December 2017 Sightings

Cocklemill Marsh hosted c20 Twite on the first day of the month with a Surf Scoter and a Black-throated Diver seen off Ruddons Point (1st). Seafield held 35 Purple Sandpipers, seven Long-tailed Ducks and a Kingfisher whilst along at Abden Shore an adult Mediterranean Gull roosted on the rocks and further along the coast there was a Slavonian Grebe at Dalgety Bay (2nd). The Mediterranean Gulls increased to two at Abden the next day with 36 Long-tailed Ducks offshore there whilst the drake Surf Scoter was seen again at Ruddons Point (3rd). There was also a drake Surf Scoter in a huge scoter flock along with 26 Slavonian Grebes at Kinshaldy, a Barn Owl was seen on the Kilmany to Wormit road and a redhead Smew and a Dipper frequented Lochore Meadows CP (4th). Angle Park GP held four Shovelers, 23 Goldeneyes, 30+ Coots and 18 Lapwings. Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR hosted two Grey Herons, 50+ Greylags, 28 Mallards, 13 Goosanders and eight Moorhens whilst Mountcastle GP had eight Mute Swans and ten Tufted Ducks (7th).


A Greenshank and 17 Ringed Plovers were at Dalgety Bay boat club. 84 Greylags, 24 Teal, 32 Wigeon, 15 Tufted Ducks, eight Goldeneyes and five Moorhens were included in a report from Newton Sand & Gravel Pits whilst Morton Lochs NNR hosted two Teal, three Wigeon, 33 Mallards and seven Coots (8th). There were 16 Snipe at a mostly frozen Valleyfield Lagoons, two Little Egrets and two White-tailed Eagles were noted at the Eden Estuary whilst Ferry Hills had a Snow Bunting and six Bramblings over (9th). An adult Mediterranean Gull flew past Kinghorn where there were eight Purple Sandpipers on the shore (10th) and a Black Guillemot was seen drifting west off Inverkeithing harbour entrance (11th). Adult Mediterranean Gulls were reported the next day with singles at Buckhaven, Kilconquhar Loch (also two Scaup and a Shoveler here) and Ruddons Point where the drake Surf Scoter and two Little Auks were seen west of the point. Balbuthie hosted c650 Pink-feet and three Corn Buntings which were joined by Tree Sparrows, Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers (12th). Up to five Snow Buntings were at the lagoon area of Tentsmuir and three of this species were accompanied by two Stonechats at Out Head. A Short-eared Owl (not many of this species reported at the moment) was north of Halbeath interchange and a Barn Owl was at Den of Lindores (13th). A Nuthatch was seen again at Dunfermline Glen where there was also a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Treecreeper, at least four Long-tailed Tits, six Redwings and a Buzzard whilst a Hen Harrier at Pittenweem was a good find (15th). A Tystie (Black Guillemot) was showing well in Inverkeithing outer harbour, three Mediterranean Gulls and a Purple Sandpiper were seen from the car park at Seafield and the Surf Scoter at Largo Bay was joined by two Black-throated Divers, five Red-throated Divers, two Slavonian Grebes and eleven Long-tailed Ducks (16th). The Snow Buntings at the lagoon at Tentsmuir increased to seven and there was a White-tailed Eagle and a Brambling over whilst also at Tentsmuir were 360 Dunlins, 51 Grey Plovers and a Peregrine. Nine Twite and 24 Purple Sandpipers were at Balcomie, 28 Corn Buntings frequented Coal Farm and three Little Egrets were seen at Tayport. Two Waxwings turned up at Crossford and a single adult Mediterranean Gull at Seafield (17th) was joined by another the following day when there was also one at Thornton/Balbeggie Pond and the Waxwings lingered at Crossford (18th). Seven Lapland Buntings turned up at Wormiston where there were also at least four Twite while a report from Edenside included six Cormorants, 60 Shelducks, 50+ Mallards, three drake Goldeneyes, 22 Lapwings, 33 Golden Plovers, 41 Black-tailed Godwits, a male Kestrel, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, eight Tree Sparrows and c25 Goldfinches (19th). Dunfermline Glen now yielded two Nuthatches as well as a Treecreeper, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and two Buzzards whilst the redhead Smew lingered at Lochore Meadows CP and eight Purple Sandpipers were seen from the golf museum car park at St Andrews then an adult Mediterranean Gull turned up in stubble fields west of Loch Gelly. Freshwater counts took place at Angle Park GP, where there were two Mute Swans, 48 Mallards, eight Teal, nine Goldeneyes, three Moorhens and six Coots, and also at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR where there were five Mute Swans, 250 Greylags, 50 Wigeon, 70 Mallard, 12 Goldeneyes, 14 Goosanders, 17 Moorhens, 25 Coots and 21 Black-headed Gulls (20th). Lower Largo produced 12 Long-tailed Ducks, one Red-throated Diver, two Slavonian Grebes as well as the Surf Scoter. A Mediterranean Gull was at Seafield and a Fulmar returned to St Andrews Harbour where there were also ten Purple Sandpipers. Reports from Out Head included seven Snow Buntings, one Little Egret, 28 Ringed Plovers, c1700 Common Scoters, 16 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, five Stonechats and probably ten Scaup (21st).



The seven Snow Buntings and 12 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were still present at Out Head the following day (22nd). Lindores Loch held 88 Mute Swans, including 14 immature birds (23rd). There were now eight Lapland Buntings at Wormiston with 28 Twite nearby on the shore at Balcomie whilst a Merlin was also in the area. At Kinghorn, a Little Gull was observed as well as three Long-tailed Ducks (24th). At Wormiston, at least three Lapland Buntings, 19 Twite and a Merlin were still present, Kilconquhar Loch hosted three Scaup and Moss Plantation had two Woodcocks while Valleyfield Lagoons yielded 16 Snipe, 65 Linnets, three Greenshanks and a Water Rail (26th).The redhead Smew remained at Lochore Meadows CP (27th).There were at least two adult Mediterranean Gulls in a large gull flock just outside Kinghorn and at least six Lapland Buntings were still at Wormiston with at least 50 Twite nearby at Balcomie (28th).


At Seafield an adult Mediterranean Gull flew west and a Great Northern Diver was offshore then 28 Purple Sandpipers were noted at Anstruther (30th). On Hogmanay there were still at least 30 Twite on the beach at Balcomie with at least seven Lapland Buntings in the stubble fields at Wormiston (31st).


Information courtesy of Malcolm Ware