February 2023 Sightings

The first sightings reported in February were two Marsh Harriers on the 1st at Newburgh then a Black Guillemot was at Fife Ness the next day. The 3rd was a return to the norm with the female Ring-necked Duck at Birnie Loch and the drake Smew at Cameron Reservoir. An adult Little Gull was off Leven and at Tayport a 3rd winter Glaucous Gull was a good find. A 1st winter Iceland Gull was seen on Kirkcaldy promenade on the 4th with a Tundra Bean Goose and a Short-eared Owl noted in the St Andrews area. A Black Guillemot was off Lower Largo on the 5th with at least three Red-necked Grebes at Leven and the drake Smew was at Cameron Reservoir up to the 7th.

An excellent count of 48 Snipe was made at Valleyfield on the 8th and the female Ring-necked Duck was still at Birnie Loch from the 9th to the 12th. The drake Smew was reported again at Cameron Reservoir on the 11th and two Black-throated Divers and a Red-necked Grebe were seen between Pathhead and Dysart. A Great White Egret was a good find at Loch Fitty on the 12th and a 1st winter Iceland Gull was seen flying over Bleachfield Meadow heading towards Coaltown of Balgonie, presumably the same individual seen there between December and February. A Green Sandpiper was seen on the Nature Reserve at Lochore Meadows CP along with a Great White Egret, possibly the Loch Fitty bird relocating. Counted off Leven on the 12th were six Red-necked Grebes, two Slavonian Grebes and up to five Black-throated Divers, a Great White Egret was again at Loch Fitty on the 13th, with a European White-fronted Goose also reported from that location on the 14th. A Red Kite was seen near Easter Cash Farm on the Falkland to Strathmiglo road on the 14th.

Noted off Kinghorn on the 16th were 14 Common Scoters, four Long-tailed Ducks, 140 Red-breasted Mergansers, six Guillemots, 15 Razorbills and two Red-throated Divers. The drake Smew was still showing well at Cameron Reservoir on the 16th and nearby in St Andrews a possible Northern Bullfinch, 12 Crossbills S, seven Siskins and a Raven were seen. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were seen off Pettycur on 17th, a Barnacle Goose and a Greenland White-fronted Goose were seen amongst 2000 Pink-feet in the Bow of Fife area and adult Mediterranean Gulls were also seen at both Guardbridge and Tayport. A Manx Shearwater went N past Fife Ness on the 18th, a Black Guillemot was off Leven and the Great White Egret was still at Loch Fitty. Also on the 18th at Ruddons Point were one Red-necked Grebe, one Slavonian Grebe, three Purple Sandpipers and 25 Twite. The Green Sandpiper was still to be seen on the Nature Reserve at Lochore Meadows CP on the 18th with a Jack Snipe and an excellent count of 52 Snipe at Cocklemill Marsh, also on the 18th. On the 19th a drake Ring-necked Duck, 64 Pochard, 93 Goldeneye and 74 Tufted Ducks were seen at Loch Gelly, with a female Ring-necked Duck seen at The Wilderness, with this bird presumably being the bird previously seen at Birnie Loch up until at least the 15th. Further east a Hooded Crow was seen on the beach at Boarhills on the 19th, with five Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 13 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and one Greenshank also seen in the area, a Raven was also seen flying over East Wemyss that day. The drake Smew was still at Cameron Reservoir on the 20th, while the female Ring-necked Duck was seen back in the NW corner of Birnie Loch and at Fife Ness a Short-eared Owl was watched coming in off the sea. The Great White Egret was still being reported from Loch Fitty up to at least the 21st.

The female Ring-necked Duck was seen at Angle Park GP, as it continues to tour around the central Fife waterbodies. A Greenland White-fronted Goose was noted at Loch Fitty on the 22nd, it was amongst Canada Geese, Pink-feet and Greylags. A Chiffchaff was seen in Dunfermline, with one heard at Magus Muir also and not far away from there at Craigtoun Park, a Green Woodpecker was heard, with five Woodcocks and two Ravens noted there too. On the 23rd at Loch Fitty a European White-fronted Goose, 10 Pink-footed Geese, 24 Canada Geese, 164 Greylag Geese and four Gadwall were noted, a Black Guillemot went S past Fife Ness and an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen from the car park at Burntisland on the 24th. eight Red-throated Divers, one Black-throated Diver and two Manx Shearwaters passed Fife Ness, with a Black Guillemot and one Manx Shearwater seen passing there on the 25th. two Snow Buntings were at Out Head on the 25th, with the drake Ring-necked Duck and 63 Pochard still present at Loch Gelly, 13 Brent Geese, three Greenshanks and a Little Egret were seen at Coble Shore and the wintering Whimbrel was seen once again at Shell Bay. At The Wilderness were two Pintail and three Whooper Swans, a Great Northern Diver was seen from Kincraig Head and on the 26th two Black Guillemots and 35 Purple Sandpipers were seen at Fife Ness. The female Ring-necked Duck was seen again at Angle Park GP, two Tundra Bean Geese were seen with Pink-feet at Luthrie and at Tayport three Little Egrets were seen. Nine Snow Buntings, nine Slavonian Grebes and four Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen at Out Head, a Greenland White-fronted Goose was seen with 400 Pink-feet near Bow of Fife and at Coble Shore 34 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen. A Raven passed over Letham Pools and at Buckhaven Harbour on the 27th were 200 Common Scoters and 56 Velvet Scoters. 28 Redwings and 18 Fieldfares were seen in Strathkinness on the 28th, two Nuthatches were seen at Rankeilour, 114 Pochards, 97 Tufted Ducks, 82 Goldeneye, three Shelducks, three Great-crested Grebes, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and three Whooper Swans were counted at Loch Gelly and seen from Kincraig Head were one Red-necked Grebe and a Red-throated Diver. Nearby at the Cocklemill Burn, seven Twite were seen. A Hooded Crow, 17 Whooper Swans and 101 Wigeon were seen at Craigluscar and the female Ring-necked Duck was still present at Angle Park.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware