July 2023 Sightings

July saw the beginnings of autumn migration, with returning waders and seabirds starting to appear. A Whimbrel and 11 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss on the 1st, two Quail were calling from fields near Kingsbarns on the 2nd, when 18 Mediterranean Gulls and a Whimbrel were at East Wemyss. At Fife Ness on the 3rd, 204 Manx Shearwaters and a Red-throated Diver were seen. On the 5th, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 10 Greenshanks, a Little Egret, 38 Black- tailed Godwits and four Whimbrels were at Guardbridge, whilst at Fife Ness 32 Manx Shearwaters, five Goosanders, 2000 Guillemots, 1400 Puffins, a Common Scoter and a Whimbrel passed by. At Ferry Hills on the 6th, four Red-throated Divers, a Tree Pipit, 60 Sand Martins, 19 Crossbills and 17 Siskins were seen, whilst the same day at St Margaret’s Marsh there were a Common Sandpiper and a Mediterranean Gull. A Quail was heard near the Fairmont, St Andrews on the 7th, when at Dalgety Bay two Mediterranean Gulls were present.


On the 8th a dark morph male Honey-buzzard was watched at Kinghorn as it circled Pettycur Harbour, a Quail was flushed from a farm track near Kingsbarns, four Black- tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper, and two juvenile Crossbills were at The Wilderness, and at Fife Ness there were 6130 Gannets, 37 Manx Shearwaters, 11 Fulmars, two Whimbrels, 95 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, and a Red-throated Diver. The next day, a Green Sandpiper was at Angle Park, a Spotted Redshank flew over Kinghorn, a Little Egret was seen from the train at Burntisland, a Mediterranean Gull was at North Queensferry, and a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua and two Manx Shearwaters were at Fife Ness. On the 10th, three adult Roseate Terns were at Kinghorn, and a Quail was heard at Kilmany. At East Wemyss on the 11th, 14 Mediterranean Gulls were present. Six Common Sandpipers were at the Eden Estuary and 16 Mediterranean Gulls were at East Wemyss on the 13th, and a Whinchat was near Kirkcaldy. At Fife Ness on the 14th, 159 Manx Shearwaters, a Great Skua, eight Whimbrels, 43 Common Scoters, and 31 Fulmars passed by. A Mediterranean Gull was at Luthrie on the 15th, when at Fife Ness there were a Roseate Tern, a Sooty Shearwater, 62 Manx Shearwaters, 19 Common Scoters, a Teal, 14 Arctic Terns, three Common Terns, 41 Redshanks, two Knots, a Red-throated Diver, and five Red-breasted Mergansers. At the Eden Estuary there were two Ospreys, and at Durward’s Scalp there were 37 Common Sandpipers and five Greenshanks.


On the 16th a Quail was heard at Craigrothie, two Crossbills, a Common Sandpiper and four Greenshanks were at The Wilderness, then the next day at the same location a Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and four Crossbills were seen. 338 Sand Martins, 11 Crossbills and 10 Tree Pipits migrated through Ferry Hills on the 18th, and the next day a Night Heron was found roosting along the River Leven near Methil, five Ruff were at Morton Lochs, a Greenshank and a Snipe were at Letham Pools, and two Crossbills and a Greenshank were at The Wilderness. On the 20th, a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua, 77 Manx Shearwaters and 28 Common Scoters were at Fife Ness, and 68 Goosanders, three Common Sandpipers and a Mediterranean Gull were at East Wemyss. Five Little Gulls were at Out Head on the 22nd, whilst the following day 35 Manx Shearwaters, a Mediterranean Gull and a Greenshank were at Kinghorn, two Mediterranean Gulls and four Common Sandpipers were at Dysart, two calling Quails and seven Ravens were at Carnbee Reservoir, four Arctic Skuas and 31 Manx Shearwaters were at Fife Ness, and at Out Head there were an Arctic Skua, two Little Gulls, and four Bar-tailed Godwits.


On the 24th, an Osprey and Water Rail were at Letham Pools, the Mandarin Duck and two Crossbills were at The Wilderness, and at Fife Ness there were two Arctic Skuas, 12 Little Gulls and 76 Manx Shearwaters. The following day at East Wemyss there were 32 Mediterranean Gulls, 32 Goosanders, and 80 Sandwich Terns, whilst at Kinghorn there were 17 Manx Shearwaters, a Mediterranean Gull, seven Common Scoters, and a Whimbrel, and at Letham Pools there were a Kingfisher and four Black-tailed Godwits. At Fife Ness on the 26th an adult Long-tailed Skua, a Roseate Tern, a Little Tern, 43 Little Gulls, six Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, a Sooty Shearwater, 428 Manx Shearwaters, two Teal, 13 Common Scoters, three Whimbrels, 24 Arctic Terns, five Common Terns and a Sandwich Tern were seen. On the 27th, 47 Little Gulls, two Manx Shearwaters and a Whimbrel were in St Andrews Bay, five Sooty Shearwaters, 293 Manx Shearwaters, 74 Little Gulls, seven Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, 55 Common Scoters, a Long-tailed Duck, 4112 Gannets, two Sanderlings, seven Whimbrels, 34 Arctic Terns, 16 Common Terns and 26 Sandwich Terns passed Fife Ness, five Arctic Skuas, a Red-throated Diver, 400 Razorbills, 150 Guillemots, 52 Common Terns, 102 Sandwich Terns and three Common Sandpipers were at Dalgety Bay, four Manx Shearwaters, 45 Gannets, 12 Sandwich Terns, 48 Goosanders, 108 Black-headed Gulls, 19 Common Gulls, 15 Kittiwakes, eight Eiders, 23 Shags, 600 large auks were at Kinghorn, and at East Wemyss there were six Mediterranean Gulls, 21 Black-headed Gulls, one Shelduck, 42 Sandwich Terns, a Common Sandpiper, 17 Oystercatchers, and two Curlews. Near Kinghorn on the 28th were six Tree Pipits, three Crossbills and a Lesser Whitethroat, and on the same day an Arctic Skua and three Teal were at Pettycur Bay, and at Fife Ness were nine Velvet Scoters, 47 Common Scoters, 10 Whimbrels, a Greenshank, 16 Little Gulls, two Common Terns, four Arctic Terns, 25 Sandwich Terns, and 45 Manx Shearwaters. At Fife Ness on the 29th a Balearic Shearwater, a probable Cory’s Shearwater, 41 Manx Shearwaters, 80 Arctic Terns, 25 Common Terns, 25 Sandwich Terns, 1119 Gannets, one Arctic Skua, 135 Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver, and six Knots were observed. Also on the 29th were an Osprey and a Raven at Coble Shore, a Ruff, four Knots, ten Black-tailed Godwits, 11 Little Egrets and two Ospreys at the Eden Estuary, and a Wood Sandpiper at Cocklemill Burn. On the 30th, a Hen Harrier flew north near Colinsburgh, the Little Egret remained at Cocklemill Burn, and two Little Gulls and a Whimbrel were at St Andrews. July ended with a Wood Sandpiper, 13 Little Egrets and a Ruff at Guardbridge, a Whimbrel and 97 Black-tailed Godwits at Culross, and at Fife Ness there were a Sooty Shearwater, 19 Manx Shearwaters, an Arctic Skua, 245 Arctic Terns, 30 Common Terns, a Little Gull, two Greenshanks and 64 Common Scoters.


Monthly sighting summaries are based on information submitted to the Fife Bird News WhatsApp group. A list of species which are sufficiently scarce to be reported on the Fife Bird News (FBN) WhatsApp Group can be found here . These are in addition to the rare or unusual species listed on the Local and National Rarities page.


Information from the Fife Bird News (FBN) WhatsApp group supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware

For information on which species to report on the FBN WhatsApp group see list here