean Gull, one Velvet Scoter, 24 Red-throated Divers, two Purple Sandpipers, two Teal, two Shelducks, 44 Common Scoters, five Red-breasted Mergansers and 16 Gannets (10th). 81 Whooper Swans (including nine juveniles) were just north of Kingskettle, and Lochore Meadows CP retained the redhead Smew (11th). 60 Redwings visited Moss Plantation and a Blackcap decided to break in to song at Strathkinness (12th). A Short-eared Owl was over the golf course at Out Head (13th).

A second winter Mediterranean Gull was at Balbeggie Pond where there were also c80 Redwings over. A good candidate for Hooded Crow was near Inverkeithing High School, 121 Velvet Scoters were off Leven and a male Merlin and a male Hen Harrier were at present at Knockhill. Examination of the sea off Fife Ness produced a Great Northern Diver, one Black-throated Diver, six Red-throated Divers, nine Scaup, 193 Eiders, 294 Common Gulls, a Wigeon, a Teal and two Long-tailed Ducks (15th). Six Waxwings frequented Dairsie, a juvenile Pomarine Skua flew east past Dysart Harbour where there were 17 Velvet Scoters offshore. Out Head sightings included 84 Scaup, 16 Pintails, six Long-tailed Ducks, 17 Slavonian Grebes and seven Great Crested Grebes while Largo Bay hosted five Scaup, four Slavonian Grebes and one Black-throated Diver. A Greylag Goose and a Barnacle Goose accompanied c8000 Pink-footed Geese north of Cupar (16th). Loch Gelly held four Scaup, two Whooper Swans, seven Goosanders, 48 Lapwings, 24 Greylags, 110 Goldeneyes, 102 Black-headed Gulls and a Kingfisher. Six Waxwings were at Cellardyke, a Little Gull was at Pettycur and two Twite were on the beach at Kingsbarns and a Kingfisher was fishing in rock pools there (17th). Five Waxwings turned up in central Kirkcaldy and the same number of this species appeared in St Andrews then a group of eight or nine Snow Buntings were noted on the east side of West Lomond (18th). Balbuthie Farm held 1000+ Pink-footed Geese over two fields and at Out Head a White-tailed Eagle (turquoise seven) and a Short-eared Owl were noted along with a stunning Grey Plover still in full summer plumage (19th). A Pomarine Skua and a Black-throated Diver were off Anstruther and a Lesser Whitethroat was at Cellardyke (20th). Five mobile Snow Buntings were at Out Head and Elie’s Black-necked Grebe remained (21st).

Buckhaven hosted an adult, one first winter and one second winter Mediterranean Gulls, a first calendar year Marsh Harrier was at                     Newburgh, a Swallow decided it preferred Burntisland to more southerly haunts (22nd) and loitered the next day (23rd). Central Kirkcaldy’s Waxwings numbered around six. 45 Goldeneyes and two Slavonian Grebes were seen at  Dalgety Bay (24th) where sightings the following day included a drake Pochard, 19 Great Crested Grebes, a Slavonian Grebe and three female Common Scoters. A scouting of Valleyfield Lagoons yielded c40 Snipe, four or five Jack Snipe, three Bearded Tits, 35 Teal, two Greenshanks, nine Bar-tailed Godwits, six Red-breasted Mergansers and six Great Crested Grebes (25th).Three Waxwings turned up in the vicinity of Kirkcaldy’s now famous car wash, giving rise to hope of a repeat of last year’s numbers, while Dalgety Bay’s single Waxwing also chose a traditional haunt – a Tesco car park. A Slavonian Grebe was close in off Burntisland (27th). Four Greenshanks were on the shore at St Andrews(28th). An adult male Goshawk was circling over woods adjacent to the Secret Bunker, a Red-necked Grebe was off Dalgety Bay Sailing Club where there was also a Chiffchaff in the trees nearby. An immature drake Smew graced Kilconquhar Loch (29th) and was still present the following day when the Ring-necked Parakeet was showing well in Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park. The Black-necked Grebe confirmed that it planned to be a regular occurrence at Elie. A Black Guillemot appeared off Tentsmuir Point NNR, a small party of Crossbills was at Wether Hill and a single Snipe was noted at Outh Moor. A Snow Bunting, six Slavonian Grebes and 30 Scaup were at Out Head and the month ended with a report from Kinghorn which included two Red-throated Divers, 14 Common Scoters, 252 Eiders and one Little Gull (30th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

October 2019 Sightings

The month got off to an unusual start with a report of a male Lady Amherst’s Pheasant in the grounds of one of the buildings at St Andrews University (to tick or not to tick?). More familiar fare was two adult Pomarine Skuas, five Arctic Skuas, 270 Kittiwakes, one Little Gull, 40 Barnacle Geese and one Merlin in an early morning report from Ferry Hills with a further update of five Pomarine Skuas, (three adults and two juveniles together), 400 Kittiwakes (in two flocks), 85 Barnacle Geese, 200 Pink-footed Geese and a Peregrine. Sightings at

Fife Ness included two Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Peregrine while the Barred Warbler reported at Kilminning last month was still present (1st) and was seen again the next day when c50 Pink-footed Geese, one Sooty Shearwater, and seven Barnacle Geese were spied passing Fife Ness. A juvenile Hen Harrier was seen from Ferry Hills, two Whooper Swans were at Elie Ness and a report from Edenside included c150 Lapwings, one Curlew Sandpiper, c400 Redshanks, a Spotted Redshank and five Black-tailed Godwits (2nd). Two Dippers were at Burnside, Cupar and a Merlin was seen just north of Markinch. Regular reports from Kilminning were a feature of the month and these continued with ten Redwings, a Yellow-browed Warbler and the lingering Barred Warbler (3rd) which was still present the following day along with the Yellow-browed Warbler. Dalgety Bay held a Red-necked Grebe while five Crossbills were at Morton Lochs NNR (4th). Probably the same Red-necked Grebe was seen at Braefoot Point and the tally from Fife Ness was seven Manx Shearwaters, 32 Common Scoters, four Bonxies, three Arctic Skuas, seven Teal, one Goldeneye, 16 Red-throated Divers, four Sandwich Terns and  two Red-breasted Mergansers with a Short-eared Owl and a Fieldfare in off the sea. Balcomie’s ‘ruined cottage’ hosted a Yellow-browed Warbler, two Bramblings and a Short-eared Owl with the Walled Garden also yielding a Yellow-browed Warbler and this species was also noted at Boarhills, both in the village and at the pond where there were also nine Bramblings. The beach at Tayport had two Knot and one Little Gull then highlights from Kilminning were, two Woodcocks, a Jack Snipe, a Brambling, one Yellow-browed Warbler, one Lesser Whitethroat and the loitering Barred Warbler (5th).The last three species lingered at Kilminning the next day and there was a Yellow-browed Warbler at Balcomie. A Short-eared Owl patrolled Out Head and there was another Yellow-browed Warbler at Kingsbarns. The Red-necked Grebe was still present at Dalgety Bay and the regular vismig report from Ferry Hills included eight Ring Ouzels, 80 Redwings and one Stonechat (6th).Dalgety Bay’s Red-necked Grebe was joined by a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, a Long-tailed Duck, one Little Gull and two Sandwich Terns. Highlights from a busy day at Kilminning included three Yellow-browed Warblers, one Lesser Whitethroat, two Bramblings, two Chiffchaffs,  20+ Song Thrushes, 20+ Blackbirds, two Ring Ouzels, the Barred Warbler still and reports of 300+ then 100+ Redwings. At Bathmoor Plantation there were four Redwings overhead and a single Brambling. Seawatching at Fife Ness produced six Little Gulls, one Sandwich Tern, five Red-throated Divers, five Common Scoters as well as 15 Redwings in off the sea and a Peregrine hunting successfully over the water. Meanwhile at Fife Ness Muira probable Reed Warbler was accompanied by two Lesser Whitethroats and two Ring Ouzels. In the St Andrewsarea there were two Ring Ouzels, one Whinchat, 11 Stonechats and a Yellow-browed Warbler. Balcomie yielded a Merlin and three Bramblings while c200 Redwings and nine Swallows were noted at Ferry Hills (7th).

A Hawfinch and a Ring Ouzel passed through the same site the next day. A Pale-bellied Brent Goose flew past Kirkcaldy’s Tiel Burn, there was a Little Gull at Dalgety Bay then Fife Ness Muir held one Ring Ouzel, at least three Chiffchaffs and 80 Tree Sparrows (8th). Sightings at Edenside included four Little Egrets, 16 Goosanders, a Kingfisher, 88 Lapwings, 11 Black-tailed Godwits and eight Greenshanks. A report from Dunfermline included two Chiffchaffs, ten Redwings, two Bullfinches, 18 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 48 Black-headed Gulls. At  Pathhead there were at least three Chiffchaffs and 23 Siskins flew in. At Kilminning perhaps the find of the month was a Pallas’s Warbler which was also seen on the following two days. The increase in Red Kite reports continued with an adult heading west past Dumbarnie. The Green Sandpiper lingered near the entrance to Shell Bay. A Black-necked Grebe was noted at Kilconquhar Loch along with three Goldeneyes and sightings at Ferry Hills included one Great Northern Diver inland, with 17 Red-throated Divers and a summer plumaged adult Black-throated Diver which u-turned (9th) then a Hawfinch, three Ring Ouzels and two Bramblings were noted there the next day. At Pathhead, two Woodcocks were flushed, Kilminning produced five Yellow-browed Warblers, 30 Chiffchaffs, three Ring Ouzels and a Lesser Redpoll while 39 Redwings turned up in Dunfermline and one Little Gull and an Arctic Tern graced Dalgety Bay (10th). Morton Lochs NNR, hosted 80 Teal and Buckhaven held one Whimbrel. A Red-necked Grebe was sighted again at Dalgety Bay then 84 Pink-footed Geese flew over Dunfermline. Single Ring Ouzels were present at Ferry Hills and Kilminning where there were also three Yellow-browed Warblers (11th) with the same number also seen the next day as well as at least six Chiffchaffs and a Ring Ouzel, with groups of Redpolls going over.  A Lesser Whitethroat at Balcomie, a Shore Lark at Fife Ness and the lingering Green Sandpiper at Shell Bay were further reports from a busy day which included the following species at Ferry Hills: nine Ring Ouzels, 500 Pink-footed Geese, 30 Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers, six Whooper Swans, 84 Swallows, 222 Skylarks, 114 Siskins, 110 Mistle Thrushes, two Crossbills, three Bramblings and a Jay. Then two Peregrines, two Curlew Sandpipers, a Spotted Redshank, eight Black-tailed Godwits, eight Greenshanks, 50+ Knot and at least ten Swallows were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre. A Tree or Olive-backed Pipit was heard over St Andrews where there were also five Ring Ouzels five Bramblings, two House Martins and a Redwing over. At East Wemyss there were340 Black-headed Gulls, Pathhead had two Chiffchaffs, a Woodcock and a Ring Ouzel over (12th) then a further report from this site the next day included three Chiffchaffs, 17 Swallows and a Short-eared Owl with singles of the latter species also noted at Balcomie and Randerston. At Balcomie a Twite flew over and at Fife Ness there were two Red-throated Divers, a Kingfisher, one Great Northern Diver, two Velvet Scoters and a juvenile Puffin. At Burntisland a Red Kite drifted west over the Binn where there was also a Yellow-browed Warbler but only one of the latter species was seen at Kilminning. Pitmedden Forest hosted c35 Crossbills, New Gilston held three Bramblings then three Barnacle Geese flew over Kirkcaldy. A Jack Snipe was at Camilla Loch where two Ravens and seven Swallows flew over. Inland sightings of Long-tailed Ducks are not that common so two females at Carnbee Reservoir was a good find. A Whimbrel was at Ruddons Point wherec80 Swallows and a House Martin flew over. At East Wemyss there werenine Velvet Scoters and two Red-throated Divers offshore. A report from Tayport comprised seven Whooper Swans, 80 Lapwings, 600 Pink-footed Geese and two Red-throated Divers before 1250 Eiders were counted off Tentsmuir Point NNR. Further highlights from Ferry Hills included two Yellow-browed Warblers, one Ring Ouzel, one Merlin, one Great Northern Diver and two Little Gulls (13th) then one Yellow-browed Warbler, one Ring Ouzel still and a Merlin the next day. A Yellow-browed Warbler wasalso at Kilminning, a  Woodcock was seen in an Anstruther garden and a Short-eared Owl was noted at Elie Ness. A Marsh Harrier and 12 Bearded Tits were seen at Mugdrum Island, Lesser Whitethroats were found at Boarhills Pond (a single) and Fife Ness Muir (two) where 28 Barnacles Geese flew over with two of this species also seen accompanying 140 Pink-footed Geese over Guardbridgewhere a Firecrest was a welcome addition to the species list for the month. The Red-necked Grebe remained at Dalgety Bay and sightings at Out Head included 100+ Pink-footed Geese, two Red-throated Divers, 23 Knot, 19 Red-breasted Mergansers, two Stonechats, and 30+ Skylarks. Bankhead Moss doesn’t often feature in reports but noted there were one Common Redpoll, 14 Lesser Redpolls, two Crossbills, at least five Ravens, a Water Rail, two Stonechats, 48 Redwings, 17 Blackbirds, a Peregrine, a Kestrel and c85 Skylarks. A Whimbrel and ten Corn Buntings were reported in the Sauchope area of Crail (14th).

13 Velvet Scoters were seen off East Wemyss. Kilminning highlights included two Bramblings, 60 Redwings, one Fieldfare, a Snipe, a Stonechat and two Merlins, with two of this raptor also reported at the Bishop Hill (presumably still within Fife). A Jay and four Bramblings were at Boarhills, a Woodcock was found in Denburn Wood and observations from the Fife Ness hide included one Black-throated Diver, 12 Red-throated Divers, 23 Wigeon, five Long-tailed Ducks, 33 Common Scoters, two Brent Geese and a Sandwich Tern. Tentsmuir Point NNR hosted c5000 Eiders, 160 Ringed Plovers and a Peregrine then at nearby Kinshaldy 19 Slavonian Grebes, c350 Common Scoters, 45 Red-breasted Mergansers, eight Long-tailed Ducks, 14 Velvet Scoters and eight Red-throated Divers were recorded before Loch Gelly contributed five Whooper Swans, a Scaup and eight Goldeneyes (15th). Two White-tailed Eagles were noted at Edenside in addition to c150 Lapwings and a Kingfisher. 800+ Pink-footed Geese, three Barnacle Geese and two Ravens were seen at Blairhall. A Hawfinch overFerry Hills (16th) was followed by a first winter Spoonbill and two Taiga Bean Geese over the same site the next day. A Black Guillemot and a Great Northern Diver were on the sea just north of the beach at Kingsbarns while nine Little Gulls flew eastpast Kilminning then a Black-necked Grebe was seen again at Elie Harbour. On a different part of the coast one Slavonian Grebe, one Great Crested Grebe and three Pintails were spied off the sailing club at Dalgety Bay. The Green Sandpiper remained at  Shell Bay, with a Merlin nearby and Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park hosted a Ring-necked Parakeet (17th). Another Hawfinch flew over Ferry Hills as did 450 Redwings, Dalgety Bay had one Slavonian Grebe and near Anstruther were 19 Corn Buntings. Sightings from Fife Ness included34 Little Gulls, four Red-throated Divers, two Common Scoters, six Purple Sandpipers and a Kingfisher on the rocks (18th). Seawatching at Kinghorn yielded a juvenile Sabine’s Gull early on then groups of two, then three juvenile Long-tailed Skuas as well as one Pomarine Skua, three Red-throated Divers, one Little Gull and c400 Kittiwakes. Nearby, at Pettycur the tally was seven Red-throated Divers, one Black-throated Diver, 15 Little Gulls, four Arctic Skuas, 12 Wigeon and 16 Long-tailed Ducks. Five Common Cranes flew high over Dalgety Bay where there were also 1000 Kittiwakes, one Sandwich Tern, five Red-throated Divers, 80 Gannets, 200 Guillemots and three Goldeneyes. Ferry Hills weighed in with950 Kittiwakes, four Little Gulls, two Arctic Skuas inland, four Bonxies and eight Twite over while Crail had one Sooty Shearwater and two Bonxies. Fife Ness totals wereone Sooty Shearwater, 116 Little Gulls, three Bonxies, one Arctic Skua, one Great Northern Diver, a Black-throated Diver, 23 Red-throated Divers, 85 Common Scoters, 62 Wigeon, 16 Long-tailed Ducks, 16 Purple Sandpipers, one Common Tern, three Scaup, one Puffin and 16 Whooper Swans. A report from Out Head comprised four Slavonian Grebes, five Great Crested Grebes, 15 Pintails, four Long-tailed Ducks, 165 Scaup, a Red-throated Diver and seven Little Egrets.

Five Snow Buntings passed Anstruther and a juvenile Marsh Harrier was at Newburgh. To round off a busy day, a further report from Kinghorn included68 Pink-footed Geese, 15 Wigeon, 198 Eiders, eight Red-throated Divers, three Bonxies and 178 Guillemots (19th). Further sightings from this site the next day were seven Little Gulls, 15 Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers, 12 Long-tailed Ducks, four Velvet Scoters and eight Common Scoters. An obviously larger and paler male Bullfinch (presumed Northern) was found at Dunfermline (are there more of the Northern variety around or are we just more aware of them as a possibility?). The Fife Ness day count was two Little Auks, 302 Little Gulls, three Black-throated Divers, 36 Red-throated Divers, one Great Crested Grebe, 230 Eiders, 33 Common Scoters, 11 Long-tailed Ducks, 46 Wigeon, two Velvet Scoters, two Dark-bellied Brent Geese, ten Goosanders, two Common Terns, one Arctic Tern, one Kingfisher, 1730 Guillemots, 540 Razorbills and four Puffins (20th). Observations there continued the following day resulting in counts of three Great Northern Divers, two Black-throated Divers, 12 Red-throated Divers, 24 Common Scoters and eight Purple Sandpipers. At Out Head there were two White-tailed Eagles, 33 Scaup and 13 Slavonian Grebes whilst sightings at Kinshaldy included16 Red-throated Divers, five Long-tailed Ducks and six Slavonian Grebes (21st).

Single Hen Harriers turned up at Pittenweem and the Cleish Hills and a Yellow-browed Warbler visited Inverkeithing (22nd). A House Martin was still hanging around at St. Andrews, a Short-eared Owl patrolled Out Head and five Twite flew over Kenly Water (23rd). 23 Fieldfares flew south at Dunfermline, a juvenile Whinchat appeared at Out Head and a male Black Redstart was found at Balcomie. 20 Grey Partridges at  Lochhead Farm was a welcome report (24th).

Angle Park held at least ten Gadwalls and 60+ Coots while Letham Pools hosted 21 Whooper Swans, eight Shovelers and c26 Gadwalls. Sightings from Ferry Hills included one Ruff and two Whooper Swans (25th) then four Northern Bullfinches the next day, part of an influx of 20+ Bullfinches in the general area. At least eight Bullfinches were also at Kilminning as well as 20+ Siskins and three Chiffchaffs. On the Dysart to West Wemyss stretch of coast there were 31 Ringed Plovers with 47 Fieldfares over. A Lapland Bunting at Boarhills Pond was a good find, with one Jack Snipe just north of the pond. 124 Whooper Swans frequented Wilderness (26th). Eight Northern type Bullfinches were in the gully at Ferry Hills where overhead were six Dark-bellied Brent Geese. A interesting Dipper (more of which later) was reported at Kinness Burn, two Scaup, a Jack Snipe and six Snipe were at Carnbee Reservoir and 40+ Crossbills, two Peregrines and up to four Bramblings were noted at Balgownie Woods. Another Lapland Bunting was discovered, this time at Guardbridge where there was also a Greenshank (27th). Single Waxwings were reported in different parts of Kirkcaldy, c75 Scaup were at Edenside with c100 of this species also at Out Head, where there were two Twite, then two Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew over Kinghorn Loch. Back at Kinness Burn, the Dipper was trapped and ringed (orange over blue on the left leg with yellow over metal on the right leg) and although noted as a juvenile female and dark bellied the exact ID was left as ‘inconclusive’. A juvenile Marsh Harrier was seen again at Newburgh (28th).

Two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were on the shore at Buckhaven, two Snow Buntings graced Out Head where there were also three Stonechats and a Whinchat. 20 Twite were at Ruddons Point with a single nearby at Cocklemill Burn where there were also 95 Fieldfares (29th). A Pink-footed Geese flock at Rathillet was estimated at c350 and a mobile flock of ten Snow Buntings was at Out Head (30th). A hectic month ended with 14 Velvet Scoters and a Swallow at Buckhaven and one Snow Bunting, two White-tailed Eagles, 11 Long-tailed Ducks, three Stonechats and 100+ Scaup at Out Head (31st).

(FBC Members were provided with a separate summary of Mediterranean Gull sightings)

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

September 2019 Sightings

A busy month began with a Pied Flycatcher and two Spotted Flycatchers at Kilmany and a juvenile Black Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull off Dysart Harbour which also held a Wheatear as well as a White Wagtail and at least ten Mediterranean Gulls on the beach nearby. The first of regular reports from Wilderness included a Curlew Sandpiper, two Ruff, four Black-tailed Godwits and 18 Snipe. Pathhead hosted 12 Goosanders, a Kingfisher and one Wheatear whilst four of the last named species were seen up at West Lomond, along with three Ravens, then 18 Wheatears turned up at Balcomie Beach where there were also three Bar-tailed Godwits and 25 Knot. At Carlingnose Pointthere were two Bonxies, one Whimbrel and a possible Roseate Tern. Nine Little Egrets and a Spoonbill were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and seawatching off Crail produced 217 Sandwich Terns, two Bonxies, two Red-throated Divers and two Manx Shearwaters. A Black Tern was off Kinghorn and at least two Whinchats and five Wheatears were at Out Head (1st). A busy day for Mediterranean Gull sightingsincluded adult singles at Pathhead and at Dysart, four first winter, one second calendar year and two adults at Buckhaven then four adults and three first winter birds at East Wemyss. A male Marsh Harrier and ten late Swifts were at Kilconquhar Loch, a Wheatear was at Barns Farm and a Green Sandpiper and two summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits were noted at Cuallaloe LNR (2nd). Levenmouth hosted 51 Goosanders, c120 Kittiwakes and a Little Egret then 37 Pink-footed Geese were flying south at St Andrews where an Osprey and two White-tailed Eagles were recorded at Out Head. A Mediterranean Gull count at Buckhaven comprised five adult, three first winter and four second winter birds. Noted from the Eden Estuary Centre were five Ospreys, one Little Egret, one male Peregrine, three Greenshanks, a Knot, one Kingfisher and 31 Pink-footed Geese (3rd). Nearby at Balgove Bay there were five Ospreys (presumably the same birds), three Pintails, a Little Gull, one White Wagtail, eight Wheatears, six Ruff, eight Black-tailed Godwits, ten Bar-tailed Godwits, one Greenshank, one Knot, three Ringed Plovers, a Peregrine and c50 Pink-footed Geese over. Meanwhile five Whimbrels, three Greenshanks, three Ospreys, two Goosanders, five Little Egrets and a Kestrel were noted from the Edenside hide. An untagged juvenile Marsh Harrier was at Lindores while seawatching at Fife Ness produced two Bonxies, a Red-throated Diver, five Common Terns, nine Common Scoters and 66 Kittiwakes with a Wheatear on the rocks (4th). Nine Little Egrets and four Ospreys were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre, a Nuthatch was at Saline and two Swifts flew over Anstruther. A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was on Balcomie Beach and six Wheatears and c400 Knot were seen at West Sands. Five Ruff, a Greenshank, one Little Gull, four Ospreys, two Little Egrets and two Wheatears were at Balgove Bay and the Mediterranean Gull tally at East Wemyss was five, comprising two adult, one second winter and two first winter birds. A Kingfisher was on the Kinness Burn near Abbey Park (5th). A Little Stint was at Levenmouth where there were also 52 Goosanders and a first winter Mediterranean Gull with ten of the latter species also at Buckhaven (three adults, three second winter and four first winter). A Yellow Wagtail was in a field near Crail and the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was still present at Balcomie Beach (6th). A Ring-necked Parakeet turned at Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was noted at Kingsbarns where there were also two Red-throated Divers, a Purple Sandpiper, an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Merlin. Along at Kinkell Braes there were c220 Little Gulls on the sea (6th). Visible migration highlights at Ferry Hills included a juvenile Whinchat, a Jay, three Bonxies, nine Red-throated Divers and 17 Tree Pipits (see below). A male Marsh Harrier was at Lindores Loch, a Ruff was at Sauchope and the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper lingered at Balcomie Beach where there were also four Bar-tailed Godwits. Barns Farm hosted a Whinchat, a Blackcap and two Whitethroats whilst Braefoot Point produced six Chiffchaffs, a Garden Warbler and a Wheatear. A pale phase adult Pomarine Skua was spied off Fife Ness as well as two Arctic Skuas and six Bonxies. Three Whooper Swans appeared at Loch Gelly and an afternoon count at Pettycur Sands included 97 Bar-tailed Godwits, two Knot, c300 Sandwich Terns, 110 Common Terns and eight Arctic Terns. The early evening Mediterranean Gull count at East Wemyss was four second winter, seven juvenile/first winter and two adult birds (7th).

A Black-throated Diver flew past Fife Ness and two White Wagtails arrived on Balcomie Beach then Balgove Bay held ten Common Terns, at least three Ospreys, a Ruff and three Pintails. Checking of the East Wemyss to Buckhaven Coastal Path resulted in a count of 19 Mediterranean Gulls (three adults, nine first winter and seven second winter) in addition to four Wheatears and an Osprey over whilst the gull roost at Dysart included four Mediterranean Gulls (one adult, one second winter and two first winter). A Curlew Sandpiper and three Ospreys were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and an Osprey was also seen at Out Head as well as at least six Wheatears and a Whinchat. A Spotted Flycatcher was at Kingsbarns and the day count at Fife Ness was 34 Manx Shearwaters, one Sooty Shearwater, seven Red-throated Divers, seven Arctic Skuas and 118 Common Scoters all north (8th). The Fife Ness tally the following day was 33 Manx Shearwaters, 85 Common Scoters, two Black-throated Divers, six Bonxies and 13 Arctic Skuas. A Velvet Scoter, a Little Gull and a Garden Warbler were noted at Boarhills while a report from the Eden Estuary Centre included one White-tailed Eagle, one Peregrine, a Kingfisher, one Curlew Sandpiper, a Greenshank, three Goldeneyes and a Pintail. At Fife Ness one Arctic Skua, two Whimbrels and two Red-throated Divers were noted. A Red Kite was seen circling over Kilminning then over Wormiston before drifting north. At Loch Gelly a Scaup in eclipse plumage was noted. Three Arctic Skuas and two Little Gulls were reported at Inchcolm while two Ruff, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 19 Snipe, two Tree Pipits and two Ringed Plovers were seen at Wilderness. A Red-necked Grebe was off the Aquarium at St Andrews and a juvenile Black Tern, three Arctic Skuas and two Bonxies were noted off Kinghorn (10th). At Seafield an adult Pomarine Skua passed west, as well as four or five Arctic Skuas, and a first winter Mediterranean Gull was at the car park. At Wilderness a Whimbrel, seven Black-tailed Godwits, two Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin and a juvenile Peregrine were seen then Edenside hosted ten Little Egrets, 17 Greenshanks, 14 Pintails, one Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff, 13 Black-tailed Godwits and six Ospreys. At East Wemyss there were c40 Sandwich Terns and six Turnstones present in addition to a total of 20 Mediterranean Gulls comprising four adults (including white 3ERA), eight first winter birds and eight second winter birds. A first winter of this species was also seen off the golf clubhouse at Anstruther (11th) where a Swift was reported the next day. Two White-tailed Eagles were present at the Eden Estuary LNR whilst two Little Gulls, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Ruff, 20 Dunlins, 30 Knot, six  Pintails, 20 Wigeon and a Wheatear were counted at Balgove Bay. A Wheatear was at Dalgety Bay and a Whinchat and two Siskins turned up at ‪Kilminning (12th). A White-tailed Eagle was seen low over Balmullo, two Ravens were at Auchtermuchty and a Great White Egret was a good find at Morton Lochs NNR where there were also three Crossbills. A Lapland Bunting was in a field south-west of Anstruther where a first winter Mediterranean Gull was seen off the harbour. Noted from the Eden Estuary Centre were ten Little Egrets, one Osprey, one juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, one first winter Mediterranean Gull, a Knot, three Greenshanks, a Kingfisher and six Pintails. Two Little Gulls were in St Andrews Bay, a first winter Mediterranean Gull was seen roosting on rocks at  Elie while at the top of Wormit Hill two Spotted Flycatchers and two Blackcaps were seen (13th). One Osprey, two Kingfishers, five Greenshanks, one Curlew Sandpiper, a Peregrine and eight Little Egrets were noted from the Eden Estuary Centre and Anstruther again yielded a late Swift. A juvenile Yellow Wagtail was present at Crail’s Sauchope Caravan Park and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in front of Elie’s Ship Inn (presumably waiting for opening time). A Green Sandpiper was on the flooded field opposite the entrance to Shell Bay Caravan Park and was seen there regularly up to and including the last day of the month. Two White-tailed Eagles were at Out Head as well as two Skylarks, a Meadow Pipit, one Stonechat, two Ringed Plovers, two Dunlins, c20 adult Sandwich Terns and one juvenile Sandwich Tern. Newton Farm & Quarry Ponds hosted ten Dabchicks and two Grey Partridges (14th).

40 Pink-footed Geese passed over south at Auchtermuchty with 140 over Anstruther heading in the same direction then 160  passed over Shell Bay. A female type Marsh Harrier was north of Kilrenny and Morton Lochs NNR held eight Dabchicks, 70+ Mallards, 55 Teal and one Little Egret with a single of this species also at Tayport. Along the East Wemyss to Buckhaven stretch of the Coastal Path four adult, three first winter and two second winter Mediterranean Gulls were noted. Tentsmuir Point NNR held 300 ‘mixed’ terns, 16 Bar-tailed Godwits, eight Knot and a Brent Goose with a steady passage of Pink-footed Geese noted. At Wilderness a Whimbrel, 20 Black-tailed Godwits, one Ringed Plover, one Greenshank, one Ruff and a juvenile Marsh Harrier (yellow tag right wing) were seen (15th) and observations there the next day included one Tree Pipit, a Ruff, seven Black-tailed Godwits and five Snipe. At least six Crossbills were near the car park at Morton Lochs NNR then one Osprey, seven Greenshanks, one Curlew Sandpiper and a Peregrine were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre. Seawatching at Kinghorn produced two Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas, two Manx Shearwaters and a Red-throated Diver (16th) and a juvenile /first winter Tystie was showing well there the following day when 32 Manx Shearwaters, 940 Little Gulls, 14 Arctic Skuas, three Bonxies, a Black-throated Diver, 19 Red-throated Divers, five Slavonian Grebes, six Scaup and two Long-tailed Ducks were counted at Out Head. An adult Mediterranean Gull was in the usual place at Buckhaven (17th). A Little Stint was feeding with Dunlins and Sanderlings on Balcomie Beach and five Stonechats, three Whinchats and a Wheatear were noted at Out Head. A report from Edenside included c30 Pink-footed Geese, two Ospreys, 29 Lapwings and  a Greenshank (18th). A Spoonbill was at Eden Estuary LNR the next day as well as an Osprey and one Kingfisher then c12 Grey Partridges were at Gauldry.16 Black-tailed Godwits, a Ruff, 35 Wigeon, c50 Pink-footed Geese and four Whooper Swans were present at Wilderness and two adult and one first winter Mediterranean Gulls were joined by a Purple Sandpiper at East Wemyss. Two Ravens were seen flying over Strathkinness and a Quail was calling and ‘singing’ at Kilmany. Meanwhile at Ferry Hills, 21 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver and three Bonxies all flew inland. The Little Stint was still present at Balcomie Beach and the Spoonbill lingered at the Eden Estuary Centre where there were three Greenshanks and a Spotted Redshank as well as a Marsh Harrier (19th) with this species also noted there the following day. Edenside held four Goosanders, 117 Lapwings, an Osprey and a Kingfisher (20th). At Ferry Hills four Bonxies and 34 Red-throated Divers were seen as well as three Arctic Skuas with nine of this species noted flying inland later on. A Kinghorn seawatch yielded up to two juvenile Pomarine Skuas, 14 Arctic Skuas and 12 Red-throated Divers then along at the Binn in Burntisland a Dotterel flew over south. A busy day continued with a Merlin and a Chiffchaff at Kilminning, the Little Stint at Balcomie Beach, a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, two Peregrines and five Little Egrets at Edenside before Mediterranean Gull reports included nine at East Wemyss with one of the adult birds of Norwegian origin (21st).

The following day was even busier starting with a Kingfisher and 12 Bar-tailed Godwits at Culross and one Sooty Shearwater, a first winter Mediterranean Gull, 191 Sandwich Terns, a Black Tern and eight Arctic Skuas off Kinghorn.

Eden Estuary reports included a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, two Kingfishers, a Red-throated Diver, three Little Egrets,

two Greenshanks and one Bar-tailed Godwit while Valleyfield Lagoons held three White Wagtails, 16 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Whimbrel. At Ferry Hills 15 Arctic Skuas, six Bonxies and 104 Red-throated Divers were noted. Highlights from Fife Ness included a Green Sandpiper over, an adult Pomarine Skua, five Arctic Skuas, a Bonxie, five Manx Shearwaters and two Black-throated Divers offshore and a juvenile Red-breasted Flycatcher and a Pied Flycatcher at Craighead. East Wemyss to Buckhaven held three adult, three second winter and two first winter Mediterranean Gulls as well as two first winter Little Gulls. Crail Airfield had one Yellow-browed Warbler and a juvenile female Merlin while Kilminning had one Tree Pipit, three Whinchats, a Redstart and a second Yellow-browed Warbler (22nd) with singles of this species also recorded the next day at Wormiston, at Crail Airfield and at Balcomie where there were also two Pied Flycatchers. A Little Bunting at Kilminning was identified from photographs but unfortunately not seen again and the Red-breasted Flycatcher was still at Craighead (23rd). Two Wheatears were on the beach at Pathhead where a site record count occurred when two adult, two first winter and one second winter Mediterranean Gulls were on the grassy area. Five of this species were in the now customary East Wemyss haunt: two second summer and three first winter. At Ferry Hills two Pomarine Skuas u-turned and two Bonxies flew inland. Regular reports from Kilminning throughout the day included at least two Yellow-browed Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher while a Yellow-browed Warbler at Craighead was accompanied by the lingering Red-breasted Flycatcher. A Merlin headed inland at Balcomie Beach where the Little Stint was still present (24th) and remained the following day as did the Red-Breasted Flycatcher at Craighead which was around for another two days after that. Pathhead hosted an adult and first winter Mediterranean Gull and a Whinchat and an unusual record was a juvenile Honey-buzzard flying east over Dunfermline. 190 Barnacle Geese passed over west at Fife Ness and there were other groups heading south over West Sands where c40 Little Gulls, a juvenile Arctic Skua, a juvenile Arctic Tern and c50 Sandwich Terns were seen. Out Head held eight adult and four juvenile Stonechats, 248 Barnacle Geese,  27 Meadow Pipits, 245 Knot and 54 Little Gulls (25th). Mediterranean Gulls were noted at Buckhaven (three first winter) and Leven Beach (one first winter). A Little Ringed Plover was at Shell Bay and a Spotted Flycatcher and three Yellow-browed Warblers were seen at Kilminning with two of the latter species also present at Fife Ness Muir. A Little Egret, c200 Knot, c150 Lapwings, c150 Dunlins, c350 Redshanks, two Greenshanks and a Kingfisher were all noted at Edenside while from the Eden Estuary Centre 12 Little Egrets, a Peregrine, five Greenshanks and c50 Swallows were seen. Ten Bonxies, three Arctic Skuas and 25 Red-throated Divers were counted at Ferry Hills (26th) and a further report from there the following day comprised one Hawfinch, two Barnacle Geese, three Jays and a Swift.  A Yellow-browed Warbler was still present at ‘The Patch’ as well as three Chiffchaffs, a Lesser Whitethroat and two Blackcaps. Barnacle Geese reports included c50 over Fife Ness Muir, 250 west over Anstruther and 400 over Fife Ness where seven Little Gulls were seen passing south. A Yellow-browed Warbler was present at Kilminning, a Merlin was seen at Elie Ness and

seven Goosanders and c40 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were noted atLeven (27th). A Hawfinch was feeding in the gully at Ferry Hills and eight Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel and two Whooper Swans were all seen at Wilderness where two skeins of c80 Pink-footed Geese were overhead. The Fife Ness day tally was one Arctic Skua, four Common Scoters, four Red-throated Divers, ten Sandwich Terns and two Purple Sandpipers. Regular updates from Kilminning involved one Spotted Flycatcher, two Chiffchaffs, a Yellow-browed Warbler,a juvenile Barred Warbler and two Whinchats. A Little Gull was seen at St David’s Harbour/Inverkeithing and two White-tailed Eagles, one Osprey, c300 Lapwings and a Greenshank were noted at Edenside (28th).

Three Arctic Skuas (two dark and one light phase) circled over Culross then 45 of this species were counted at Ferry Hills as well as three juvenile Long-tailed Skuas, two Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua, nine Barnacle Geese and a Black-throated Diver. Examination of the sea off St David’s Harbour produced five Bonxies, an Arctic Skua (juvenile), 13 Barnacle Geese, 125 Pink-footed Geese, three Pintails, five Common Scoters, three Red-throated Divers, two Common Terns and c140 Kittiwakes. Kinghorn had two Bonxies east and two Black-throated Divers west, a Whimbrel was near Seafield Tower whilst at Pathhead a Black-throated Diver, two Long-tailed Ducks and two Little Egrets were seen flying west and there was also one first winter Mediterranean Gull. Three Little Gulls were at Anstruther, at Fife Ness a Sooty Shearwater, a Manx Shearwater, two Bonxies and four juvenile Little Gulls were all seen passing north and at Kilminning there were at least two Yellow-browed Warblers and the Barred Warbler was still present (29th) and remained there the next day as well as one Yellow-browed Warbler, two Willow Warblers and 16 Golden Plovers. 12 Mediterranean Gulls (five adults, four second summer and three first winter) were noted at Dysart Beach, a Sooty Shearwater and one  Arctic Skua passedAnstruther and the month ended with a Marsh Harrier seen briefly at Kilconquhar Loch (30th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Grham Sparshott

August 2019 Sightings

An unusual opening report was of a Honey-buzzard which circled over Aberdour beach and headed west. Two Green Sandpipers and one Wood Sandpiper were noted at Angle Park GP while Wilderness hosted one Ruff, a Dunlin, one Black-tailed Godwit, five Snipe and the lingering Whooper Swan which was seen regularly over the period and was still there on the last day of the month. The opening Fife Ness day count was ten Bonxies, four Black Terns and 120 Sandwich Terns. A Green Sandpiper was still present at Valleyfield Lagoons. At East Wemyss there were six Mediterranean Gulls: one second summer, four first summer and a juvenile (white Darvic 3PX4) (1st), increasing to 21 the next day: two adults, one second summer and 18 first summer (when there was also a Whimbrel) (2nd) but down to 17 the day after: six adults, two second summer, eight first summer and one juvenile; with the Whimbrel noted again as well as a yellow Darvic ringed adult Sandwich Tern. There was also a juvenile Mediterranean Gull at Crail’s Roome Bay. Wilderness held one Green Sandpiper, a Ruff, two Dunlins and two Snipe. Balgove Bay had two Little Gulls, then c70 House Martins were assembled on wires at Newton Farm. Seven Dabchicks were at Linkswood with the same number at Morton Lochs NNR, where there were also c44 Mallards, and Newton Sandpit hosted nine Dabchicks. A Green Sandpiper flew east past Dalgety Bay (3rd). In the Valleyfield and Torry Bay Areathere were nine Arctic Terns (amongst Common and Sandwich Terns), seven Goosanders, four Snipe, four Common Sandpipers, three Greenshanks and 49 Dunlins. At Balcomie Beach there were38 Little Gulls feeding offshore and 130 Tree Sparrows were counted at Wormiston Farm. An adult Cuckoo was at Thirdpart (between Kilrenny and Crail) and at least four juvenile Yellow Wagtails were at Caiplie (4th) and were still present the next day. A Sooty Shearwater passed north at Fife Ness and a juvenile Water Rail was seen at Lochore Meadows CP (5th). Sightings at Cullaloe NR included one Kingfisher, a Common Sandpiper, two Water Rails and a Sparrowhawk. Five Yellow Wagtails, including an adult and a new juvenile, were noted at Caiplie. Two Swifts flew north over Dalgety Bay while at Buckhaven  there were three second summer, two juvenile, one first summer and two adult Mediterranean Gulls (6th) then a juvenile and a second summer were seen on the playing fields at Dunnikier Park the next day. At Caiplie at least three juvenile Yellow Wagtails were joined by a Whinchat, a Wheatear and a Grey Wagtail then a Ruff turned up on Balcomie Beach (7th).

Three Little Egrets, an Osprey and three Common Sandpipers were noted at the Eden Estuary then a further report was of one Greenshank, a Knot, a Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, a Little Egret  and three Ospreys seen from the Eden Estuary Centre. Two Common Sandpipers and 16 Goosanders were noted at Braefoot Point, three Whooper Swans were at Loch Gelly and four Knot and a Whimbrel were present at Balcomie Beach. Five juvenile and a first winter Yellow Wagtails were noted at Caiplie along with at least two Tree Pipits amongst many Meadow Pipits. A first year Mediterranean Gull was seen at Dalgety Bay, an adult, four second summers and a juvenile were at Buckhaven and four juveniles were at East Wemyss and an adult was on the Argos store roof in Leven (8th) then the following day there were four juveniles and two adults at Buckhaven with the first year bird still present at Dalgety Bay where a juvenile Black Tern was off the sailing club. At Fife Ness, two adult Roseate Terns, one Sooty Shearwater, three Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies and 23 Manx Shearwaters were counted whilst along the coast at Cambo there was a large tern movement, including six Black Terns south-east, and 25 Knot were also seen. At Dunshalt c200 House Sparrows were at Nether Myre Farm then Wilderness hosted a juvenile Greenshank, one summer-plumaged Black-tailed Godwit and six juvenile Knot (9th) with 120+ Lapwings, six Snipe, one Green Sandpiper, ten Black-tailed Godwits and a female Shoveler noted there the following day. A Green Sandpiper was on the Dreel Burn at Pittenweem, six Knot frequented Balcomie Beach and seawatching at Kinghorn yielded a Black Tern, an Arctic Tern, an Arctic Skua and three Bonxies all west, with 32 Goosanders also offshore then ten of the latter species were also seen at Fife Ness where a juvenile Marsh Harrier (with wing tags) was noted. A visible migration count at Ferry Hills included two Bonxies, one Arctic Skua, three Arctic Terns, four Red-throated Divers, nine Black-tailed Godwits and 15 Tree Pipits. An unusual report was of a possible Lesser Yellowlegs seen from the Eden Estuary Centre (10th). A juvenile Marsh Harrier (left yellow wing tag) and a Whinchat were seen at Wormiston and a Common Sandpiper, a juvenile Wheatear and four Knot were noted at Balcomie Beach. An Arctic Skua passed Fife Ness and two Green Sandpipers were on the Dreel Burn by the recycling centre at Pittenweem. Five Knot were at Seafield (11th). At Red Myre a Red Kite was seen flying quite high towards Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR and two Ruff were seen at Crail (12th) then two juveniles of this species were noted at Wilderness the next day when a Merlin and 225 Tree Pipits passed through at Ferry Hills (13th). A Green Sandpiper was present at Ribbonfield, Crail and the Mediterranean Gull tally at Buckhaven was 12 (six juveniles, three second summer and three adults). Four Ospreys, six Little Egrets, two Peregrines and a Kingfisher were seen at the Eden Estuary whilst Wilderness hosted two Wood Sandpipers, three Ruff, and seven Black-tailed Godwits. A Greenshank was at Crail and two Bonxies passed south at Fife Ness (14th).

A Quail was heard singing at Kingsbarns and a juvenile Ruff was present at Wilderness (15th). The Buckhaven Mediterranean Gull count was 13: five adults, seven second summer and a juvenile (16th). At Broombrae Farm, Auchtermuchty there were 40 Goldfinches, 50 Linnets and 11 Yellowhammers. The regular Ferry Hills report was 138 Tree Pipits, three Arctic Skuas and a Bonxie. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were present at Dysart and sightings from Fife Ness included three Bonxies, one Sooty Shearwater, a Manx Shearwater, one Common Tern, 40 Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Wilderness held one Common Sandpiper, one Snipe, ten or more Black-tailed Godwits, three Ruff and four Wigeon while two Whimbrels flew over (17th). A Kingfisher was at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR, a Little Ringed Plover and three  Scaup were noted at Angle Park GP and five Ruff, two Black-tailed Godwits, one Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper were present at Wilderness four Ospreys, three Little Egrets, three Greenshanks, two Common Sandpipers and a Peregrine were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre. An Arctic Tern was present at Letham Pools (18th). A report from Edenside included six Little Egrets, eight Goosanders, c30 Dunlins, one Ruff, 300+ Redshanks, a Greenshank, two Common Sandpipers and three Ospreys. Buckhaven hosted six Mediterranean Gulls: three adults, two second summer and a juvenile, Wilderness held five Ruff and four Black-tailed Godwits, Braefoot Point yielded one Common Sandpiper and along at Ferry Hills 134 Tree Pipits and a summer plumage Great Northern Diver were noted (20th) then sightings there the next day included two Whimbrels, three Bonxies, eight Arctic Terns, 146 Tree Pipits, a single Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Wheatear. The regular Wilderness reports continued with five Ruff, two Greenshanks, two Black-tailed Godwits, seven Snipe and one Canada Goose. 67 Sandwich Terns were present at East Wemyss where the Mediterranean Gull count was two adults, two second winter and a juvenile (white Darvic 3PX4) (21st).

Mediterranean Gulls continued to loiter at Buckhaven; this time three adults, one second summer and a juvenile were around. A Green Sandpiper was on Kilconquhar field pond and a Spotted Flycatcher was at the south end of Dalgety Bay’s Ross Plantation (22nd). A Short-eared Owl (probably in off the sea) and a juvenile Arctic Skua were seen at Out Head. Observations at Edenside included three Little Egrets, 12 (+30 young) Canada Geese, six Goosanders, 16 Dunlins, c50 Curlews, c500 Redshanks, one Greenshank, one Common Sandpiper and two Ospreys. A juvenile Marsh Harrier (with a yellow tag) was noted at Kilconquhar Loch and a Quail, a Whinchat and eight Wheatears were noted at Kingsbarns (23rd). ‪Visible migration atFerry Hills included ‪three Red-throated Divers, one Bonxie, five Whimbrels, 11 Black-tailed Godwits, 36 Arctic Terns, 139 Tree Pipits, 200 Sand Martins, two Redstarts and three Spotted Flycatchers. Two Jays were noted at Morton Lochs NNR and there was an unusual urban record of two juvenile Redstarts feeding on flying ants on a small privet bush in a Kirkcaldy garden. Staying with the Lang Toun, a Ruff was present at Seafield where there was also the uncommon sight of a Whimbrel on top of a house and a single of this species was also noted flying west over Strathkinness. A busy day continued with 16 Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, three Ruff, 11 Black-tailed Godwits, and a (hybrid) Barnacle Goose in amongst a flock of Greylags at Wilderness and one Green Sandpiper and two Common Sandpipers at Angle Park (24th). An immature Cuckoo was seen briefly at Cellardyke, one Curlew Sandpiper and two Ruff were spied from the Eden Estuary Centre and a Whimbrel was on the rocks near the Castle at St Andrews (26th). Then along at West Sands there were six Ruff, 160 Knot, 30 Dunlins, two Greenshanks and seven Little Gulls plus 130 more at sea. Only one adult Mediterranean Gull was noted at Buckhaven, 130 Greylag Geese were on stubble at Barns Farm and a juvenile Black Tern was on the beach at Levenmouth where there was also a Kingfisher (27th). Up at Loch Glow an Osprey, a Merlin, a Common Sandpiper, a Snipe and Crossbills were all noted. A juvenile Marsh Harrier was seen from Edenside, also three Ospreys, a White-tailed Eagle,115 Canada Geese and 20 Goosanders whilst, nearby, nine Little Egrets together were observed from the Eden Estuary Centre; a new Fife record count. Close by, at Balgove Bay, six Ruff, two Pintails, two Ospreys and c80 Canada Geese were seen with seven Whimbrel circling overhead. A Kingfisher was also noted there as well as at Cullaloe LNR where there was also a Sparrowhawk and a Common Sandpiper. The East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull total was 13: six adults (including 3ERA and 36L1), two second summer and five first winter (28th).

At Wilderness there were nine Snipe, three Curlew Sandpipers, one Greenshank, six Ruff and six Black-tailed Godwits whilst Fairmont, St. Andrews saw 38 Little Gulls and 12 Canada Geese pass west with a Greenshank and 13 White Wagtails also present there (29th). The Mediterranean Gull counts for the month were rounded off by a second summer at West Wemyss harbour, five adults and a second summer at East Wemyss and two adults on the beach at Dysart where two Manx Shearwaters passed very close west. At Wilderness there were four Curlew Sandpipers, two Ruff, three Bar-tailed Godwits, seven Black-tailed Godwits and 20+ Snipe (30th) with the Ruff count increasing by one the next day when the Black-tailed Godwits were up to c10 and the lingering four Curlew Sandpipers were joined by a Greenshank. At Cullaloe LNR a juvenile Garganey was seen with 98 Teal. At Out Head two juvenile Black Terns and a Bonxie were noted and the month closed with three Wheatears at Plains Farm, Dunshalt (31st).

Information suplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and GrahamSparshott