February 2022 Sightings

Kinshaldy proved a popular place early in the month, with c20 Snow Buntings in the dunes, five Crossbills around the car park and 19 Stock Doves in fields N of the entrance road (1st), six Lesser Redpolls were seen at Newburgh, 10 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Coble Shore on the Eden Estuary LNR (2nd) and an adult Mediterranean Gull was on Balcomie Beach. There was a count of 15 Corn Buntings at Balbuthie Farm and seen on the Kilconquhar Estate were six Jays and two Buzzards. There were four adult Mediterranean Gulls and c120 Kittiwakes at Burntisland and noted at the lagoon at Tentsmuir Point NNR were one Shelduck, one Greenshank, c12 Wigeon, c36 Teal and a pair Long-tailed Ducks. Seen from Fife Ness (3rd) were one Great Skua N, five Common Scoters N, 30 Razorbills N, two Red-throated Divers and two Siskins, with another Great Skua seen off Kinshaldy, along with four Slavonian Grebes, two Red-throated Divers, 10 Long-tailed Ducks, also seen in the area were c16 Snow Buntings and two Crossbills. A Great Skua was also seen from St Andrews. An adult Mediterranean Gull headed W at Buckhaven, the highlights of a count at Newmills were 21 Black-tailed Godwits, one Greenshank, one Grey Wagtail, a hybrid Hooded Crow, eight Pintails and 21 Ringed Plovers. Three Stonechats were seen on Forret Hill near Kilmany (4th), a Kingfisher was seen on the Kinness Burn in St Andrews and the count of Snow Buntings at Kinshaldy crept up to 26. Seen from Kinghorn (5th) were three adult Mediterranean Gulls W, two Red-throated Divers W, 13 Common Scoters, one Peregrine, c1340 Herring Gulls W, 27 Great Black[1]backed Gulls W and also two Manx Shearwaters were seen lingering offshore, amongst the c500 Pink-feet at Cameron Reservoir a Barnacle Goose was seen, 12 Whooper Swans were also present. The drake Smew was still present at Cameron Reservoir (6th), two Little Auks went past Anstruther, a Brambling was seen at Kilmany and at Falside Mill, Kingsbarns there was an excellent count of c125 Stock Doves made. Nearby at Boghall the eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese were still present and seen from Windmill Road, Cellardyke were c30 Corn Buntings in a crop field with four Crossbills seen in the pines. A 2nd calendar year Peregrine was seen over Crail and noted passing Fife Ness were one Manx Shearwater N, one Great Northern Diver N, five Gannets N, 150 Kittiwakes, nine Common Scoters, one Red-breasted Merganser N, five Red-throated Divers and 25 Purple Sandpipers. A single Lesser Black-backed Gull was noted from Kirkcaldy Prom.12 Golden Plovers were seen on Forret Hill near Kilmany (7th), while a male Goshawk was seen high up over Kilconquhar Loch, seen in Spinkie Den, St Andrews were a Chiffchaff which was in with a large tit and Goldcrest flock, also noted were a singing Siskin, one Woodcock, one Jay and a Dipper. At The Wilderness 12 Whooper Swans and c11 Shoveler were noted, one Lesser Black-backed Gull, one Water Rail and four Snipe were at Letham Pools and at Lindores Loch, c55 Goosanders and 22 Cormorants were counted. An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen at Guardbridge.

25 Snow Buntings were counted at Tentsmuir (8th), 20 Corn Buntings and at least six Yellowhammers were in a clover crop, at Cellardyke, a single adult Mediterranean Gull was in the gull roost at East Wemyss (9th) and counted from Fife Ness (10th) were two Manx Shearwaters, one Fulmar, six Gannets, 45 Shags, 20 Cormorants, 12 Purple Sandpipers, eight Turnstones and a Sparrowhawk. Three adult Mediterranean Gulls were at Dysart and seen on Balcomie Beach (11th) were 65 Sanderlings, 10 Dunlins and 35 Purple Sandpipers. The drake Smew was still present at Cameron Reservoir, an adult Mediterranean Gull was upstream of the bridges at Guardbridge, a Short-eared Owl was seen on Benarty Hill and there were still six Bramblings at Kincraig Hill (12th). A Red-breasted Merganser and a Great Crested Grebe were seen on Kilconquhar Loch, noted around the Tentsmuir Point NNR area were three Long-tailed Ducks, two Little Egrets, c25 Snow Buntings, one Green Woodpecker and a Greenshank, c1250 Pink-feet were in fields at Daubs Farm, Dunshalt and not far away at least six Ravens were seen on West Lomond. Seen at the Wilderness were one Greenshank, c10 Snipe and 14 Whooper Swans, 10 pairs of Gadwall were counted at Letham Pools and counted passing Fife Ness (13th) were one Manx Shearwater N then S, one Black-throated Diver S, four Red-throated Divers, 63 Long-tailed Ducks S, one Velvet Scoter S, two Common Scoters S, four Gannets, nine Fulmars, eight Pink-footed Geese W and 453 Kittiwakes, mostly S. Seen from Kinghorn were a Great Northern Diver, one Manx Shearwater, 17 Long-tailed Ducks, two Velvet Scoters and seven Common Scoters, a Kittiwake was noted at St Andrews and nine Snow Buntings were seen on the edge of the dunes at the Goosepools. A count from Fife Ness (14th) included 27 Gannets N, three Red[1]throated Divers, 15 Common Scoters, seven Fulmars, one Red-breasted Merganser, three Long-tailed Ducks, 244 Kittiwakes S, 300 large auks N, 30 Great Black-backed Gulls N, 150 Common Gulls and 70 Eiders S and nearby at Balcomie Beach there were 63 Sanderlings and 14 Purple Sandpipers. Seen offshore at Leven were one Red-necked Grebe, 190 Common Scoters, 30 Velvet Scoters and two Red-throated Divers and on the sea wall at Leven were 49 Redshanks, one Purple Sandpiper and two Sanderlings.

A single Great Northern Diver passed Fife Ness (15th) heading S, a Greenshank was close by on the stinky pool at Fife Ness, there was a count of 226 Greylag Geese on sheep pasture at Barns Farm (17th), an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Buckhaven and counted from the Bruce Embankment at St Andrews (18th) were 35 Purple Sandpipers and seven Rock Pipits. Amongst the c3500 Pink-feet present at Kincaple were four Barnacle Geese, the drake Smew was still present at Cameron Reservoir (19th), also a Jack Snipe was flushed by a dog from the SE corner and a Short-eared Owl was seen hunting over fields on the south side. A Little Egret was seen flying along the coastline between Fife Ness and Crail, a male Brambling was noted at New Gilston, seen at Loch Gelly were a Scaup, 15 Pochard, one Water Rail and 10 Oystercatchers. Four Long-tailed Ducks, two Shelducks and two Greenshanks were on the lagoon at Tentsmuir Point NNR, nine Scaup, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 11 Brent Geese, one drake Pintail and a drake Long-tailed Duck were seen on the Eden Estuary LNR (20th). The Smew was still at Cameron Reservoir, a Red Kite was seen at Morton Lochs NNR (21st), with another, or the same bird, seen feeding on carrion at Rossie Bog. A Red-throated Diver was off Braefoot Terminal, a Green-winged Teal was with c300 Teal at The Wilderness, along with three Greenshanks and 11 Whooper Swans. At Balbuthie Farm c1000 Pink-feet were seen, a male Goshawk was seen at Dairsie and a Short-eared Owl was seen on Norman’s Law.

A Green Woodpecker was in Dam Wood, Leven (22nd), the Green-winged Teal was still present at the Wilderness and another Red Kite was seen, this time in St Andrews. The over-wintering Common Sandpiper was seen at Guardbridge, along with two Pintails, one Shoveler, two Goosanders and one Little Egret. An adult Mediterranean Gull was at East Wemyss (24th), 17 Whooper Swans were at Star of Markinch, a Red-necked Grebe was seen just off the car park at Leven (25th) and the Green-winged Teal was still present at The Wilderness, along with two Greenshanks. Seen from the Golf Museum car park in St Andrews were 78 Scaup, with 22 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Slavonian Grebes, 19 Scaup, two Little Egrets and 70 Pintails seen in the Out Head/Balgove Bay area. Two Ravens were seen at Broombrae Farm, Auchtermuchty, the drake Smew was still at Cameron Reservoir, with the first Lesser Black-backed Gull of the spring at that site and a Short-eared Owl was watched hunting over rough ground to the south of the reservoir. Seen off Kinghorn were a Great Skua W, also a 2nd winter and at least one adult Mediterranean Gull feeding offshore, 11 Yellowhammers was an usual count at the Urquhart Depot in Dunfermline, and a Woodcock was flushed near the Silverdyke War Memorial, Kilrenny. A Ross’s Goose was an excellent find at Pitlessie (26th), a long awaited first for Fife and proved very popular until the months end. Counted at Daubs Farm, Dunshalt were c700 Pink-feet, a Greenshank was heard calling as it passed over a Kirkcaldy Retail Park in the evening, the drake Smew, 13 Whooper Swans and 3000 Pink-footed Geese were seen at Cameron Reservoir (27th) and the Green-winged Teal was still present at The Wilderness. Seen off Fife Ness were 1 Manx Shearwater N, one Scaup N, eight Common Scoters N, 30 Gannets, 200 Kittiwakes and six Red-throated Divers and on Parkdale playing fields, Leven an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen well.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware