April 2018 Sightings
The first day of the month brought signs of spring with a female Blackcap in a Kirkcaldy garden. The drake Surf Scoter lingered at Ruddons Point and the single Greenland White-fronted Goose was still present at Letham Pools along with c600 Pink-feet. A male Wheatear was north of Balcomie Beach whilst a male and female Black Redstart were seen nearby at Fife Ness (1st) and were present the next day when there was also a Chiffchaff at Fife Ness Muir. The Black-necked Grebe reported last month was showing very well off Elie harbour (2nd) and was present the following day (3rd). A Bean Goose joined the Greenland White-fronted Goose and c600 Pink-feet at Letham Pools, an Osprey and a Peregrine were noted at Newburgh whilst the former was also seen over Balmullo and over Guardbridge where there was also a Sand Martin. A Red-necked Grebe was present off Dalgety Bay Sailing Club again, a Nuthatch was seen in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, a Hawfinch was spotted flying over Fife Ness and the Black-necked Grebe remained at Elie (5th). Ten Sand Martins were at Letham Pools and a report from Ruddons Point included two Sandwich Terns, a Whimbrel, eight summer plumaged Slavonian Grebes, a Black-throated Diver, seven Red-throated Divers, 290 Velvet Scoters and 600+ Common Scoters (6th).The following day was a busy one starting with a male Black Redstart at Fife Ness, a Short-eared Owl over Ferry Hills and two Crossbills and two Green Woodpeckers at Pitmedden Forest. The Greenland White-fronted Goose and the Bean Goose were still accompanied by c600 Pink-feet at Letham Pools whilst Mountcastle GP held four Dabchicks, two Great Crested Grebes, six Mute Swans and a Chiffchaff then Luthrie Flood hosted two Shelducks, 20+ Teal, a pair of Shovelers and four Lapwings (7th).
A Wheatear, two White Wagtails and a Sandwich Tern were observed at Fife Ness, a Swallow graced Kilminning and a report from Out Head included 70+ Eiders, 13 Long-tailed Ducks, two pairs of Scaup, 50+ Oystercatchers, six Skylarks, four Meadow Pipits and two Reed Buntings. At Lochore Meadows CP 52 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were serenaded by at least seven singing Chiffchaffs and there was also one at Wilderness as well as 18 Whooper Swans. A Swallow was at Loch Gelly along with a pair of Gadwall and eight Goosanders whilst the Greenland White-fronted Goose loitered at Letham Pools (8th). A Wheatear, one Little Egret and a Green Woodpecker were at Tentsmuir Point NNR then Eden Estuary LNR hosted an Osprey, a Willow Warbler and two Wheatears (9th).Three Slavonian Grebes in summer plumage were admired from the Eden Estuary Centre (11th) and a report from Angle Park GP included 24 Wigeon, 14 Tufted Ducks, three Dabchicks, two Great Crested Grebes, 21 Goldeneyes and 30+ Coots before a count at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR comprised seven Mute Swans, 18 Greylags, one Canada Goose, 28 Tufted Ducks, 12 Goldeneyes, three Chiffchaffs and a Bullfinch (12th). A Great Northern Diver was spied off Shell Bay with a Raven and a White Wagtail at Kincraig whilst further up the coast at Kilminning a Lesser Whitethroat was present and a Whimbrel passed over. Freshwater counts included seven Dabchicks, two Canada Geese on nests, two Gadwalls and 12 Teal at Morton Lochs NNR, six Dabchicks at Linkswood and the same number of this species at Newton Sandpit where there were also three pairs of Canada Geese, five Shelducks, 36 Teal, 28 Tufted Ducks, 12 Goldeneyes, and c120 Black-headed Gulls (14th).
A Black-throated Diver, a summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe, a Whimbrel and a White Wagtail were all present at Ruddons Point and a Great Northern Diver and a White Wagtail were noted nearby at Kincraig Point (15th). Wilderness held two Black-tailed Godwits and c25 Sand Martins while a Whooper Swan at Letham Pools was accompanied by c130 Pink-feet and c25 Greylags. An adult Iceland Gull was off Dysart and flew north past West Wemyss, a Whimbrel was present at Braefoot Point and an Arctic Skua passed by Anstruther (16th). Letham Pools held a first winter Mediterranean Gull (18th), a Yellow Wagtail was in a field next to main road into Crail and the Black-necked Grebe was still showing well at Elie (and also the following day) and a Jay flew over St Fort (19th). A singing male Nuthatch was heard on the edge of North Queensferry, a Short-eared Owl, two Whimbrels, a Wheatear and two White Wagtails were seen at Ruddons Point, two Common Sandpipers were at Mountcastle GP and a record from Lindores Loch included three Wigeon, 23 Tufted Ducks, six Goldeneyes and a drake Pochard. Two Red-throated Divers flew past Elie where the Black-necked Grebe was still off the harbour (21st) and was still present the next day.
A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling away by the coastal footpath near Kilrenny Mill and a male White Wagtail, five House Martins and three Wheatears were present at Kilrenny while Letham Pools held a pair of Shovelers and c300 Pink-feet with a Whimbrel over then two of this species were reported at Loch Gelly (22nd). Further Whimbrel reports were seven at Seafield (23rd) and two at Culross (24th). Eden Estuary LNR hosted two Ospreys, one Ruff, two Common Sandpipers, 190 Black-tailed Godwits and a Whitethroat (25th). The Nuthatch was still calling from gardens at Ferry Hills where singles of Black-throated Diver, Tree Pipit and Whimbrel flew over with 12 of the latter species also seen at Balcomie along with four White Wagtails (28th).
Observations at Ferry Hills continued with a Spotted Flycatcher and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers then the Black-necked Grebe was seen along with two Whimbrels at Elie (29th). The month ended with Sedge Warblers noted at Loch Gelly and Lochore Meadows CP (30th).
Information courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott