June 2020 Sightings

The first day of the month saw single Cuckoos calling at East Lomond and Loch Fitty where there was also a Grasshopper Warbler and a Snipe overhead then a

Whimbrel was noted at Kilrenny Mill (1st). Four Crossbills flew past Braefoot Point, breeding successes were noted at Kilconquhar Loch in the form of two Little Grebes each with one chick and two Mute Swan broods (b9 and b6) while three Pochards (two drakes) was an interesting record there for the time of year. Torry Bay held one Whimbrel, ten Bar-tailed Godwits, five Curlews, two Sandwich Terns, three Common Terns, 20 Common Gulls (all first-summer), a drake Gadwall and c20 Shelducks. Valleyfield Lagoons hosted 11 Bar-tailed Godwits, four Dunlins, four Ringed Plovers, eight Curlews, 50 Common Gulls (virtually all first-summer), eight Black-headed Gulls and one Sanderling (2nd). 48 Canada Geese flew over Auchtermuchty and a Reed Warbler was singing at Kilconquhar Loch where there was evidence of breeding success of both Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe (4th). Kilmany’s first Grasshopper Warbler of the year was heard, a lone Knot was at Elie, one Bar-tailed Godwit was at Cellardyke and a Little Gull was spied off Limekilns (6th). Blackcap, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat were all noted as singing in the Dunfermline area. 17 Goosanders were offshore at Ravenscraig and 12 Canada Geese flew north over Boglily Braes where there was one Jay (7th).

292 Manx Shearwaters and four Common Scoters passed east of Anstruther, a Cuckoo was heard at Lochore Meadows CP (8th) where an Osprey was fishing over the loch the next day. A Cuckoo was also heard at Morton Lochs NNR, c70 Canada Geese flew north over Strathkinness and a walk along the Fife Coastal Path from Wormit to Balmerino produced two Garden Warblers, eight Chiffchaffs, five Great Spotted Woodpeckers, two Willow Warblers, four Bullfinches and five Long-tailed Tits (9th). There were 184 drake Eiders and ten females, as well as six Shelducks, along the Elie to Cocklemill Burn stretch of coast. Two Ravens and a possible Hooded Crow were reported from Newburgh where there was also a Kestrel, a Peregrine and a Garden Warbler (11th). 14 Crossbills were noted heading east low over Burntisland whilst at St Andrews there were four Manx Shearwaters moving east, two Arctic Terns and a steady movement of Guillemots, Razorbills and Kittiwakes (12th). One adult and two second year Little Gulls were seen at The Wilderness and five Corn Buntings turned up east of Freuchie (13th). A Quail was disturbed from a Ladybank garden and Fife’s share of the Rose-coloured Starling influx included one at Crail which seemed to like visiting garden feeders (14th).

A Garden Warbler was still on site along the Wormit to Balmerino stretch and another Quail was singing at lower Kilminning (16th). A Red Kite, in heavy moult, flew north over Dunfermline and at least four pairs of Fulmars and a Peregrine were seen from Elie to Kincraig Point. One of the Seafield Lesser Whitethroats was still calling and showing well and the Crail Rose-coloured Starling lingered. Also at Crail a Channel Wagtail (Motacilla flava flava x flavissama) was present near the village and was also recorded the next day. This is the first record for Fife (17th). A Kingfisher flew over Angle Park while a Tree Pipit was performing a song flight at 

Formonthills (18th). Three Snipe were at Ballo Reservoir and at least one young Dipper accompanied an adult at Kirkcaldy’s Tiel Burn (19th). Two White-tailed Eagles were on the beach at St Andrews (green and blue wing tags). A pair of Canada Geese had four young at Townhill Loch, Kilmany’s first Spotted Flycatcher of the year appeared, a flock of 19 Mistle Thrushes were observed at Ladybank GC and 12+ of this species were reported from the Lomond Hills where there were also a pair of Snipe (20th).

A resumption of observations at Ferry Hills brought a report of 39 Crossbills, 70 Siskins, two Tree Pipits, two Grey Wagtails, 23 Swifts, 14 Curlews, one Whimbrel and two Great Crested Grebes all flying south-west or west. A Grasshopper Warbler was seen near Seafield Tower, a Shoveler and a Teal were at Letham Pools, single Peregrines were over Glenrothes and Glen Vale where there were also four adult and one juvenile Stonechats and a Kestrel. Sightings at Kilconquhar Loch included ten Swifts, two Mute Swan broods of five each, five Little Grebes including one with two young, a Sedge Warbler with fledglings and five male Reed Buntings (22nd). The Wilderness held seven drake Pochards (23rd) and there were also two drakes at Letham Pools where there were around four Water Rail territories and a Common Sandpiper. A Peregrine was seen circling over Glenrothes again (24th). There were estimates of 13 Curlews, six Razorbills and five Guillemots between Elie and Ruddons Point as well as a Goosander with six ducklings (25th). Single Cuckoos were at Anstruther and Kilminning, a Quail (singing) and a Common Sandpiper were at Kilrenny Mill and The Wilderness hosted 60 Lapwings, 15 Teal, and six Shovelers (26th). A Cuckoo was at Kilminning again and there were also two at Moonzie while Balcomie Beach hosted three Bar-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel (27th). Mediterranean Gulls re-emerged with an adult, five second-summer and one first-summer at the East Wemyss hotspot and a third calendar year bird at Kingsbarns. Three Crossbills flew over St. Andrews and 12 Manx Shearwaters were offshore at Kinghorn (28th). Ferry Hills sightings continued with one sub-adult Long-tailed Skua flying inland and also one flava wagtail, 24 Crossbills and 45 Lapwings. A Quail was singing at Pittenweem and to close the month a report from Elie included c40 Turnstones, c13 Lapwings, c15 Curlews, one Ringed Plover, a juvenile Dunlin, a Redshank, two Common Terns, four Puffins and ten Razorbills (30th).

Nocturnal Migration Notes June 2020

15th Dunfermline: A Snipe was sound recorded (drumming!) over suburbia after dark.

20th Ferry Hills: 13 Crossbills flying south-west and also a Green Sandpiper sound recorded there overnight.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott