July 2019 Sightings

The arrival of three first summer Mediterranean Gulls at East Wemyss provoked the thought that this corner of Fife could once again be Scotland’s hotspot for this species. At Wilderness the Whooper Swan and adult Little Gull remained from last month and were accompanied by three Common Sandpipers, four Black-tailed Godwits and one Whimbrel then Angle Park GP hosted a Green Sandpiper (1st). A first summer Mediterranean Gull was on Balcomie Beach, 216 Manx Shearwaters passed Anstruther and 100 Black-tailed Godwits, with many in full summer plumage, were at Valleyfield Lagoons. 11 Manx Shearwaters, two Greenshanks, two Peregrines and 38 Goosanders were at Dalgety Bay (2nd). A Quail was calling at Balcomie, 12 Manx Shearwaters, 51 Puffins and an Arctic Skua all flew west past Kinghorn, the Green Sandpiper was still present at Angle Park GP and at East Wemyss the Mediterranean Gull count was one adult, one second summer and five first summer (3rd) with the same totals there the following day. Four Dabchicks were accompanied by three young at Morton Lochs NNR with two of this species also noted at Drumoig (4th). At Balcomie a Quail was in a field between the castle and the entrance to Kilminning and a Knot was on the beach, then at Kingsbarns a Quail was in a poppy field just before the entrance to beach car park. At Newton Sandpit the Black-headed Gull colony was down to c20, while other species noted there included a Kestrel, five Stock Doves, a Sedge Warbler and four Dabchicks then five of the latter species were recorded at Linkswood Pond/Flood (6th). Eight first summer and one second summer Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss, a pair of nesting Spotted Flycatchers produced young at Falkland Estate’s ‘Pillars of Hercules’ and a Quail was still singing at the entrance to Balcomie with a first summer Mediterranean Gull and a Knot seen on the beach there (7th).

The Quail was still present at Balcomie the next day (8th), a Green Sandpiper and the Whooper Swan remained at Wilderness (10th) and a Common Sandpiper was noted at Cullaloe NR then a Manx Shearwater and a group of ten Whimbrels flew over Fairmont (12th). 27 Manx Shearwaters, 101 Goosanders and an Arctic Skua were off Pathhead, four Black-tailed Godwits, and four Common Sandpipers were present at Wilderness and the first Tree Pipit of the autumn was recorded at Ferry Hills where three Little Gulls and three Red-throated Divers flew inland (13th). Edenside held three Little Egrets, 14 Cormorants, six Grey Herons, one Osprey, 35 Lapwings, 29 Curlews and 48 Redshanks. Sightings at Pathhead included four adult and one first summer Little Gulls, one Manx Shearwater, 90+ Goosanders and a Common Sandpiper. A busy day continued with three Mediterranean Gulls (two adult, one second summer) at Inverkeithing Harbour, two (possibly three) Quail near Troustie House, and a count from Fife Ness of 36 Manx Shearwaters, one Arctic Skua, one Bonxie and two Mediterranean Gulls (14th).

A female Redstart was at Cameron Reservoir, two Quail were singing near Troustie House and three Green Sandpipers turned up at Angle Park GP (15th). Seawatching at Fife Ness produced eight Manx Shearwaters, a Great Northern Diver and one Whimbrel then one of the now regular reports from Wilderness included three Common Sandpipers, one Black-tailed Godwit and seven Snipe. Two Quail were still at Troustrie, 12 Mute Swans were accompanied by 17 young at Newburgh and the East Wemyss gull roost included three adult and one first summer Mediterranean Gulls (16th). At Wilderness there were three Common Sandpipers with the same number also at  Angle Park GP as well as a Green Sandpiper (17th) which lingered the following day when the Wilderness tally was four Common Sandpipers, one Black-tailed Godwit and the Whooper Swan. The East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull count was two adults, seven first summer and a juvenile (18th) changing to eleven first summer and one second summer the next day when an adult was also seen on Dysart east beach. Our contribution to the Wood Sandpiper influx was one in the north-east corner of Letham Pools (19th) and it was also there the next day as well as a Water Rail. Wilderness hosted one Green Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers, one Black-tailed Godwit and a Little Egret while Caiplie held one Yellow Wagtail (20th). Two Quail were singing from fields to the north of the beach car park at Kingsbarns and 46 Golden Plovers were on rocks at St Monans saltpans (21st).

At Loch Glow there were two Ospreys fishing, two Ravens, three Great Black-backed Gulls and a flock of at least ten Crossbills (22nd). A Red Kite was being mobbed by a Buzzard and corvids near Lochhead Landfill. Wilderness held a Common Sandpiper (23rd). A Whimbrel was at East Wemyss with seven also noted at Kingsbarns as well as a Quail, the Wood Sandpiper was still present at Letham Pools (24th) and was also seen the following day when a Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper were at Wilderness and two Ospreys were observed from the Eden Estuary Centre. The  Fife Ness count was a Sooty Shearwater, 107 Manx Shearwaters, one Arctic Skua and seven Knot. East Wemyss held seven first summer Mediterranean Gulls (25th) increasing to nine the next day along with one adult and one second summer as well as a Whimbrel. Still with gulls, 260 Little Gulls were in the air and on the sea at St Andrews East Sands in the evening (26th) and an immature Mediterranean Gull was on Balcomie Beach accompanied by a Whimbrel, 70 Dunlins and 20 Sanderlings. Back at East Wemyss the tally was one adult, two second summer, three first summer and one juvenile Mediterranean Gull (27th) but only one adult, three first summers and one juvenile were noted the following day. Kinghorn sightings included ten Manx Shearwaters, 19 Puffins, 26 Common Scoters and a Tufted Duck then a further report from Pettycur comprised three Manx Shearwaters, a Whimbrel and seven Turnstones. Whimbrel sightings continued with one at Edenside, two over Morton Lochs NNR and one on the rocks at Fife Ness from where one Sooty Shearwater, 116 Manx Shearwaters, three Bonxies, three Arctic Skuas, 67 Common Scoters, two Velvet Scoters and an adult Little Gull were also spied as well as a Yellow Wagtail at the golf practice area. Valleyfield /Newmills hosted four Common Sandpipers, two Knot, 85 Redshanks, two Greenshanks and 28 Dunlins and Edenside held two Little Egrets (28th).

One second calendar year Long-tailed Skua and four Arctic Terns flew inland at Ferry Hills where nine Tree Pipits passed over. Four Dabchicks were noted at Morton Lochs NNR, a Quail was flushed from the coastal path at Fife Ness where a Whimbrel and a Manx Shearwater were seen passing and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull was east of the mouth of the River Leven (30th). Wilderness held a Little Stint and a juvenile Water Rail then a later report was of a Temminck’s Stint, one Black-tailed Godwit and two Snipe. 40 Goosanders were at Dalgety Bay, a flock of up to 20 Tree Sparrows were feeding in a wheat field at Bathmoor Plantationand an Osprey was on Preston Island at Valleyfield Lagoons where also noted were a Green Sandpiper, one Short-eared Owl, 18 Lapwings, two Common Sandpipers, 30+ Common Terns, four+ Sandwich Terns and a Mediterranean Gull. A Greenshank was present at Fairmont, St Andrews where offshore were spied two adult Long-tailed Skuas, a second calendar year Long-tailed Skua, four Arctic Skuas and 132 Little Gulls (31st).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

June 2019 Sightings

38 Canada Geese were seen flying south over Strathkinness and two Grey Partridges were noted at Rathillet (1st). A Cuckoo was singing at Kilmany and a Common Sandpiper was at Braefoot Point while a pair of Grey Wagtails and two juveniles were seen on Auchtermuchty Burn. A pair of Tree Sparrows with two juveniles was also in an Auchtermuchty garden (2nd). At Anstruther 232 Manx Shearwaters, an Iceland Gull, two Tysties and two Black-throated Divers were noted (5th). Five Crossbills passed over St Andrews (6th).

A singing Quail was at Wormiston Farm. A Spotted Flycatcher, a Raven and ten Woodcock ‘fly-bys’, probably of two birds, were all noted at Morton Lochs NNR then Earlshall also hosted a Woodcock as well as two Spotted Flycatchers and an Osprey (8th). In the Crail to Kippo area two Red Kites were seen heading north to Boarhills. At Wilderness a Quail, four Whooper Swans (one colour-ringed) and a Black-tailed Godwit were present and at Collessie a Lesser Whitethroat was singing (9th). A Goosander and two young were seen off Ruddons Point and four Spotted Flycatchers were noted at Linkswood St Fort (10th). A Red Kite was heading north-west over Blairhall and an adult female Honey-buzzard was spied near ‘The Secret Bunker’ flying towards St Andrews. A pair of Canada Geese bred at Drumoig for the first time where there were also 33 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 90 Herring Gulls. Meanwhile at Edenside two Little Egrets, 50+ Mute Swans, eight Shelducks (including five young), one Common Scoter and an Osprey were reported (11th). A Barn Owl was seen at Culross then Angle Park GP held five Greylags, five Gadwall, c60 Coots with c70 Sand and House Martins active over the water. Two Mute Swans with two small cygnets were at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR where 11 Greylags included two goslings (12th). Three Ospreys frequented Edenside and a day count from the hide at Fife Ness comprised six Storm Petrels, five Bonxies, 24 Common Scoters, one Tystie, 19 Sanderlings, nine Sandwich Terns, 16 Arctic Terns, 97 Manx Shearwaters, two Red-throated Divers and two Velvet Scoters (13th). Away from the coast, Glen Vale hosted five Ravens and a pair of Whinchats (14th).

At Dunfermline’s Duloch Park two Reed Warblers, a singing male and a second foraging bird, were recorded. A Tystie and a single Manx Shearwater were off Dysart Harbour car park. Two Spotted Flycatchers were at Linkswood, 14 Canada Geese (including seven young) and a Pochard were seen at Newton Sandpit and two Mute Swans were with six cygnets at Morton Lochs NNR (15th). A report from Edenside included five Grey Herons, 30+ Mute Swans, 20 Shelducks (including three young) and two Ospreys then an adult Little Gull in full summer plumage was discovered at Letham Pools (19th). A Garden Warbler was in song at Tayfield(20th). A Blackcap and a Whitethroat were noted at Kirkton of Balmerino and a single Whimbrel was at Ravenscraig beach (21st).

Six Black-tailed Godwits, a Whooper Swan, three Common Sandpipers and probably the same adult summer Little Gull were present at Wilderness (23rd) with all of these, except the godwits, lingering the next day when a Red-necked Grebe was at Dalgety Bay (24th). An adult Little Gull was seen over Letham Pools again (26th) then two were present at Wilderness. Two Great Crested Grebes and 14 Mute Swans (including seven cygnets) were at Lindores Loch (28th) before an adult Little Gull, three Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper, the Whooper Swan and two Pochard were observed at Wilderness. A Common Sandpiper and three first summer Mediterranean Gulls were found at East Wemyss (will the record be broken again this year?) (30th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

May 2019 Sightings

The month opened with a Dipper at Dura Den/Kemback then a Lesser Whitethroat, 29 Black-tailed Godwits, two Whimbrels and two Swifts were at Ferry Hills (1st) with the Lesser Whitethroat still present there the following day along with a Grasshopper Warbler. A Swift was at Anstruther and seven Manx Shearwaters, six Red-throated Divers and a Wheatear were at Fife Ness (2nd) where one Great Northern Diver and a Bonxie were noted the next day. Two Ospreys and four Little Egrets were seen from the Edenside hide, 37 Mute Swans were in a field at Parkhill, Newburgh and c100 Sand Martins were active over the water at Lindores Loch. Two Gadwalls and four Shelducks were at Luthrie (3rd).Two Lesser Whitethroats were at the opposite ends of Kilminning then Edenside held two drake Garganeys, five Whimbrels and four Little Egrets (4th). A Bonxie and a Manx Shearwater passed Anstruther whilst two Yellow Wagtails were accompanied by four White Wagtails at Balcomie Beach (5th) where the four White Wagtails lingered the following day and were joined by five Whimbrels, four Black-tailed Godwits and a Wheatear. Edenside held four Little Egrets, 28 Shelducks, an Osprey and five Tree Sparrows then two Green Woodpeckers were reported at Bath Moor Plantation (6th).Three Goosanders, four Blackcaps and a Whitethroat were at Kirkton of Balmerino (7th).

Wilderness hosted a Wood Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers, two Goosanders, a Whooper Swan and five Pink-feet. Angle Park GP held a Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper with an Osprey over while a Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper were present at Luthrie (8th). The Wood Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers and a Whooper Swan remained at Wilderness along with a Black-tailed Godwit. Up to four Bonxies, a Manx Shearwater, one Whimbrel and eight Sandwich Terns were seen off Fife Ness, two White Wagtails, a Wheatear and three Whimbrels were noted at Balcomie Beach with three of the latter species also noted at Culross. Six Black-tailed Godwits were at Letham Pools. Up in the hills, a juvenile Dipper, three Wheatears, a single male Whinchat, three pairs of Stonechats with a single juvenile and a pair of Ravens were all noted at Glen Vale (9th). Four Wood Sandpipers were now present at Wilderness as well as three Common Sandpipers, one Black-tailed Godwit, three Pink-feet and a Whooper Swan. A Pied Flycatcher was at Denburn Wood and a Black-tailed Godwit was at Letham Pools (10th). Three Whimbrels were seen flying over Dalgety Bay (11th) and a Spoonbill flew north-west over Kirkcaldy at height. Angle Park GP hosted two Wood Sandpipers and three Black-tailed Godwits then a White Wagtail was present at Luthrie and a Cuckoo was heard near Harperleas Reservoir. A pair of Stonechats along with five fledglings was seen at Elie Ness where the Black-necked Grebe was in the harbour again (12th). Six Whinchats and a group of nine Stonechats, including two fledglings, were noted at Glen Vale and a Hobby flew low over Kilmany. A Temminck’s Stint turned up at Angle Park GP, where three Black-tailed Godwits were also present, while a Wood Sandpiper lingered at Wilderness (13th).

An Osprey was seen circling low over Kilrenny and three Black-tailed Godwits were still present at Angle Park GP (15th) where one Wood Sandpiper was noted the next day. Seawatching at Fife Ness produced one Great Northern Diver, six Red-throated Divers, c30 Manx Shearwaters (c20 in one flock) and also a Yellow Wagtail over the rocks. Freshwater observations included seven Dabchicks, 15 Canada Geese (including nine goslings), five Shelducks and c100 Black-headed Gulls at Newton Sandpit and c100 Herring Gulls at Drumoig (16th). Morton Lochs NNR held 12 Dabchicks, including four young, and 20 Coots including ten young. Two Little Egrets flew inland over Anstruther (17th). A Bonxie, 28 Manx Shearwaters and five Common Scoters were noted off Fife Ness whilst nearby towards Kilminning up to three Spotted Flycatchers, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Wheatear were reported. A Cuckoo was calling at Craigluscar Hill and a Hobby was seen flying strongly north-west at Balchrystie near Colinsburgh (18th). A single Lesser Whitethroat was at Wormiston and two were at Kilminning where there was also a male Whinchat, a Wood Warbler, two Garden Warblers and at least one Pied Flycatcher. A Cuckoo was heard calling at Craigmead (19th). Single Lesser Whitethroats were reported at Seafield Tower and at Wilderness where there were also six Black-tailed Godwits with two of this species at Angle Park GP whilst a Grasshopper Warbler appeared at Roome Bay (20th). A Water Rail was present at Letham Pools (21st)

A sighting of four Great Crested Grebes included two young birds at Mountcastle GP, where there was also a Green Woodpecker, then c40 Coots were noted at Angle Park GP (22nd). A Quail was heard just south of Kilmany, 43 Mute Swans were present at Edenside and a Parakeet sp. was seen flying around the Bogward area of St Andrews. A male Whinchat, a Raven and a Jay were noted at Glen Vale (23rd) then two Whinchats, a Jay and two Grey Partridges were seen there the following day (24th). A Red-legged Partridge was seen at Gauldry, a Grey Wagtail was noted at Burnside, Cupar and an Osprey flew north over Ardross Farm (25th). Two dark phase Arctic Skuas were in the bay at Pettycur Harbour then a report from Edenside included one Little Egret, c50 Mute Swans, five Canada Geese, an Osprey and  24 Black-tailed Godwits (28th) with the latter species numbering six at Wilderness where there were also six Pochard (29th). A Temminck’s Stint was at Valleyfield Lagoons (30th) and it loitered there the next day when the month was rounded off by observations at Edenside which included 55 Mute Swans, 12 Goosanders and two Ospreys (31st).

Information provided courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

April 2019 Sightings

At Elie, the Black-necked Grebe was still present off the harbour (1st). 20 Whooper Swans flew north over St Andrews, two Chiffchaffs were heard singing atTayfield, two Ospreys were seen circling over Loch Glow from Knockhill. Two Ospreys were also seen at different times from the Eden Estuary Centre, with both seen carrying fish and heading towards Balmullo (2nd). Three Sandwich Terns were noted at Anstruther (3rd) then a Black Guillemot was seen there the following day when a Red Kite was spotted on the east side of the Thornton bypass (4th). At the top end of Kilminning were one male Blackcap and a Chiffchaff. A report from Morton Lochs NNR included six Dabchicks, a Canada Goose, five Teal, c25 Mallards, eight Tufted Ducks, two Chiffchaffs, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. At Elie the Black-necked Grebe was joined by two Sandwich Terns (5th). A Chiffchaff was at the top end of Kilminning, a Willow Warbler was at Kilrenny. Hirundine counts included three House Martins and five Swallows at Kilconquhar Loch, c25 Sand Martins and two Swallows at Angle Park GP and three Swallows at Loch Gelly where there were also five Gadwall, 68 Goldeneyes, two Shelducks and four Goosanders. An unusual report was an Egyptian Goose with 200 Pink-feet at Letham Pools (6th). Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR hosted singles of House Martin and Swallow, a Great Northern Diver passed west off Ruddons Point, a redhead Smew and three Swallows were seen at Cameron Reservoir and the Black-necked Grebe was now in summer plumage at Elie Harbour where there was also a Raven over the cliffs. Ten drake Shovelers plus a single Pintail were noted at Wilderness (7th).

The next day, the same site held 47 (37+ ten immature) Mute Swans, 88 Pink-feet, 17 Tufted Ducks, 15 Goldeneyes, 12 Coots, ten Lapwings and 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Letham Pools hosted two Shovelers, a Great Crested Grebe, four Mute Swans, seven Teal, 23 Wigeon, four Gadwall and ten Oystercatchers. Seawatching at Fife Ness produced 11 Sandwich Terns, a Manx Shearwater, 16 Red-throated Divers, four Scaup, nine Common Scoters, five Long-tailed Ducks, two Puffins and two Red-breasted Mergansers (8th). A Blackcap was singing at Torry Bay then a report from Edenside included two Little Egrets and eight Tree Sparrows (9th). Two Dabchicks were at Newton Farm with five of this species at Linkswood Pond as well as four Shelducks and a Grey Partridge. Drumoig also held two Dabchicks and two Canada Geese. A Blackcap was heard singing at Culross and the redhead Smew was seen at the north-west end of Lochore Meadows CP (10th). A Willow Warbler and two Sand Martins were at Kinghorn Loch with seven Blackcaps between there and Burntisland then an Osprey flew north over Kirkcaldy. Sightings at Newton Sandpit included 12 Dabchicks, nine Canada Geese, four Shelducks, six Teal, ten Mallards, 30 Tufted Ducks, three Goldeneyes and a Chiffchaff. Observations at Fife Ness comprised five Sandwich Terns, one Swallow, six Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 40 Kittiwakes, 18 Fulmars and six Greylags. Meanwhile at Lower Largo, a pair of Red-necked Grebes was seen offshore as well as a pair of Slavonian Grebes in summer plumage and two Red-throated Divers (11th). Kirkcaldy’sMill Dam area hosted four singing Blackcaps, Auchtermuchty’s first Willow Warblers of the year were three at Broombrae Farm and a Green Woodpecker was  seen at The Clink, Pitmedden Forest. Two Nuthatches were still at Ravenscraig Park then at Anstruther there was an evening fly-past of a juvenile/first winter Mediterranean Gull and a Manx Shearwater (13th). Two Ravens and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were noted at Ferry Hills while the redhead Smew was seen at Lochore Meadows CP as well as four Crossbills, three Willow Warblers, two Blackcaps, eight Swallows and 19 Sand Martins (14th).

A Chiffchaff  and a Willow Warbler were at Craigtoun CP, a male ‘Blue-headed’ Yellow Wagtail was present at Letham Pools and another particularly noteworthy sighting was a Hoopoe at Boarhills (16th). There was an unconfirmed report of two Avocets at the lagoons at Tentsmuir Point NNR (17th). Kilminning held a Black Redstart and sightings from Edenside included 40 Black-tailed Godwits (18th). A female Marsh Harrier flew over Letham Pools and one was also noted over Luthrie. Three Little Egrets and an Osprey were at Guardbridge, the Black-necked Grebe was still off the pier at Elie, a Moorhen was at the caravans at Fife Ness and a report from Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR included three Willow Warblers, six Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps and two Swallows (19th). A Black Redstart was reported at Balcomie, where there was also a Wheatear, and a male Common Redstart was at Kilminning. Five Wheatears, a Swallow, 18 Purple Sandpipers and eight Turnstones were at Kingsbarnswhilst apair of Pintails and a single Black-tailed Godwit were noted at Wilderness. Two Waxwings were seen at Glenrothes and two House Martins were overhead at Gauldry (20th). Rossie Bog hosted a singing Grasshopper Warbler, a Wheatear, two Snipe and two Water Rails, Wilderness held one Black-tailed Godwit, two Pintails and a singing Grasshopper Warbler before Luthrie produced a Snipe and a Wheatear. A report from Loch Gelly included a Sedge Warbler, six Sand Martins, three Goosanders, 73 Goldeneyes and a pair of Pochard then four Whimbrels, a Sandwich Tern and an Osprey were seen from the Edenside hide. A male Common Redstart was found again at Kilminning where a male Brambling, a Whitethroat, 20+ Willow Warblers and three Wheatears were also noted as well as a Black Redstart at the bottom end. Sightings at Newton Sandpit included seven Canada Geese, four Shelducks, one Gadwall, two Teal, 16 Tufted Ducks, four Lapwings, c90 Black-headed Gulls, three Skylarks, two Swallows, a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler and a Reed Bunting. Meanwhile Morton Lochs NNR held eight Dabchicks, four Mute Swans, three Canada Geese, 12 Mallards, eight Tufted Ducks, nine Moorhens, eight Coots, a Blackcap, one Chiffchaff and a Bullfinch (21st).

A Little Tern was with two Sandwich Terns on the beach at Leven where there were also c200 Long-tailed Ducks offshore. A single Little Gull and a Whimbrel flew west up the Forth, seen from Ferry Hills where there were also two Wheatears whilst two of this species were also seen at Dunshalt. A female Black Redstart at Kilminning was accompanied by a White Wagtail, two Fieldfares, one House Martin, a Blackcap and five Willow Warblers (22nd). Two Grasshopper Warblers were heard at Loch Gelly where a Redwing also turned up (23rd). Two Red-legged Partridges were at Ballindean Farm near Gauldry (24th). A Lesser Whitethroat was in the trees around Erskine Hall, Anstruther and up to three of this species were noted at Kilminning as well as a male Pied Flycatcher and a Yellow Wagtail. A male Hen Harrier was seen at Kellie Law, a Short-eared Owl patrolled fields at Caiplie and one was also reported at Bankhead Farm between Kilrenny and Crail. Two Wheatears were atBalcomie, a Little Egret was at Edenside, two Common Sandpipers were noted at Dalgety Bay and two Dippers were seen feeding at Burnside, Cupar (25th). A Wood Warbler was heard singing and was showing well at Denburn Wood where there was also a Pied Flycatcher with a male of this species still present at Kilminning. A Whimbrel passed over Anstruther and two of this species were at St Bridgets, Dalgety Bay. 21 (including eight young) Mallards, a Chiffchaff,  two Blackcaps, a Bullfinch and a Grey Wagtail were at Tayfield while there were six Shelducks at Wormit Bay (26th). The Wood Warbler was still present at  Denburn Wood, and a Black-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrels and a Wheatear were seen at Balcomie Beach. Meanwhile at  Kilminning at least two Pied Flycatchers, one Whitethroat and one Lesser Whitethroat were at the top end and a Pied Flycatcher, a Wheatear and a Lesser Whitethroat were reported at the bottom end (27th). Noted at this site the next day were a Lesser Whitethroat, a female Pied Flycatcher, a Sedge Warbler and a Willow Warbler with a Green Woodpecker over. A Nuthatch was on the Broomhall Estate, Dunfermline, the Wood Warbler lingered at Denburn Wood and 20 Teal and a Barn Owl were at Cullaloe LNR. Two Avocets flew south from Kingsbarns beach, two pairs of Whinchats and two Ravens were noted at Glen Vale. A Garden Warbler was singing at The Binn, Burntislandll, a Lesser Whitethroat was on Bogward Road, St Andrews and one Common Sandpiper, a single Whooper Swan, a pair of Shovelers and a pair of Pintails were noted at Wilderness (28th).

One Osprey, four Little Egrets and two Sandwich Terns were noted from the Eden Estuary Centre, a Garden Warbler was singing at Cullaloe LNR then a report from Letham Pools included four Teal, 29 Mallards, 18 Tufted Ducks, five Shovelers, c20 Gadwall, 14 Coots and c100 Black-headed Gulls. Angle Park GP held ten Mallards, 12 Tufted Ducks, three Gadwall, c50 Coots, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Chiffchaff before the month closed with seven Greylags, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, one Chiffchaff and a Blackcap at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR (30th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

March 2019 Sightings

Two Waxwings were in Glenrothes (2nd). A pair of Ravens were at Glen Vale and an Osprey flew north over Kirkcaldy (3rd) with another sighting of this species at Eden Estuary LNR the next day. The Black-necked Grebe was still off the pier at Elie and the redhead Smew was seen again at Lochore Meadows CP, as well as a Pochard (4th), and was also noted the following day. Angle Park hosted five Dabchicks, two Gadwall, four drake Pochards, nine Goldeneyes, 50+ Coots and eight Yellowhammers (5th). A Short-eared Owl was still at Kingsbarns Golf Course and a report from Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR included 12 Tufted Ducks, 17 Goldeneyes and a Goosander (6th).

Newburgh hosted ten Waxwings then two Whooper Swans were in a field near Guardbridge (8th). The two Nuthatches remained at  Ravenscraig Park, c400 Pink-feet were noted at Loch Gelly and an immature Marsh Harrier, two Ravens and a Peregrine were seen at Newburgh (9th). At Pathhead, a male Wheatear was on the beach, a pair of Goosanders were on the burn and a Jay flew in off the sea, a site first for the observer. A Great Northern Diver was off the harbour at Dysart and a Chiffchaff joined the Nuthatches at Ravenscraig Park (10th). An adult male Hen Harrier was seen at Outhmuir in the Cleish Hills. The redhead Smew lingered at Lochore Meadows CP and a Dipper was seen at Burnside, Cupar (11th). 15 Waxwings were near Cunnoquhie Mill (12th). 44 Whooper Swans were in a cereal field near to Balmullo and a Little Egret was at East Sands, St Andrews (13th). Three Great Crested Grebes joined the redhead Smew at Lochore Meadows (14th).

Ravenscraig Park’s Nuthatches were still present, 20 Waxwings were seen from the road in the Tentsmuir area just after Craigie Farm and three Slavonian Grebes were noted at  Lower Largo. At Cameron Reservoir the regular redhead Smew had two Snipe for company (17th) and a Chiffchaff was there the following day with two of this species serenading the Smew at Lochore Meadows CP. A Brambling was recorded at Bow of Fife, 19 Waxwings were at Leuchars, five Whooper Swans were present at Letham Pools and an Osprey headed north over Loch Gelly (18th).

A Greenland White-fronted Goose was with 200+ Greylags near Saline,19 Waxwings lingered near Leuchars Railway Station and Edenside held one Little Egret, eight Brent Geese, 50+ Shelducks, 22 Teal, three Goldeneyes, two Goosanders, c100 Knot and ten Tree Sparrows. Two Teal were at Creich Pond with 35 of this species also at Luthrie Floods along with two Shelducks, 14 Mallards, c175 Wigeon and four Shovelers (19th). An Osprey flew north over Aberdour and two Snow Buntings were on the beach north of Kingsbarns (20th). At least ten Waxwings were between Guardbridge and Leuchars and the Black-necked Grebe was still very close off Elie (21st).

The next day was a busy one starting with an immature Marsh Harrier, 72 Whooper Swans and two Chiffchaffs at Newburgh, 30 Waxwings over the Fife end of the Tay Bridge, and flocks of ten and 27 Whooper Swans north over Anstruther. Six Chiffchaffs were noted at Cullaloe NR, a Jay was at Morendy Wood and there was a report of an Iceland Gull at Otterston Loch. Four Dabchicks, eight Teal, two Gadwall, 60 Curlews and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were noted at Morton Lochs NNR and sightings at Edenside included two Little Egrets, a Peregrine, one Kingfisher, 76 Curlews, c250 Redshanks and nine Tree Sparrows. A Great Northern Diver and 300+ Eiders were off Tayport Harbour, c20 Yellowhammers were present at Craigie Farm and a count at Newton Sand & Gravel Pit included nine Canada Geese, seven Dabchicks, 35 Tufted Ducks, seven Goldeneyes, a Sparrowhawk, one Snipe, 14 Lapwings and three Skylarks (22nd). A Wheatear was seen near Loch Glow. Single Chiffchaffs were noted at Burntisland, at Kenly Water and at Kilminning where there was a White Wagtail with this species also turning up at Kingsbarns along with 14 Whooper Swans. Greenshanks numbered seven at at Kinkell Harbour with singles at Kittock’s Den and East Sands, St Andrews (23rd). Three Shovelers were observed at Valleyfield Lagoons (24th). A Chiffchaff was west of Culross with two of this species at Auchtermuchty Common, accompanied by 18 Fieldfares. Four Goldeneyes and two Goosanders were noted at Newburgh while Lindores Loch held 14 Mute Swans, c25 Tufted Ducks then at Luthrie Floods 16 Goldeneyes and seven Shelducks, 60 Teal, two drake Shovelers and 14 Lapwings were noted. The Smew at Lochore Meadows CP and the Black-necked Grebe at Elie were still present and correct (25th). Two Sand Martins passed over Glenrothes, a Red-necked Grebe and nine Slavonian Grebes were seen from Lower Largo and two Short-eared Owls were at Caiplie. Visits to freshwater sites produced 20 Greylags, 25 Tufted Ducks, 11 Goldeneyes and three Chiffchaffs at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR, four Great Crested Grebes, 40+ Greylags, 37 Tufted Ducks and two Chiffchaffs at Mountcastle GP then one Great Crested Grebe, five Teal, 16 Gadwall, a drake Pochard and 100+ Black-headed Gulls at Letham Pools (27th).

An adult male Hen Harrier was present at Knockhill and the Nuthatches remained in place at Ravenscraig Park (28th). A Raven flew over West Muircambus, two Chiffchaffs were singing at Tayfield and four Wheatears were present at Balcomie beach. A report from Edenside included seven Pink-feet, 75 Shelducks, ten Teal, five Goldeneyes, seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls and seven Tree Sparrows (29th). 50+ Whooper Swans flew over Anstruther Wester, two Red Kites coming in off the Forth at Ferry Hills was a particularly notable report and a Short-eared Owl was seen between Leslie and Craigmead (30th). A Marsh Harrier was present and 32 Whooper Swans passed over Newburgh and the month finished in colourful fashion with the Black-necked Grebe now in summer plumage off Elie Harbour (31st).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

February 2019 Sightings

Reports commenced with five Waxwings feeding on Rosehips at a school in Dalgety Bay (1st), a Raven and an immature Marsh Harrier were noted at Newburgh and the two Surf Scoters were still present off the Golf Museum car park at St Andrews (2nd). A Raven was seen at Culross in the morning then six Waxwings were at Leuchars Railway Station and a Kingfisher and two Greenshanks were at the end of the Bluther Burn, Newmills (3rd). An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen briefly at Buckhaven and favourites from last month were still around in the form of the two Nuthatches at Ravenscraig Park and the Black-necked Grebe at Elie. A report from Edenside included ten Brent Geese, 88 Shelducks, c150 Wigeon, 33 Teal, 38 Mallards, three Goldeneyes, 11 Lapwings, c70 Black-tailed Godwits, four Great Black-backed Gulls and at least ten Tree Sparrows (4th). The two Nuthatches continued to invite visits to Ravenscraig Park as did the Surf Scoters to St Andrews whilst five Snow Buntings were present at Out Head (5th). A Merlin was in a field near Leuchars railway station, four Waxwings were in Jubilee Park, Dalgety Bay, four Snow Buntings were present at Out Head and ten Crossbills were seen feeding at Tentsmuir (6th). A Little Egret was seen just off the harbour at St Andrews, c160 Bramblings were near Struthers Farm, Craigrothie and a Ring-necked Parakeet was seen again in Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy (7th).

Five Golden Plovers were in a field on the road from Kinshaldy to Leuchars, a Merlin, a Crossbill and a Stonechat were noted at Earlshall Muir and one Great Northern Diver passed south at Seafield. 16 (eight adult/eight immature) Mute Swans were recorded at Letham Pools, c200 Wigeon, c30 Teal and six Gadwalls were counted at Luthrie Flood and c7000 Black-headed Gulls and c3000 Common Gulls were estimated at Burntisland (9th). In the Lomond Hills, a Merlin was seen close to Craigmead and at least ten Skylarks were singing and pairing up at West Lomond. A female/first winter Marsh Harrier patrolled Rossie Bog, an adult Mediterranean Gull was at the customary Buckhaven haunt, the redhead Smew was still present at Lochore Meadows CP and two Nuthatches were calling and showing well at Ravenscraig Park (10th). The Black-necked Grebe was still off Elie pier, a Woodcock was noted at Kilminning and 133 Bramblings were in one bush near Struthers Farm outside Craigrothie. Meanwhile, at Fife Ness, three Great Northern Divers and four Red-throated Divers were seen, all going south (11th). A report from Edenside included two Little Egrets, c120 Lapwings, c15 Tree Sparrows and three Long-tailed Tits (12th). A Raven was noted at Kilrenny, 12 Whooper Swans were counted at Guardbridge, a single Snow Bunting was at Out Head and the two Surf Scoters lingered at St Andrews (14th).

The two Nuthatches were seen together at Ravenscraig Park and the Brambling count at Struthers Farm increased to 183. Letham Pools hosted 760 Pink-feet along with a  Greenland White-front and a probable Bean/Pink-foot hybrid. Morton Lochs NNR held four Mute Swans, five Canada Geese, nine Wigeon, 34 Teal, 18 Mallards, eight Tufted Ducks and ten Coots. A report from Newton Farm & Sand Pit Ponds included ten Canada Geese, one Shelduck, five Gadwalls, 38 Tufted Ducks, 26 Goldeneyes, 12 Coots, c50 Lapwings and c15 Moorhens while sightings at Linkswood included two Canada Geese, 12 Wigeon, five Moorhens and a Jay (15th).The Nuthatches at Ravenscraig Park were accompanied by two Ravens and a Goldcrest (16th). An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Loch Gelly as well as a Lesser Black-backed Gull, ten Goosanders and three Whooper Swans. 103 Corn Buntings were counted at Bowhouse Farm, St Monans. A Sooty Shearwater was seen feeding amongst a gull flock off Kinghorn where there were also 18 Red-throated Divers, five Long-tailed Ducks and two Purple Sandpipers. A Greenland White-fronted Goose was still present in a large mixed flock of Pink-feet near Mountcastle GP. The Water Pipit continued its residence at Cocklemill Burn, a Whimbrel was present at Ruddons Point and a Long-eared Owl was seen beside houses at Cluny (17th). The redhead Smew was observed again at Lochore Meadows CP, a first winter Little Gull was spied at Burntisland and a juvenile female Goshawk was seen over Anstruther. At Tayport Pond, two Mute Swans, three Wigeon, 22 Mallards and nine Moorhens were counted (18th). At Cocklemill Burn, the Water Pipit was accompanied by a Little Egret, 30 Reed Buntings and a Stonechat  while Cameron Reservoir hosted 14 Mute Swans, four Teal, 11 Wigeon, 25 Tufted Ducks, seven Goldeneyes and 15 Coots (19th). A Wigeon, one Teal, three Red-throated Divers, seven Common Scoters, two Fulmars and two Kittiwakes were all noted at Fife Ness (20th).

Guardbridge held 17 Waxwings, then an immature Marsh Harrier was seen over Mugdrum Island and a report from Letham Pools included five Dabchicks, 11 Mute Swans, 61 Greylag Geese, three Shelducks, 57 Teal, 11 Mallards, one Gadwall, six Goldeneyes, 19 Coots and 28 Lapwings (22nd). Two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were present at Out Head, a Greenshank was on the rocks below St Andrews Castle and a Mediterranean Gull was present at Dalgety Bay. Two redhead Smew lingered at Cameron Reservoir, where there were also 25 Whooper Swans, and the two Nuthatches were showing at Ravenscraig Park again. A first winter Mediterranean Gull flew east past Dysart Harbour, a Greenland White-front was in the Letham/Mountcastle area and a Greenshank was on the rocks off St Andrews pier. 14 Crossbills were seen at Morton Lochs NNR and 100 Pink-feet were noted at Anstruther (23rd).

Kirkcaldy’s Ring-necked Parakeet was seen flying around the Chapel area, then joined the Nuthatch at Ravenscraig Park, 25 Crossbills were watched near Heggies Muir Wood and 20+ Bramblings were seen from the Letham Pools road. Tentsmuir hosted at least nine Crossbills and two Green Woodpeckers then three Little Egrets were present at Tayport and a single female Snow Bunting was present at Out Head (24th). A Raven, c2800 Pink-feet and one European White-fronted Goose were counted at Parkhill Farm and an unspecified number of Scaup were seen offshore at Out Head where a Snow Bunting and a Raven were present. Sightings at Linkswood Pond and Flood included three Dabchicks, c45 Greylag Geese over, eight Wigeon,14 Teal and four Gadwalls (25th).

A female Snow Bunting was still present at Out Head, a female Merlin was seen at Cullaloe NR, two Grey Wagtails were noted at Burnside, Cupar and 12 Twite were seen in fields near Boarhills Pond. A report from Newton Sandpit included eight Dabchicks, ten Whooper Swans, three Canada Geese, two Shelducks, 18 Teal, 12 Wigeon, eight Mallards, six Gadwalls, 30 Tufted Ducks, ten Goldeneyes and 12 Coots (26th). A Marsh Harrier (immature) was present again at Mugdrum Island (27th) and ten Crossbills were at Lochore Meadows CP where the redhead Smew was still present (28th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

January 2019 Sightings

Observers were out in force on the first day of the year, perhaps engaged in traditional New Year’s Day excursions. They discovered some birds from last month extending their residence in to 2019 e.g. the Black-necked Grebe at Elie, the two Surf Scoters at St Andrews and the Water Pipit at Cocklemill Burn. A Red-necked Grebe was present at Ruddons Point and 122 Corn Buntings were counted between Waterless Bridge and Ardross Farm. A Chiffchaff was near the coastal path at Dysart, a Greenshank was at Kenly Burn, Boarhills and a Pomarine Skua was harassing large gulls well out from Kingsbarns beach. Lochore Meadows CP hosted a redhead Smew, a Great Crested Grebe and 16 Whooper Swans on the main loch with five Pintails and three Gadwall at the nature reserve end and a Kingfisher was at Kilconquhar Loch (1st). A redhead Smew was also at Cameron Reservoir along with eight Crossbills and three Whooper Swans. The Water Pipit, the Black-necked Grebe and the two Surf Scoters were at their usual locations and were also noted on the following two days. A Raven was seen over the caravan park at Shell Bay (2nd). Many of the freshwater bodies were iced over to a variable extent with reports of 13 Mute Swans, 14 Mallards and five Goldeneyes at Letham Pools, seven Mute Swans, six Whooper Swans, 23 Mallards, eight Gadwall, c50 Tufted Ducks and 11 Goldeneyes at Mountcastle GP, eight Mute Swans, eight Goldeneyes, c65 Coots and a Jay at Angle Park GP, and ten Wigeon, 12 Tufted Ducks, five Goldeneyes, 27 Black-headed Gulls and five Common Gulls at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR. 16 Waxwings were in central Kirkcaldy (3rd) and 15 of this species were reported at Ballantager Farm the following day. A Great Northern Diver and a Slavonian Grebe joined the Black-necked Grebe at Elie and an adult Mediterranean Gull, two Manx Shearwaters and a Red-necked Grebe were all noted off Kinghorn. The Kingdom kicked off its 2019 share of the Brambling influx with c40 south of Craigrothie whilst c30 Twite were in a field near St Monans. Cameron Reservoir held two redhead Smew (4th) then the redhead at Lochore Meadows CP was accompanied by 22 Whooper Swans on the main Loch with five Pintails on the nature reserve. A male Peregrine was seen at St Andrews, 15 Tree Sparrows were noted at Edenside and the Black-necked Grebe at Elie had a Red-throated Diver and six Long-tailed Ducks for company (5th) and was seen again the next day. Morton Lochs NNR hosted four Crossbills and five Bramblings before an adult Mediterranean Gull was picked out at in a high tide roost at Burntisland (7th).

The Water Pipit was with five Rock Pipits at Cocklemill Burn, a single Whimbrel was present at Ruddons Point, two Wigeon, eight Teal, 16 Mallards and 14+ Moorhens frequented Tayport Pond with ten Wigeon offshore there. The Smew count at Cameron Reservoir rose to three, two Slavonian Grebes were offshore at Out Head, and 12 Crossbills and eight Bramblings were seen at Morton Lochs NNR. 40 Twite were in a field near Pittenweem whilst a Peregrine and Sparrowhawk didn’t seem to deter the c100 Bramblings at Craigrothie. Two Shovelers were in Dalgety Bay and the two Surf Scoters loitered at St Andrews (8th) and were spied again the next day as well as 80+ Scaup and a Slavonian Grebe, with a Greenshank on the rocks. Three Brent Geese and two Slavonian Grebes were seen in Balgove Bay, the Brambling flock at Craigrothie numbered c40 and were joined by unspecified numbers of Yellowhammers and Corn Buntings. Cocklemill Burn’s Water Pipit lingered as did Elie’s Black-necked Grebe, with a Great Northern Diver and two Red-throated Divers there also (9th). Lochore Meadows CP still had the redhead Smew, six Pintails and 25 Whooper Swans, the Cocklemill Burn Water Pipit was joined by a Jack Snipe, a Whimbrel and a Water Rail (10th) and the pipit was noted again the next day when a Kingfisher was at Kilconquhar Loch and two redhead Smews were still present at Cameron Reservoir where seven Crossbills included a singing immature male. Two coveys of nine and ten Grey Partridges were welcome sightings at Cellardyke where 95 Curlews were on a fresh winter crop before two Chiffchaffs and two Crossbills were observed at Kilrenny (11th). 2000 Pink-feet and a finch flock of ‘hundreds’, including Goldfinches, Linnets, Tree Sparrows and buntings, were noted between Ardross and Balbuthie and three Waxwings were just north of Leuchars Railway station. Morton Lochs NNR hosted ten Crossbills, a Little Egret, 20 Redpolls, 20+ Siskins and three Bramblings while ten Crossbills were also seen at Kinshaldy Car Park. The two drake Surf Scoters remained at St Andrews (12th) and a Nuthatch was seen with a Treecreeper in Kirkcaldy’s Ravenscraig Park. The Morton Lochs NNR Crossbills increased to c12 and there were now two Little Egrets there. Four Waxwings were present between Guardbridge and Leuchars rail station (13th) with three seen at Leuchars Rail Signal Box North the next day when c70 Bramblings were between Craigrothie and Union Farm. Meanwhile Tentsmuir Point NNR held one Little Egret, a Greenshank, a Green Woodpecker and a Merlin, then a report from Out Head / Balgove comprised 54 Pintails, 11 Slavonian Grebes and 14 Brent Geese. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach at Burntisland and there was a further report of a Nuthatch at Ravenscraig Park (14th) and also the following day.

Lindores Loch hosted 22 (and six immature) Mute Swans, 18 Wigeon and ten Goosanders. Four Waxwings were seen again between Guardbridge and Leuchars rail station and the long-staying Water Pipit and the two drake Surf Scoters were in their usual haunts (15th). Newton Farm & Sandpit Ponds held seven Dabchicks ten Mute Swans (including six immatures), ten Canada Geese, c75 Wigeon, 41 Mallards, 18 Tufted Ducks, two Gadwall, 23 Goldeneyes, 14 Moorhens, six Coots and a Kestrel. Around c500 Woodpigeons were note at Linkswood while a single Waxwing was seen near Leuchars rail station (17th). A report from an icy Morton Lochs NNR included six Wigeon, c45 Teal, four Grey Partridges, a Kestrel, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming, a Jay, 33 Fieldfares, six Great Tits, four Long-tailed Tits, six Goldfinches, two Bullfinches and a Yellowhammer. A Kestrel and c25 Fieldfares were noted at Gauldry. Elie’s Black-necked Grebe was accompanied by three Red-throated Divers and was also seen the following day, the Surf Scoters were spied at St Andrews again and the Ravenscraig Park Nuthatch (18th) was joined by another the next day. A Short-eared Owl ranged widely over the golf course at Kingsbarns and five Twite and a Red-throated Diver were seen in Balgove Bay. Larid reports included an argentatus Herring Gull at Seafield, single adult Mediterranean Gulls at Buckhaven and Loch Gelly and a first winter bird at Ruddons Point with two of this species also noted off Kinghorn, as well as 35 Long-tailed Ducks, and nine Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks there (19th). The adult Mediterranean Gull was present again at Buckhaven, Elie’s Black-necked Grebe remained and the two ‘Surfies’ at St Andrews had six Velvet Scoters and around ten Scaup for company. At higher altitude, a Snow Bunting was on the east side of East Lomond and also a Merlin. Seven Crossbills frequented Morton Lochs NNR while only one Nuthatch was reported at Ravenscraig Park (20th) and also the following day. Cocklemill Burn’s Water Pipit was still in place, with a Stonechat and a Green Sandpiper also in the area (21st).

Seven Crossbills were in conifers in Glenrothes, a Dipper was at Burnside, Cupar and the Black-necked Grebe was still present at Elie (22nd). Kirkcaldy’s parks yielded not only the Nuthatch at Ravenscraig again but also a Ring-necked Parakeet in Beveridge Park, bringing back memories of the bird which patrolled the town a few years ago. A Kestrel, c15 Fieldfares and three Red-legged Partridges were noted at Gauldry and Crossbill numbers at Cameron Reservoir were estimated to be ten, with c90 Rooks seen at Hillcairnie (23rd). A Kestrel was at Peacehill Farm and larger raptors, in the form of a White-tailed Eagle and an immature Marsh Harrier, were seen at Newburgh as well as two Ravens. An hour of observation at Fife Ness produced a Great Northern Diver, eight Red-throated Divers, a Fulmar, a Kittiwake, three Long-tailed Ducks and a Razorbill with a small flock of Golden Plovers noted in a field east of Crail.The ‘long-stayers’ were still around: the Smew at Lochore Meadows CP, the Black-necked Grebe at Elie, the two Surf Scoters off St Andrews (with a Greenshank on the rocks) and the Nuthatches (back up to two) at Ravenscraig Park (24th). 60+ Scaup joined the scoters at St Andrew’s, a redhead Smew and a Green Sandpiper were at Kilconquhar Loch then Edenside had 108 Shelducks, two Buzzards, c200 Lapwings, c300 Dunlins and 18 Black-tailed Godwits (25th). A notable record came from Seafield where a Sooty Shearwater was seen from Seafield Tower and was then seen from Kinghorn with a feeding gull flock. It was picked out again later in the day, still off Kinghorn and resting on the sea while six Purple Sandpipers, two Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater and 200+ Kittiwakes were also recorded there. A Chiffchaff was in an Anstruther garden, the Smew loitered at Kilconquhar Loch, as did the Black-necked Grebe at Elie (26th) and one of the Nuthatches at Ravenscraig Park. A report from Mountcastle GP included three pairs of Mute Swans, 22 Wigeon, 25 Mallards, c80 Tufted Ducks and 17 Goldeneyes then c100 Twite were spotted heading east towards the sea at Boarhills. Seawatching at Kinghorn produced 5,000+ Guillemots/Razorbills, one Manx Shearwater, a Little Gull, ten Long-tailed Ducks and six Purple Sandpipers (27th). A probable Estonian colour-ringed Common Gull was on the beach at Burntisland as was an adult Mediterranean Gull with a Belgian or Dutch ring (white), different to the one noted on 7th (28th), then an un-ringed adult was there the next day.

At Boarhills c100 Twite were still present (29th). The Short-eared Owl was still floating over the golf course at Kingsbarns, five Waxwings were seen at Dalgety Bay and Edenside hosted a Little Egret, ten Brent Geese, 100+ Shelducks, four Dabchicks, c30 Mallards, 22 Teal, four Long-tailed Ducks, 88 Lapwings, 20 Grey Plovers, 28 Black-tailed Godwits and c20 Tree Sparrows (30th). Tentsmuir Point NNR produced a Greenshank, one Green Woodpecker calling, a single Raven calling  and three Snow Buntings with four Crossbills at Kinshaldy car park. Further south at Kinghorn 6000-7000 gulls were seen spread out from Burntisland towards Kirkcaldy in a huge line of which at least 2000 were Black-headed Gulls. A Red-necked Grebe was off Seafield and Kirkcaldy’s Ring-necked Parakeet flew over, not Beveridge Park, but a different part of the Lang Toun (31st).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

December 2018 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 2018 Sightings

The Red-breasted Flycatcher from last month was still present at Fife Ness Muir whilst offshore there were two Great Northern Divers and two Red-throated Divers. Elie Ness hosted a Short-eared Owl and a Twite was at Kilrenny Mill. A large flock of Whooper Swans was in a field just west of Loch Gelly and there was a report of a Hawfinch, two Crossbills, three Skylarks and a Meadow Pipit flying over a St Andrews garden whilst the recent Ring-necked Parakeet was still present in the town. Morton Lochs NNR held 60 Mallards, c180 Teal, 12 Moorhens, a Buzzard, at least three Jays, ten Blackbirds and 12 Fieldfares (1st). A Barn Owl  was seen again near Moss Plantation and six Crossbills were noted at the car park in Devilla Forest. A report from Newton Sand & Gravel Pit included two Mute Swans (and seven young), six Greylags, ten Teal, 18 Wigeon, 58 Mallards and three Gadwall (2nd). Three Waxwings were in a large Starling flock in the Chapel area of Kirkcaldy, a Goshawk was seen hunting Crail Airfield, in the Sauchope area, and 66 Whooper Swans, including 23 juveniles were noted at Wilderness. A count at Valleyfield Lagoons comprised 120 Teal, 23 Snipe, one Shoveler, five Dabchicks, four Great Crested Grebes, three Red-breasted Mergansers, three Black-tailed Godwits and two Greenshanks. There was a late evening report of a Barn Owl near Limekilns (3rd). Two drake Surf Scoters were still off the Golf Museum car park at St Andrews. A Woodcock was on the rocks at Fife Ness, with another seen in the Patch and another at Kilminning. A Red-throated Diver (still with red throat) was present at Kilconquhar Loch where also noted was a Kingfisher (4th). A Nuthatch was at Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, two Tawny Owls, a Merlin, a Raven and a Greenshank were observed at Tentsmuir Point NNR and a redhead Smew was present at Lochore Meadows CP (5th) and was still there the following day. At Cowdenbeath, there were 35 Whooper Swans in a stubble field beside the road to Kelty. Cameron Reservoir hosted two Herons, 46 (and six young) Mute Swans, 120 Greylags, 77 Mallards, 14 Teal, 36 Wigeon, two Pintails, c130 Tufted Ducks, 11 Goldeneye, c60 Coots, 56 Rooks, a Treecreeper, three Tree Sparrows, 36 Redwings, ten Chaffinches, six Goldfinches, nine Yellowhammers and 12 Reed Buntings. Afternoon seawatching at Kinghorn  produced a juvenile Pomarine Skua, one adult Arctic Skua, a first winter Mediterranean Gull, eight Long-tailed Ducks, four Common Scoters, four Red-throated Divers, 120 Pink-footed Geese, 12 Gannets and c80 Kittiwakes (6th). The regular early morning report from Ferry Hills included two Great Northern Divers and 28 Bramblings then three Bonxies and three juvenile Gannets flying inland the next day. At Fife Ness several species were seen passing north including singles of  Bonxie and Pomarine Skua, three Arctic Skuas, five Manx and two Sooty Shearwaters while offshore were six Little Gulls with a Kittiwake feeding flock. Two Manx Shearwaters, six Arctic Skuas and a Pomarine Skua were all seen passing east at Anstruther (7th).

At Kilminning a Jack Snipe, one Snipe, a Brambling and a flock of 25 Twite over were seen as well as three Woodcocks with this species also noted at Denburn Wood. Two Surf Scoters, a Great Northern Diver, three Red-throated Divers and 30 Scaup were spied in St Andrews Bay. A Snow Bunting passed over south at Kincraig Point then three families of five Whooper Swans were seen at Wilderness where 500+ Pink-footed Geese were also seen heading north and at least ten Twite were in fields at Kingsbarns (8th). A busy day started at Ferry Hills where a Woodlark was seen briefly as well as a Jack Snipe, 11 Whooper Swans and 29 Bramblings whilst a Black-throated Diver, three Red-throated Divers and three Little Gulls were noted at Fife Ness. A Water Pipit was on the beach near Pittenweem and 14 Twite were just north of the beach car park at Kingsbarns. A Chiffchaff was calling in St Andrews whilst in the bay there, two drake Surf Scoters, 45 Scaup, 61 Velvet Scoters, 16 Long-tailed Ducks and c1000 Common Scoters were noted. Further down the coast at Seafield c60 Common Scoters, 16 Long-tailed Ducks, three Red-throated Divers, 13 Purple Sandpipers and a Kingfisher were all recorded. Newton Sand & Gravel Pit hosted nine Dabchicks, nine Mute Swans (two adults and seven young), 12 Teal, just six Tufted Ducks, 12 Goldeneye, a Kestrel and two Tree Sparrows. c350 Pink-footed Geese were in a recently sown field at Pickletillum (10th) and c400 were seen there the next day when the early morning report from Ferry Hills included one ‘eared-owl’ species over the Forth, one Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, 99 Red-throated Divers, 259 Kittiwakes and 21 Black-tailed Godwits. Morton Lochs NNR held 68 Mallards, c200 Teal, nine Wigeon, two Goldeneye, 14 Moorhens whilst also seen were three Redwings, 45 Fieldfares, 11 Blackbirds, seven Long-tailed Tits, 12 Chaffinches and five Goldfinches (11th). A Ringtail Hen Harrier, ten Twite and five Purple Sandpipers were seen at Kingsbarns and a Slavonian Grebe was in Dalgety Bay(12th). 15 Whooper Swans passed south over Kirkcaldy and there were 78 of this species (including 14 immatures) at Wilderness where there were also eight Shovelers and c100 Lapwings with c150 Pink-footed Geese over. Two drake Surf Scoters were still with a Common Scoter flock at St Andrews, where also seen were c40 Scaup and two Red-throated Divers (13th).

A Lapland Bunting and c30 Twite were in fields just north of Kingsbarns Golf course and ten Twite were at Boghall Farm, on the coastal path north of Kingsbarns with 120 Twite then reported on the foreshore next to the golf course at Kingsbarns. Two drake Surf Scoters and 40 Scaup were still in St Andrews Bay and a Common Tern was present at Braefoot Point. A Twite and 56 Bramblings were counted at Ferry Hills and a report from Edenside comprised one Little Egret, 30 Shelducks, just one Goldeneye, 40 Lapwings, 35 Black-tailed Godwits, a White-tailed Eagle, one Kingfisher, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and six Tree Sparrows (15th). Five Little Gulls, 165 Kittiwakes and 53 Red-throated Divers flew inland at Ferry Hills whilst at Loch Gelly 105 Pochard were accompanied by a Ferruginous type hybrid and also seen were two Water Rails, 15 Goosanders and eight Whooper Swans. At Out Head there were three Great Crested Grebes, a Red-throated Diver, one Slavonian Grebe, seven Red-breasted Mergansers, nine Long-tailed Ducks, 60 Starlings, three Stonechats and a Reed Bunting. At  Fife Ness one Great Northern Diver and 24 Red-throated Divers were counted (16th.) Two Greenland White-fronted Geese flew south over St. Andrews (17th). At Fife Ness an Arctic Skua, a Lesser Redpoll and two Woodcock were noted (18th). The hybrid Hooded x Carrion Crow was at Braefoot Point (19th). 21 Waxwings were seen in the Pitreavie area of Dunfermline and a Sandwich Tern was at Braefoot Point (20th), lingering there the following day when there also three Red-throated Divers, 12 Common Scoters, 40 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe (21st).

Seawatching at Fife Ness produced three Great Northern Divers, a Black-throated and eight Red-throated Divers, one Little Auk and eight Long-tailed Ducks. Two Grey Partridges were seen at Gauldry (22nd). 11 Fulmars were still on the cliffs at St Andrews, a redhead Smew and four Goosanders were with a large group of 70 Goldeneye along with 94 Pochard and 19 Lapwings at Loch Gelly (23rd). 14 Whooper Swans and 200 Golden Plovers were at Balbuthie Farm, the redhead Smew was still present at Lochore Meadows CP and Short-eared Owl was seen hunting over Rossie Bog (24th). A Woodcock and several Fieldfares were at Cameron Reservoir where there was a single redhead Smew (25th) increasing to two the following day. Ten Waxwings were seen at Dalgety Bay and at least 40 of this species were at the car wash on Victoria Road, Kirkcaldy. 44 Pintails, 13 Scaup, seven Brent Geese and seven Slavonian Grebes were noted at Balgove/Out Head, the Sandwich Tern loitered at Braefoot Point and three Little Egrets were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre. c70 Twite were in fields just north of Kingsbarns golf course and c30 of this species were seen along the coast path near Boarhills (26th). 33 Whooper Swans and 30+ Wigeon were at Craigluscar NR  and there were Tree Sparrows in unusually high numbers with 70+ at the north end of West Baldridge Farm, Dunfermline  and a further 40+ , then 20+ on the road edges approaching Dam Wood. The redhead Smew was still present at Cameron Reservoir, a Common Chiffchaff was in the Spinney at Dalgety Bay and one was also seen at Spinkie Den, St Andrews. 30+ Crossbills were noted at Blairadam Forest and 40 Waxwings were still by the car wash on Victoria Road, Kirkcaldy (27th) with 20 still in the area  the next day. Two Slavonian Grebes were seen with a group of eight Red-breasted Mergansers off Braefoot Point (28th).

Waxwing reports continued from Kirkcaldy with 71 seen on the corner of Oswald Road and Falkland View and at least 30 at the car wash (29th) increasing to c150 there on the last day of the month (30th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott

September 2018 Sightings

The month opened with a Common Redstart visiting the recycling centre in Pittenweem then a juvenile Whinchat was at Wester Kilwhiss before five hours of seawatching at Fife Ness produced nine Bonxies, six Arctic Skuas, nine Red-throated Divers,12 Common Scoters, one Whimbrel and a Teal. Sightings at  Boarhills included 400+ Canada Geese, two Whimbrels and a  Willow Warbler. Seen from the Eden Estuary Centre were four Greenshanks, two Kingfishers, two Ospreys, a Peregrine, one Spotted Redshank, four Little Egrets and two Pintails. Kilconquhar Loch hosted three Common Swifts, nine Willow Warblers, four Chiffchaffs and a Sedge Warbler. In the evening three juvenile Black Terns were among Common and Sandwich Terns at high tide at Pettycur (1st). The following day produced two juvenile Black Terns off Kinghorn in the early morning before three were seen at Pettycur Beach again where a single juvenile Mediterranean Gull was also present. Also off Kinghorn were six Arctic Skuas, one Bonxie and two Red-throated Divers. Along at Ferry Hills a morning vis mig watch produced four Arctic Skuas, a Yellow Wagtail and 80 Tree Pipits over. Meanwhile up at the Eden Estuary Centre one Spotted Redshank, four+ Greenshanks, two Ruff, four Ospreys, a Pintail, three Little Egrets, and a Kingfisher were all noted whilst eight Brent Geese, 160+ Black-tailed Godwits, four Ruff and two Ospreys were seen nearby from the Balgove Hide (2nd). At Wilderness six Black-tailed Godwits, one Wood Sandpiper, a Dunlin, a single Ruff and a Snipe were all noted. A juvenile Common Rosefinch was at the bottom end of Kilminning in a rosehip area before it then flew calling towards the top end (4th).Two Curlew Sandpipers, four Little Egrets, four Greenshanks, c200 Canada Geese, 14 Greylag Geese, one Kingfisher, and a Ruff were observed from the Eden Estuary Centre whilst two Bonxies and an Arctic Skua were noted off Kinghorn (6th). Still on the same stretch of coast a juvenile Black Tern, three Bonxies and four Arctic Skuas were seen at Pettycur the next day and eight Arctic Skuas, seven Bonxies and ten Turnstones passed Kinghorn in the afternoon. Up at Anstruther there were three first year Mediterranean Gulls and a report from the Eden Estuary Centre included three Curlew Sandpipers, five Greenshanks, a Little Egret, c240 Canada Geese and a pair of Pintails (7th).

 

A busy few days commenced when further seawatching at Kinghorn brought seven Bonxies, seven Arctic Skuas, three Red-throated Divers, two Slavonian Grebes and two juvenile Black Terns. As the month progressed there were far fewer terns around at Tentsmuir Point NNR but two Arctic Skuas were present. Two Scaup were on Beveridge Park pond in the morning whilst along at Ferry Hills one Great Northern Diver, two Arctic Skuas, a Bonxie, one Spotted Flycatcher, 13 Tree Pipits and 780 Meadow Pipits were all counted. Meanwhile at Dalgety Bay

one Pomarine Skua and two Arctic Skuas were off the sailing club and a strong Meadow Pipit passage was also evident here.  A Buff-breasted Sandpiper was found halfway between Kenly Burn mouth and Kingsbarns on the coastal path and was last seen in a field near Kingsbarns golf course. A Tystie was offshore at Ruddons Point and one Bonxie, three Arctic Skuas, 24 Brent Geese and one Osprey were spied from Out Head. A Marsh Harrier flew south over St Andrews and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese passed at Fife Ness. At East Wemyss numbers of Mediterranean Gulls were picking up again after a low of “just” 25 a few days previously. This time seven adults, one 2nd winter and 52 juveniles were counted (8th) and a juvenile/1st winter was noted at Pathhead the next day. Along at Kinghorn a Black-throated Diver, seven Red-throated Divers, a Ruff and two Arctic Skuas were noted. At Eden Estuary LNR three Curlew Sandpipers, an Osprey and five Little Egrets were counted. Up at Kingsbarns, on the Fife Coastal path towards the Kenly Water, two Yellow Wagtails, two White Wagtails, a Whinchat, four Stonechats, one Wheatear and a juvenile Arctic Tern were recorded. Freshwater counts included 16 Dabchicks, nine Mute Swans, 28 Mallards and nine Tufted Ducks at Newton Sand & Gravel Pit, six Dabchicks at Drumoig, three Grey Herons, five Dabchicks, 93 Mallards, 40 Teal, eight Moorhens, six Coots and a Jay at Morton Lochs NNR, and seven Dabchicks and two Jays at Linkswood Pond. 21 Brent Geese and a Bonxie went past Crail in 30 minutes whilst at Fife Ness there were two Arctic Skuas north, a total of 32 Brent Geese passed south, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull went north, a Great Northern Diver and five Red-throated Divers passed high west and 30 Golden Plovers were on the rocks (9th) then further observations there the next day produced one Manx Shearwater, an Arctic Skua, three Bonxies, c40 Red-throated Divers, 20+ Common Scoters, 11 Brent Geese, 40+ Knot, two Purple Sandpipers and two Common Terns. At Tentsmuir a Little Stint was at the Lagoon then at the Point one Arctic Skua, two Red-throated Divers, a Raven and six Stonechats were noted (10th). Nine Black Terns were on the beach at low tide at Pettycur and another two of this species were noted at Anstruther. At East Wemyss the Mediterranean Gull tally was eight adults, one 2nd winter and 59 juveniles and there were four juveniles at Anstruther. Six Little Egrets were present at Eden Estuary LNR (11th) and the following day a Little Stint was seen from the Edenside Hide (12th). A report from Out Head included one Bonxie, three Arctic Skuas, one White-tailed Eagle, an Osprey, three Red-throated Divers, 131 Pink-feet over, four Stonechats and two Wheatears. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull and five Goosanders were noted at Anstruther. Three Curlew Sandpipers, four Ospreys, 120 Pink-feet and six Greenshanks were all seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and nearby at Balgove Bay there were two Ruff, ten Brent Geese, 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, one Common Tern and two Ospreys (13th). Further sightings from the Eden Estuary Centre the following day included one Little Egret, two Ospreys, a Buzzard, c250 Lapwings, c300 Redshanks, a Greenshank, two Swallows  and two Tree Sparrows. A juvenile Spotted Redshank was present at Letham Pools then Wilderness hosted a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, two Ruff, a Dunlin, two Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, a Golden Plover and 20 Pink-feet (14th).

 

The Pectoral Sandpiper, a Ruff and a Greenshank were still at Wilderness the next day as well as five Crossbills while six House Martins were still active over Gauldry. A Spotted Flycatcher, a Jay, a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler were present at Kilminning where many incoming Pink-feet were noted and skeins of 20 and 120 of this species were also seen over Auchtermuchty where three Kestrels, three Jays and a Chiffchaff were at the Common. A Short-eared Owl passed over Ferry Hills and an adult male and female Wheatear and a flock of c450 Starlings were noted at Plains Farm, Dunshalt. Two Curlew Sandpipers, seven Ruff, three Little Egrets and an Osprey were seen from the Edenside hide (15th). A Water Rail was noted at Letham Pools whilst Wilderness hosted a Spotted Redshank, two Ruff, a single Black-tailed Godwit, a single Pink-footed Goose and also a Pectoral Sandpiper (16th ) which was still present the following afternoon. A female/immature Merlin was at Kilminning whilst c80 Golden Plovers were nearby at Barnsmuir. A Black Redstart was present at Caiplie Caves, six House Martins were still around at Gauldry and Wormit Farm Pond held two Mute Swans, two Moorhens, four Robins, eight Blackbirds and 12 Swallows (17th). Unusually a Spotted Redshank passed west at Pittenweem, the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was still present at Wilderness along with a Spotted Redshank and two Ruff whilst a juvenile Pomarine Skua, three Arctic Skuas, eight Bonxies, and eight Common Scoters all passed west at Pettycur. The evening Mediterranean Gull count at East Wemyss was 31 including two adults and 29 moulting juvenile/first winters (18th). A Spotted Redshank and a female Marsh Harrier were noted at Letham Pools (19th). The Black Redstart was still at Caiplie Caves and six Little Egrets, two Curlew Sandpipers, 235 Knot, 14 Greenshanks and four Ruff were all counted at Eden Estuary LNR (20th). A Merlin was at Dunino and the evening roost at East Wemyss included an adult, a second winter and 18 moulting juvenile Mediterranean Gulls as well as 203 Black-headed Gulls, one adult Common Gull and three Sandwich Terns (21st).

 

A Ruff was present at Carnbee Reservoir and a string of c95 Whooper Swans were seen heading up the Forth offshore from Crail and many Pink-feet were on a similar track over Anstruther. A Lapland Bunting passed south over the west side of town St Andrews where a Ring-necked Parakeet of unknown provenance was flying around the Bogward Road area. Wilderness hosted two Whooper Swans and two Ruff whilst the morning report from Ferry Hills was 20 Red-throated Divers, a single Black-throated Diver, one Great Northern Diver, a Bonxie, one Merlin, 1,058 Pink-feet and 699 Meadow Pipits over. Four adult and three first winter Mediterranean Gulls (including 3ERA) were present at East Wemyss during the day before the evening roost tally came to nine adults and 32 first winters (22nd). A Lesser Whitethroat was in a Cellardyke garden and the Black Redstart was still present at Caiplie Caves (25th).17 Barnacle Geese passed over Crail heading south west and 15 Barnacles were low over Cellardyke heading south-west and 42 of this species were seen at Fife Ness as well as ten Wigeon, four Red-throated Divers, 23 Common Scoters, one Arctic Skua, three Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, three Snipe, a Sparrowhawk on the rocks and a Kestrel over the sea. An adult Mediterranean Gull was in a ploughed field north of Kingsbarns, a Little Egret flew south over the bridge at Guardbridge then in the evening Wilderness held two Ruff, four Black-tailed Godwits and 12 Whooper Swans (26th). The Black Redstart was still present at Caiplie Caves and a Little Egret flew east along the shore at Caiplie whilst several Pink-feet skeins were over south-west. A juvenile Pomarine Skua, two adult Little Gulls and a Bonxie were noted at Crail. Eight Greenshanks and six Little Egrets were observed from the Edenside hide and in the wider Eden Estuary LNR area there were 49 Barnacle Geese, 350 Pink-feet, two Pintails, 13 Greenshanks, one Peregrine and two Kingfishers. An adult Pomarine Skua, 16 Arctic Skuas and 28 Red-throated Divers were spied off Fife Ness and Wilderness hosted 12 Whooper Swans, two Goldeneyes, two Ruff, four Black-tailed Godwits and two Crossbills. The East Wemyss evening roost count was five adults, one second winter and 30 first winter Mediterranean Gulls (27th). Further seawatching at Fife Ness resulted in a count of one juvenile Long-tailed Skua, one Bonxie, four Great Northern Divers, 39 Red-throated Divers, 488 Barnacle Geese, 33 Pink-feet, three Golden Plovers, 21 Sandwich Terns, 11 Common Scoters and a Kestrel which came in off sea (28th).

 

At Ferry Hills seven adult Pomarine Skuas were seen circling over the Forth and probably landed on the water and a Merlin was also seen. The Whooper Swan count at Wilderness rose to 20 and two Red-legged Partridges were at Ballindean Farm, Gauldry. A Fife Ness report included two Arctic Skuas, two Manx and two Sooty Shearwaters, five Red-throated Divers, 12 Common Scoters, three Velvet Scoters, 80 Pink-feet and three Purple Sandpipers whilst two Wheatears were on the Coastal Path at Cellardyke (29th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott