February 2024 Sightings

A Greenland White-fronted Goose, along with five Barnacle Geese nearby, were all near Pitlessie (1st), with a redhead Smew popping up at Angle Park GP also. A female Marsh Harrier, a Merlin and two Ravens were seen at Newburgh and continuing the good run of Crossbill sightings were 11 at Redmyre, a good selection of grebe species were seen off Leven, with single Black-necked, Red-necked and Great Crested Grebe and five Slavonian Grebes. A Kingfisher was a scarce visitor to an under-watched area of Dunfermline (2nd), the drake Smew was still showing well at Cameron Reservoir alongside a drake Scaup and 11 Whooper Swans, with 21 Crossbills seen in the area too. Two Hen Harriers were seen at Loch Fitty (3rd), with it being a while since there were multiple sightings of these fabulous birds, while two Waxwings flew over Haugh Park in Cupar. The long-staying Black Redstart at Roome Bay, Crail, continued to entertain, five Snow Buntings were still on Kinshaldy Beach and a single Red-necked Grebe was seen off Leven. A Barnacle Goose was with Pink-feet near Otterston Loch (4th) and noted alongside the Red-necked Grebe off Leven were a Slavonian Grebe and two Black-throated Divers. Notable sightings at Loch Fitty were a Little Egret, six Whooper Swans, 50 Canada Geese and two Jays, single Scaup were seen at both Cameron Reservoir and Kinghorn Loch and at Pitreavie GC, Dunfermline there was a sizable count of c70 Siskins. Eight Greenshanks and a Dipper were noted at Newmills Bay (6th) and picked out from a good count of 45 Cormorants at Loch Fitty (7th) were at least two of the sinensis race. Also seen at that site were a Crossbill, 102 Wigeon and 36 Canada Geese. A female Goshawk was seen over the North Haugh, St Andrews, three Waxwings were in Dunfermline and not far away two Hen Harriers were seen well at Knockhill.

Interesting birds continued to be seen in the west of the county with a Jack Snipe, 23 Snipe and a Mediterranean Gull all seen at St Margarets Marsh, Rosyth (8th), seen from Kinghorn (9th) were two Great Northern Divers which flew E, 12 Velvet Scoters E, 60 Kittiwakes and c300 Razorbills and a 1st-winter Little Gull was in a mixed gull and wader flock at West Sands, St Andrews. Seen from Fife Ness (10th) were four 2nd calendar year Little Gulls N, three Great Northern Divers, 91 Long-tailed Ducks- a site record count and also 35 Gannets. A Black Guillemot flew W past Burntisland, where single Razorbill and Red-throated Divers were seen and also seen off Rossend Point, Burntisland was a Red-necked Grebe. Another count of 11 Crossbills came from Redmyre, where three Ravens and 11 Stock Doves were also noted and seen from Kinghorn were a Slavonian Grebe, 40 Long-tailed Ducks, 45 Red-breasted Mergansers, three Red-throated Divers, two Guillemots, 12 Razorbills, 18 Kittiwakes and 20 Fulmars. Seen in the Cameron Reservoir area were a male Merlin, a Brambling and 16 Crossbills while both a Tawny Owl and a Water Rail were heard calling and of course the drake Smew was still showing really well. A Black-necked Grebe, a Red-necked Grebe, 300 Common Scoters and 200 Velvet Scoters were seen off Leven (11th) and amongst a finch flock at Kinshaldy, which included 24 Linnets and two Twite, were six Snow Buntings, with a single Greenshank on the lagoon and at least five Long-tailed Ducks seen on the newly formed pools in the dunes. At least one Waxwing was seen in Kirkcaldy and seen drifting past Ruddons Point was an adult White billed Diver, with a Red-necked Grebe and a Purple Sandpiper also noted at the Point. Nearby on Cocklemill Marsh were a Short-eared Owl, a Little Egret and four Jack Snipe. A Great Northern Diver and a Little Egret were at Tayport, whilst off Kinghorn were a Red-necked Grebe, three Red-throated Divers and 10 Long-tailed Ducks. Noted off Dysart were one Slavonian Grebe, four Red-throated Divers, two Mediterranean Gulls, five Purple Sandpipers, 28 Turnstones, three Velvet Scoters and one Common Scoter. Seen passing Fife Ness were two Black-throated Divers N, 48 Red-throated Divers N, 4S, with a further 19 on the sea. One Puffin was also on the sea and six Little Gulls and four Long-tailed Ducks passed N. A Bearded Tit was heard once more at St Margarets Marsh, Rosyth, two adult Mediterranean Gulls were on the beach at Dysart (12th), with another on the sea, a drake Surf Scoter was seen amongst Velvet Scoters at Tentsmuir Point NNR and Skelpie Farm was added to the list of locations that have hosted a Barn Owl this year, with another seen at Falkland. A Little Egret, a Long-tailed Duck and 12 Crossbills were seen at Tentsmuir (13th) and a Little Egret was a scarce visitor to Cameron Reservoir. Seen off East Wemyss were one Great Northern Diver, 41 Common Scoters, 20 Velvet Scoters and one Long-tailed Duck, back west again and a Nuthatch was seen in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline and there were counts of 25 Purple Sandpipers and c20 Scaup off St Andrews (14th).

A Water Rail and two Canada Geese were seen at Townhill Loch, Dunfermline (15th), the Greenland White-fronted Goose was still being seen around Pitlessie and a single Hen Harrier was seen at Knockhill. A Long-tailed Duck had taken up residence in Anstruther Harbour (16th) and 22 Whooper Swans were seen just N of Star of Markinch, with six also seen at Clatto Reservoir. Two Nuthatches were seen in Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy, a Barn Owl was seen near Culross and a Merlin was seen near Pittenweem (17th). A Slavonian Grebe was seen off Dalgety Bay and the count at Largo Bay was one Black-throated Diver, six Red-throated Divers, eight Slavonian Grebes, 60 Razorbills, 18 Long-tailed Ducks, 123 Common Scoters, 19 Velvet Scoters, 18 Purple Sandpipers and 12 Twite E. A Great Northern Diver was at Burntisland, two White-fronted Geese and a Barnacle Goose were reported from Pitlessie and seen at Kinshaldy were a Snow Bunting, one Little Egret and 15 Crossbills. Three Little Gulls were seen loitering off Fife Ness and four Common Scoters also passed S. A Black-necked Grebe, three Slavonian Grebes and one Great Crested Grebe were seen from Leven (18th), the Waxwing count at Dunfermline (19th) jumped to five and in a Cairneyhill garden, a flock of 13 Bullfinches was seen. Noted at Loch Fitty were 39 Canada Geese, 54 Cormorants, one Pochard, one Kingfisher, one Jay and eight Crossbills and seen on East Lomond were two Short-eared Owls. Two Little Egrets were seen on Cocklemill Marsh.

c10 Waxwings were seen on a hedge near Balgove, St Andrews (22nd), a Snow Bunting was on West Sands, St Andrews and the count of Whooper Swans near Freuchie (23rd) was 40. There was an excellent count of c100 Pochard at Loch Gelly (24th), four Red-throated Divers passed Fife Ness and a Greenshank was on the Stinky Pool. A Black-necked Grebe, four Red necked Grebes, four Slavonian Grebes, c500 Common Scoters and 15 Red-throated Divers were counted at Leven and counted at Ruddons Point were two Short-eared Owls, two Red throated Divers and one Little Egret. There were still 53 Pochard at Loch Gelly (25th), still an excellent count in modern times, a Great Northern Diver and an adult Little Gull were seen from Kinghorn and seen at St Margarets Marsh, Rosyth, was a Little Egret. A Green Woodpecker was heard calling on the Falkland Estate (26th) and at Tayport a Lapland Bunting, a Little Egret and 14 Whooper Swans were noted, with the Lapland Bunting being a particularly good find, given the downturn in wintering birds in Fife these days. A Little Egret was seen at Easter Kilwhiss and on East Lomond the Short-eared Owl count had doubled to four, a female Marsh Harrier and two Ravens were seen at Newburgh (27th) and at St Margarets Marsh, Rosyth, a Water Pipit and one Jack Snipe were seen well. six Crossbills were seen at Lochmill, Newburgh (28th) and at St Margarets Marsh, Rosyth, three Jack Snipe, one Peregrine and one Bearded Tit were seen. As well as three Short-eared Owls at East Lomond, six Crossbills were also seen and slightly west of Cocklemill Burn, five Snow Buntings were seen on the beach and the redhead Smew at Angle Park GP, the drake Smew at Cameron Reservoir and the Black Redstart at Roome Bay, Crail, all continued their long stays in the Kingdom.