February 2021Sightings

February started with two Ravens, two Kestrels and five Buzzards seen around the Lindores/Redmyre area (1st), a 1st winter Glaucous Gull, one Great Northern Diver and two Little Grebes were in Burntisland Harbour, with three Bonxies also seen flying together mid channel of the Forth. The drake Ring-necked Duck popped back up at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy (2nd), while not far away at Kinghorn Loch a sinensis Cormorant was a good find and the 1st winter Glaucous Gull was still at Burntisland Harbour. At Barns Farm 100 Redwings and 50 Curlews were seen, a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull and a Black-throated Diver were noted at Fife Ness and midway of the Forth between North and South Queensferry an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen. Counted passing Kinghorn (3rd) were four Bonxies, eight Red-throated Divers, two Gannets, 32 Fulmars, 550 Kittiwakes, 1200 Guillemots/Razorbills and 28 Long-tailed Ducks and the 1st winter Glaucous Gull was once again at Burntisland Harbour. A probable Grey Phalarope was only seen once, in extremely high waves off St Andrews Pier and in very difficult viewing conditions, a Great Northern Diver, eight Red-throated Divers, Auks and Kittiwakes were noted close in to shore in higher than usual numbers for this time of year. One adult and one 2nd calendar year Little Gull were in Dalgety Bay (4th) and alongside the Ring-necked Duck at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy was a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Counted from Fife Ness were 323 Shags S, 16 Cormorants S, two Guillemots S, two Fulmars N and one S, one Eider, one Red-breasted Merganser, nine Oystercatchers, eight Curlews, one Kittiwake N and 18 Great Black-backed Gulls S and noted in Dalgety Bay (5th) were six Great Crested Grebes, one Red-throated Diver and a Razorbill. At Dalgety Bay (7th) were one Red-necked Grebe, three Slavonian Grebes, c8 Great Crested Grebes and a Great Northern Diver, while close by at Braefoot Point two Red-throated Divers were seen flying E and dozens of Auks were also seen heading E. Noted at Cameron Reservoir were a female Ring-necked Duck, a drake Smew, one Little Egret, one Raven, two Scaup, seven Pintails, 245 Wigeon, 55 Teal, 130 Tufted Ducks, 75 Goldeneye and 11 Goosanders. Seven Snow Buntings were watched in the dunes E of Reres Wood and across at Kingsbarns a 2nd calendar year Little Gull was present. A Kingfisher was at Aberdour and the day count at Anstruther was 570 Razorbills, c12 Red-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers, one Black-throated Diver, 14 Common Scoters, one Velvet Scoter, 34 Kittiwakes and 17 Fulmars and an adult Little Gull, three Twite, a Peregrine and a dead adult Puffin were seen at Out Head. At Burntisland Harbour (8th) both the 1st winter Glaucous Gull and a Kittiwake were readily coming to bread, other more well behaved birds there were a Great Northern Diver, two Goosanders, 20 Eider Ducks, two Cormorants and a Little Grebe and between Dalgety Bay and Braefoot one Great Northern Diver, one Red-throated Diver, two Slavonian Grebes, one Greenshank and 36 Shelducks were counted. One Peregrine, one Brambling and three Grey Partridges were noted at Newburgh, with two Peregrines watched chasing Starlings there (9th), a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming in Moss Plantation, 11 Skylarks passed over Ladybank heading S and the Ring-necked Duck, an immature male Goshawk, one Dipper, one Goosander, c30 Bullfinches and c200 Skylarks were seen at Kinghorn Loch. At Windmill Road, Cellardyke there were eight Bullfinches, eight Crossbills, four Goldfinches, c50 Fieldfares, one Redwing, 11 Grey Partridges, four Skylarks, 38 Curlews, two Siskins and seven Grey Herons were noted at the pond, across at Dalgety Bay, two Snipe, eight Turnstones, one Slavonian Grebe, three Great Crested Grebes, six Goldeneye and three Rock Pipits were seen and a cold weather movement was noted at Dysart (10th) where a heavy passage of Fieldfares, Redwings and lesser numbers of Skylarks, Woodpigeons and Pink-feet passed through. In a Strathkinness garden two Tree Sparrows, six Chaffinches, two Greenfinches, one Brambling, two Robins, three Pheasants, one Dunnock and five Blackbirds were counted and alongside the Ring-necked Duck at Kinghorn Loch was a single Pochard with a Snipe also noted. Seven Snipe, two Little Grebes, 70 Pink-feet, a Sparrowhawk and a female Goshawk were watched at Dalgety Bay, a Guillemot and c40 Tufted Ducks were noted at Newburgh, with both species being unusual this far up the Tay. Also two Woodcocks and c10 Bullfinches were seen. A Cormorant on the roof of an Aberdour house gave some local children a thrill, mistaking it for a penguin! Two Woodcocks were flushed at St Andrews University (11th) and back at Burntisland Harbour alongside the resident 1st winter Glaucous Gull and Great Northern Diver were one Red-throated Diver, two Slavonian Grebes, one littoralis Rock Pipit and a Kittiwake and along at a near frozen Kinghorn Loch (12th), the Ring-necked Duck, one Mediterranean Gull and 217 Tufted Ducks were present. Counted at Dalgety Bay were one Slavonian Grebe, eight Great Crested Grebes, five Little Grebes, six Goldeneyes, one Red-throated Diver, three Goldcrests and a Buzzard, along with 10 Redwings on the beach and nearby at Barns Farm 50 Curlews and c300 Greylags were counted. One Snow Bunting and a Skylark were at West Sands, St Andrews and two Long-tailed Ducks joined the growing resident list of 1st winter Glaucous Gull, Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver and Kittiwake at Burntisland Harbour, a Jack Snipe and a Woodcock were noted at Fife Ness, c200 Fieldfares, c1250 Skylarks and three Snow Buntings were seen at Kingsbarns, c150 Chaffinches, one male Brambling, c470 Skylarks, c130 Corn Buntings, c100 Reed Buntings and c150 Yellowhammers were at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills and at Pitmilly c900 Fieldfares, c325 Redwings and three Woodcocks were seen. Three Russian White-fronted Geese, c1200 Skylarks and c400 Linnets were noted at Pittenweem (13th), an adult Little Gull and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull were at Leven and between Kilconquhar and St Monans a Tundra Bean Goose was a good find amongst a large flock of 2000 Pink-feet present, an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen feeding just offshore with dozens of Common Gulls at Pathhead and back at the east coast, a Lapland Bunting, four Snow Buntings, four Bramblings and a Merlin were near Kingsbarns, with a further eight Lapland Buntings, one Brambling and one Merlin seen at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills. Two Woodcocks and a female Merlin were at Kilminning, a Snow Bunting was close by at Balcomie Castle and at Balcomie Beach, two Grey Plovers and a Knot were noted. There was a huge flock of 9307 Woodpigeons counted together just north of Anstruther and not far away at Pittenweem a count of c1300 Linnets was made. At Ardross a Snow Bunting, c500 Linnets and c1000 Skylarks were counted. Seven Grey Partridges were watched in a Strathkinness garden (14th), a Peregrine and a male Kestrel were at both at Elie Ness, one Little Egret and four Bar-tailed Godwits were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre, eight Bramblings, 60 Chaffinches, 240 Yellowhammers, 40 Reed Buntings, two Dippers and a Greenshank were noted at Kenly Water and over at Elie Harbour, one Red-throated Diver, 25 Eiders, one Shag, eight Cormorants, six Redshanks and two Guillemots were seen. Between Kingsbarns and Kenly Water 80 Twite, several thousand Skylarks, one Snow Bunting, four Bramblings, a male Merlin and a Lapland Bunting were noted and at Ardross Farm, near St Monans 1000 corvids, c500 Skylarks, c800 Fieldfares and Redwings, 400 of a mixed flock of Linnet, Twite and Corn Buntings, a Merlin was chasing the Skylarks and at least 100 Golden Plover were also counted. A Jack Snipe was a scarce visitor to Kilmany, a Brambling and two Woodcocks were seen in Spinkie Den Wood, St Andrews and at Dalgety Bay two Slavonian Grebes, four Great Crested Grebes, two Little Grebes, 60 Goldeneye, one Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard were seen. A Red-necked Grebe, one Little Auk, one Glaucous Gull, three Slavonian Grebes and a Purple Sandpiper were all at Burntisland Harbour (15th), a Ring-necked Parakeet was making its presence known in Kirkcaldy and at Tayport a Water Rail, one adult winter Mediterranean Gull, two Pintail, four Snipe and 20 Redwings, which included at least one of the Icelandic race. A Woodcock and two Buzzards were at Kilminning (16th), two Red-breasted Mergansers joined the resident Glaucous Gull, Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver at Burntisland Harbour and the highlights of a count at the Newmills Bay area were two Bar-tailed Godwits, three Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshanks and one Shoveler. Joining the resident trio at Burntisland Harbour were a littoralis Rock Pipit, two Kittiwakes and a Siskin and a Ring-necked Parakeet was heard “squawking loudly” in conifers by Beveridge Park pond (17th). The drake Ring-necked Duck was present again at Kinghorn Loch and was watched displaying to a Tufted Duck at one point, three Woodcocks, one adult Peregrine, 10 Teal, eight Goldeneye, four Tufted Ducks and a Goosander were noted at Thornton Pond and a very scarce bird in west Fife, a Black-necked Grebe was off Downing Point, Dalgety Bay. 30 Scaup were counted from the Step Rock car park, St Andrews, with two Red-throated Divers seen from the East Sands, St Andrews also. A juvenile Merlin was seen briefly at Ladybank Bowling Green (19th), 15 Red-legged Partridges were counted at Morton Lochs NNR, two drake Smew were at Cameron Reservoir, but there was no sign of any Ring-necked Ducks and at Largo Bay, 320 Velvet Scoters, 30 Common Scoters and two Crossbills were noted, with a scattering of tideline corpses which included 78 Guillemots, 59 Razorbills, 10 Kittiwakes (including an adult), two Shags, one Fulmar, one Little Grebe, one Red-breasted Merganser, one Eider, one Teal, one Common Gull, three Woodcocks and also one Bottlenose Dolphin and an adult Harbour Porpoise. Three (Russian) White-fronts were seen near Pittenweem (20th), a 1st winter Little Gull was off Leven and an adult Mediterranean Gull, 32 Long-tailed Ducks and a Kingfisher were seen at Pathhead (21st). In the Hillhead Farm area, Boarhills two Lapland Buntings and a Greenshank were present and at Seafield one Kingfisher, six Knot, two Mute Swans, c10 Turnstones, c20 Redshanks, one Curlew, two Wrens and two Shags were counted, a scarce, for this site, Slavonian Grebe was at Kilconquhar Loch and at Drumcarrow Flood were two Pintail and 140 Wigeon. A Chiffchaff was heard contact calling in Dunfermline (22nd), four Canada Geese, 120 Greylags, five Herons, one Goldeneye and a Tufted Duck were counted at Otterston Loch and the Glaucous Gull was still present at Burntisland Harbour (24th). Two Ravens were watched scavenging auk corpses at Braefoot Point. At Wester Kilwhiss (25th) a Taiga Bean Goose was in with Greylags, also two Grey Partridges were noted and nearby at Bowhouse Farm, Dunshalt amongst c400 Pink-feet a Barnacle Goose was noted. Four Ravens were watched doing aerobatics at Braefoot Plantation, with 75 Jackdaws and two Carrion Crows also seen, a drake Smew, two female Scaup and a Brambling were at Cameron Reservoir (27th) and over at Devilla Forest four Ravens were watched. Noted at Fife Ness were one Red-throated Diver N, one Fulmar N, 10 Cormorants, five Shags on rocks, one pair of Stonechats in front of the caravans and a pair of Kestrels over the patch and along at The Secret Bunker nine Bramblings and a Woodcock were present, two Dippers and a Greenshank were at Kenly Water and not far away at Hillhead Farm, Boarhills 12 Corn Buntings were noted. 60 Twite and a Lesser Redpoll were at Boghall, Kingsbarns, with 25 Purple Sandpipers, three Long-tailed Ducks and a Red-breasted Merganser at Kingsbarns, further along the coast, amongst a huge flock of 1000 Linnets, several Twite were seen, with a Crossbill flying over also. A Black Guillemot still in mostly winter plumage and an increase to 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were noted at Leven Beach (28th) and two Ravens were calling at Braefoot Plantation, a solitary Knot and a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose were on Balcomie Beach and a drake Long-tailed Duck was with a group of Eiders in Dysart Harbour. Two Little Egrets and a pair of Pintail were watched from the Eden Estuary Centre, with another two Little Egrets also seen at Tayport.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware