MARCH 2018 SIGHTINGS
The month opened with an Iceland Gull over Aberdour on the first day (1st) then Lochore Meadows CP hosted nine Whooper Swans, nine Goosanders, five Pochards (all drakes), the regular redhead Smew and a Barn Owl whilst an adult Mediterranean Gull and at least ten Kittiwakes were at Seafield (5th). There was a similar report from Pathhead the following day when a second winter Mediterranean Gull and 20 Kittiwakes were seen (6th).
Tentsmuir Point NNR held one Greenshank, one Little Egret, one Green Woodpecker, one Great Northern Diver and a Crossbill while the sighting of two Magpies was noted as unusual here (8th). A count of 18 Moorhens was reported as a record for Tayport Pond (9th) then an Osprey passed over Kirkcaldy (11th). An adult White-fronted Goose was present with 550-600 Pink-footed Geese at Letham Pools (12th) and they were all noted there the next day when a Hawfinch was seen briefly at New Gilston as well as two Bramblings then several of the latter species were seen at Bow of Fife (13th). A drake Mandarin Duck was on the south shore of Loch Gelly, a Little Egret flew upstream and 24 Whooper Swans flew past heading north at the Eden Estuary Centre and the geese flock lingered at Letham Pools (14th).
This site held two Shelducks, c110 Wigeon, 18 Tufted Ducks, eight Gadwall, four Pochards, 16 Coots, 16 Oystercatchers and c25 Lapwings the next day when a Slavonian Grebe was offshore at Braefoot Point and a count at Luthrie Floods included one Pink-footed Goose, two Shelducks, c125 Wigeon, 90 Teal, one Shoveler and at least 100 Woodpigeons (15th). 16 Scaup, one Great Northern Diver, 55 Kittiwakes, one Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a Greenshank were all seen on a rising tide at Edenside (16th). An adult Mediterranean Gull was present at Seafield (17th) then the following day was a busy one starting with a Slavonian Grebe and two Red-breasted Mergansers at Kilconquhar Loch, a Little Gull past Kincraig Point then a Jack Snipe at Largoward followed by a Great Northern Diver, a Mediterranean Gull and a first-winter Iceland Gull past Kinghorn before an adult Mediterranean Gull, two Great Northern Divers, 80 Kittiwakes and 50 Guillemots were counted between North Queensferry and Inverkeithing (18th). There were even more reports the next day commencing with a Little Egret at Morton Lochs NNR, a Black Redstart at Fife Ness and the redhead Smew still present at Lochore Meadows CP. Freshwater counts included four Dabchicks, two Greylag Geese, four Canada Geese, 34 Wigeon, 16 Teal, 27 Tufted Ducks, 26 Goldeneyes and 22 Lapwings at Newton Sandpit then eight Dabchicks, four Mute Swans, four Canada Geese, 30 Mallards, 12 Teal, 14 Tufted Ducks, seven Moorhens, and ten Coots at Morton Lochs NR before the day ended with a Woodcock at Auchtermuchty and a Barn Owl east of Upper Largo (19th). A pair of Merlins flew over Auchtermuchty, an Osprey flew north-west over Wemyss Wood, a Jack Snipe and 34 Snipe were present at Barnyards Marsh and the drake Surf Scoter, 745 Velvet Scoters, a Whimbrel and a Raven were all noted at Ruddons Point. An Osprey flew over Mugdrum Island where a Little Egret and 11 Goosanders were also present, the White-fronted Goose loitered at Letham Pools along with c400 Pink-feet whilst a Chiffchaff heralded spring at Loch Gelly (20th). An adult Mediterranean Gull was at West Sands and 26 Scaup were in St Andrews Bay (21st).
Scaup numbers off West Sands increased to c70 accompanied by two Great Northern Divers then the Smew at Lochore Meadows CP was joined by a singing Chiffchaff, two drake Pintails, three pairs of Gadwall and two Ravens (22nd). Two Tree Pipits were seen at Blairadam then Fife Ness yielded one Short-eared Owl, seven Purple Sandpipers, one Red-breasted Merganser, two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, a Red-throated Diver, two Scaup, a Goosander and two Common Scoters (24th). A Red-necked Grebe was seen off Dalgety Bay and 600 Pink-feet at Letham Pools were joined by one Greenland White-fronted Goose, one European White-fronted Goose and a Tundra Bean Goose (25th) with both White-fronts still there the next day and the Pink-feet increasing to 1400 whilst a Raven flew over. Bow of Fife had a flock of Bramblings, Levenmouth produced 25+ Eiders, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 16 Oystercatchers, a Ringed Plover, 20+ Redshanks and seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls and the Red-necked Grebe was a bit closer off Dalgety Bay Sailing Club (26th) and was seen again the next day (27th).
An Osprey headed over the Eden Estuary Centre carrying a fish, a Little Egret was present at Kincardine and a late afternoon inspection of Dunfermline Glen produced a Nuthatch, a Treecreeper and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers (28th). Four Chiffchaffs were at Cullaloe NR, a Sand Martin, one Jay and two Green Woodpeckers were at Bath Moor and a Glaucous Gull, in white second year plumage, was present at the west end of the beach at Earlsferry. Meanwhile the drake Surf Scoter, one Purple Sandpiper, two Red-necked Grebes, six Red- throated Divers and at least six Slavonian Grebes were recorded at Lower Largo and a visit to Cameron Reservoir produced nine Whooper Swans, c350 Pink-feet, ten Teal, 18 Mallards, 14 Tufted Ducks, c20 Goldeneyes, six Goosanders, a Buzzard, a Kestrel, 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, four Tree Sparrows, two Long-tailed Tits and three Pied Wagtails (29th). A Little Gull and 30+ Kittiwakes were spied off Seafield (30th) and the month closed with a Chiffchaff seen bathing in an Anstruther garden pond.
Information courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott