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