March 2021 Sightings

After some hard weather during February, March started bright and sunny. Seven White-fronted Geese passed over Kilmany heading W (1st), the resident Glaucous Gull and Great Northern Diver were both still present at Burntisland Harbour, four Buzzards were seen at Aberdour and a female Merlin was watched bathing in a stubble field at Easter Kilwhiss and a Green Sandpiper was noted at the Nature Reserve at Lochore Meadows CP. Counted off Ruddons Point (3rd) were three Great Northern Divers, 11 Red-throated Divers, two Great Crested Grebes and two Slavonian Grebes, while across at Torry Bay (5th) the highlights were 27 Bar-tailed Godwits, two Collared Doves, seven Great Crested Grebes, three Knot, c40 Linnets, one Rock Pipit, two Skylarks singing and c40 Yellowhammers and two Ravens were still present at Braefoot. A flock of 23 Reed Buntings included at least five Yellowhammers at Letham Pools, where a Water Rail was also heard calling and two Peregrines and four Goldeneye were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre. At Newton Farm Pond (6th) two Mute Swans, seven Mallards, 13 Moorhens, two Oystercatchers and a Skylark in song were noted, a Bean Goose flew low west over Birnie Loch with c500 Pink-footed Geese and an adult Peregrine was watched circling over South Street, St Andrews. At Pathhead (7th) a Little Egret was seen flying E, also one Chiffchaff was noted and there was also a pair of Scaup off the pier, the first for many years at this site. One drake Smew and 11 Whooper Swans were seen at Cameron Reservoir where a very scarce Corn Bunting was heard singing from the top of pines on the north shore. Two Little Egrets and two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and at Lower Largo 21 Slavonian Grebes and 286 Velvet Scoters were counted. A female Merlin was watched flying over Dunino Wood (8th), 105 Twite were near to Pitkierie Cottage, NE of Kilrenny Common (9th) and the Great Northern Diver was still present off the sea wall at Burntisland Harbour (11th), but there had been no sign of the Glaucous Gull for several days. Seen off the S side of Mugdrum Island were an Iceland Gull, c100 Herring Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull, while nearby at Lindores a Red Kite was watched drifting SW. 17 Whooper Swans were in a field S of the A91 near East Kincaple Farm and 21 Whooper Swans were seen near the Gamekeepers Cottage at Rossie Bog. The drake Smew was still present at Cameron Reservoir and five Bramblings were still with the north shore Chaffinch flock. c100 Golden Plovers were noted in a ploughed field near to Caiplie, a Little Egret, 88 Scaup and a Peregrine were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and at Tayfield were two Mute Swans, eight Mallards, seven Moorhens, while a Kingfisher was also watched in flight. Noted in Balgove Bay (13th) were 240 Curlew, 21 Brent Geese, one Pintail and a Wigeon, 17 Whooper Swans were not far away at East Kincaple Farm, a Great Northern Diver and a Red-throated Diver were noted off Seafield and at Kilconquhar Loch, a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, two Whooper Swans and a pair of Goosanders were present. Seen from the Eden Estuary Centre were a Peregrine, a Little Egret and 31 Scaup, an immature Marsh Harrier was noted off Newburgh and at Letham Pools (14th) a 1st winter Iceland Gull was watched flying south with Herring Gulls. On West Lomond two Peregrines and four Ravens were seen, a Raven was heard over Kemback and at Boghall 90 Twite were present. A Lesser Black-backed Gull and 60 Corn Buntings were at Kingsbarns and a juvenile Iceland Gull was seen amongst c500 Herring Gulls at Lower Melville Wood Refuse Tip. A Barnacle Goose was in with a mixed flock of 200 grey geese near Newburgh and off Leven’s eastern car park a Black-throated Diver was seen close inshore. A Chiffchaff was heard singing at Wormit (15th) and the Green Sandpiper was still present at Lochore Meadows CP, seen from the hide, at Craigluscar a female Scaup, 16 Tufted Ducks, 83 Wigeon, 12 Whooper Swans and six Little Grebes were counted and another sign of spring edging closer was a pair of Dippers building a nest on the Kinness Burn, St Andrews, with a pair of Tree Sparrows also watched nest building in a Ladybank garden. A Chiffchaff was seen at Port Laing. A pair Greenfinches were noted prospecting their annual nest site at Aberdour (16th) and another Dipper was seen and heard singing on the Keithing Burn in Inverkeithing. The Green Sandpiper was still visible from the hide at Lochore Meadows CP (17th), at least two littoralis Rock Pipits were at Kilrenny Mill, with a Chiffchaff and 50 Redwings noted at nearby Kilrenny Common. In the early morning at Pathhead (18th) one lucky observer saw two Cranes high up heading NE, c100 Corn Buntings, one Lapland Bunting and one Snow Bunting were seen at Kingsbarns, the 17 Whooper Swans were still present at Easter Kincaple Farm, a Chiffchaff was singing at Kilmany (19th) and noted off Ruddons Point were a Great Northern Diver, a Red-necked Grebe, and 32 Slavonian Grebes (including two summer plumage birds and a displaying pair). Also eight Buzzards were counted in the area. Chiffchaffs were heard at both Lochore Meadows CP and Dunfermline, noted off Out Head were one Red-necked and one Slavonian Grebe, the drake Smew was still present at Cameron Reservoir and a Chiffchaff was noted in Glenrothes (20th), with one also in St Andrews. Amongst the usual species at Valleyfield were two Shovelers and one Pochard, as well as two Greenshanks, not far away at Oakley (21st) another Chiffchaff was heard. There was a good count of at least eight Great Northern Divers at Ruddons Point, with two groups of Whooper Swans seen heading over, eight NW and 20 W. There was a strong movement of Whooper Swans noted elsewhere in the UK and Fife was no exception, with 14 W and 64 NW over Dunfermline, 14 NE over Kingsbarns, 43 W over Kincraig Head, c36 on the Eden Estuary and 15 NE over Crail. A Little Egret was seen from the Eden Estuary Centre, a Lapland Bunting and c80 Corn Buntings were see near Kingsbarns and a Red Kite was watched coming in off the sea and heading N high over Kincraig Head, across at Tentsmuir, there were some impressive counts with 135 Slavonian Grebes, 448 Red-breasted Mergansers and 63 Red-throated Divers noted, also a Little Egret flew S. The regular wintering Whimbrel was noted at Ruddons Point and two Ravens were watched at Braefoot apparently nest raiding, but were chased by corvids and gulls, also three Buzzards were present. c600 Pink-footed Geese were present on the Eden Estuary LNR, also seen were a White-tailed Eagle, which flew over Guardbridge, as well as two Greenshanks a Little Egret, a Goldeneye and c4 Teal. A Raven was watched displaying in the Lomond Hills and counted at Out Head were 44 Brent Geese, 58 Whooper Swans, c2700 Pink-feet and c650 Knot, a Merlin and a Chiffchaff were noted at Boarhills and two lucky observers watched and photographed three Cranes circling Crail. Counted passing Fife Ness (22nd) were 1200 Razorbills N, two Red-throated Divers, three Common Scoters, a Peregrine and eight Shelducks and in St Andrews Bay at least eight Gannets were seen plunge diving, up at Out Head four Snow Buntings were present and the Green Sandpiper was still present on the Nature Reserve at Lochore Meadows CP, with two Shelducks and three Gadwall noted also. Two Great Crested Grebes and two Whooper Swans were also seen on the Loch. Off Kinshaldy 118 Slavonian Grebes and 400 Red-breasted Mergansers were counted, a Chiffchaff was calling in Coul Den and a Black-throated Diver and four Red-breasted Mergansers were seen passing Fife Ness N, the count of Snow Buntings at Out Head (23rd) rose to seven and 20 Whooper Swans passed over N, close by at Easter Kincaple Farm, the 17 Whooper Swans were still present and a count at Cullaloe LNR produced four Little Grebes, two Wigeon, four Mallard, two Moorhens, two Coots, two Long-tailed Tits and two Buzzards. In Dunfermline, a Red Kite was seen flying into a strong breeze, drifting WNW towards the Townhill area. In Glenrothes Town Park (24th) three Dippers were noted along part of the Lothrie Burn, two of them at previously used nest sites. Two Grey Partridges were seen at Braefoot and at Pathhead there was a Great Northern Diver offshore and 11 Whooper Swans passed over NE, a Dipper was heard singing in Craighall Den and at Dalgety Bay 30 Shelducks and four Wigeon were noted. A Chiffchaff was heard at Townhill CP, a Sand Martin was watched at Balcomie and not too far away a potential first record for Fife, an Alpine Swift was photographed passing over Fife Ness. A pair of Siskins were noted in a Strathkinness garden and seen at Braefoot were a Chiffchaff, one Buzzard, one Raven and a Sparrowhawk. 34 Whooper Swans passed over Fife Ness (25th), with 20 also seen going over Cellardyke and 39 passed W over Dunfermline. There were four male Snow Buntings seen at Out Head and c80 Twite were counted at Boghall, Kingsbarns (26th), seven Crossbills passed over Burntisland heading W and a drake Scaup and a Chiffchaff were at Cameron Reservoir. A drake Ring-necked Duck was at Kinghorn Loch (27th). A Red Kite flew W over Barns Farm, five Long-tailed Ducks and a Red-throated Diver were off Out Head (28th) and close by in St Andrews, two Purple Sandpipers and a Turnstone were roosting with Redshanks on cliffs under the Aquarium. Two Velvet Scoters were amongst c100 Common Scoters offshore also. A Little Egret and a Greenshank were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre (29th) and Nuthatches were heard in Dunnikier Woods, Kirkcaldy and Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline (30th). Single Chiffchaffs were at both Wormiston and Kilminning, with a Siskin and a Merlin also at Kilminning. 20 Greylag Geese passed N at Fife Ness, where a Sand Martin was also noted. A Red Kite was seen in Coaltown of Balgonie and the first Osprey of the year was watched passing over West Lomond, two Swallows and a Chiffchaff were seen at Lochore Meadows CP and there were counts of 17 Sand Martins, 29 Pink-footed Geese, one Peregrine and three Cormorants over Dempster Place, Dunfermline. A Marsh Harrier, an Osprey and three Buzzards were seen at Newburgh and a Swallow passed over Winifred Crescent, Kirkcaldy, single Sand Martins were also noted at both Burntisland and East Wemyss. A count at Lower Largo (31st) produced 27 Slavonian Grebes, 29 Red-throated Divers, 22 Razorbills, 486 Velvet Scoters, 271 Common Scoters, 18 Long-tailed Ducks, one drake Scaup, and a Sand Martin and the Ring-necked Duck was with small group of Tufted Ducks at Kinghorn Loch, also a Chiffchaff was noted there. A Sandwich Tern passed Fife Ness, a Wheatear was noted at Out Head and a Chiffchaff was heard singing, two Sand Martins and 160 Pink-footed Geese over N and three Golden Plover went over E at Dempster Place, Dunfermline. Three Wheatears were watched at Sauchope, Crail and at Bath Plantation, there was one possibly two Green Woodpeckers, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming, seven Crossbills, several Chiffchaffs and three Buzzards, with also a Swallow passing over, then at Cameron Reservoir there were five Sand Martins, 10 Chiffchaffs singing and 220 Pink-footed Geese heading over N. c50 Whooper Swans passed over Dalgety Bay NW, at Out Head there was a Snow Bunting and a Wheatear and at Kilrenny Mill there were five Wheatears and a Snow Bunting.