November 2019 Sightings

A possible Red-throated Pipit had been reported on the last day of October at Tentsmuir Point NNR and was found again but with no conclusive ID. A Woodcock was flushed at Auchtermuchty Common with two of this species also noted at Kilminning as well as one Long-eared Owl and two Blackcaps. A single Blackcap was also seen at Fife Ness Muir where there was one Short-eared Owl in off the sea. Reports from Out Head included two Snow Buntings, two Black-necked Grebes, one Slavonian Grebe, six Long-tailed Ducks, and a Little Gull. Camilla Loch hosted two Jack Snipe and a single Brambling then flocks of Fieldfares were noted with 250 over Dalgety Bay and 190 feeding on the golf course at Burntisland (2nd). Seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew west at Seafield where there was also a first winter Little Gull then along at Kinghorn, seawatching produced 29 Common Scoters, 55 Long-tailed Ducks, two Goldeneyes, 74 Gannets, 83 Shags and 203 Kittiwakes past as well as 216 Eiders and 144 Common Scoters offshore. A Fife Ness count included six Red-throated Divers N, one Manx Shearwater N, one Bonxie S and one Velvet Scoter N. Kilminning held a Waxwing and a Woodcock while 17 Twite frequented the coastal path at Kingsbarns (3rd). A very pale Mealy Redpoll was found at Balcomie and a redhead Smew put in her first appearance of the autumn at Lochore Meadows CP (4th). An adult Mediterranean Gull, two Little Gulls and a Sandwich Tern were seen at Pathhead, 13 Waxwings were found in St Andrews and the regular count from Fife Ness was five Little Auks, 14 Velvet Scoters, 18 Long-tailed Ducks and ten Red-throated Divers. Kilminning held five Chiffchaffs, 60 Fieldfares, 12 Long-tailed Tits and five Treecreepers (5th) then a morning report from this site the next day included a Siberian Chiffchaff , a Woodcock, a Brambling, at least ten Goldcrests, six Corn Buntings, a Blackcap, and a Great Northern Diver before further afternoon sightings included a male Redstart, two Blackcaps and a Woodcock. Nearby at Balcomie there was a first winter Black Redstart while Fife Ness produced an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Little Auk. 27 Whooper Swans flew in to Kilconquhar Loch where a Water Rail was calling. Four Snow Buntings and four Stonechats were at Out Head then a Black-necked Grebe was at Elie Harbour (6th). At Buckhaven there were one adult, one second winter and two first winter Mediterranean Gulls, there was a mobile flock of 12 Waxwings over Wormit and a Great Northern Diver was off Dalgety Bay Sailing Club (7th).

Out Head hosted a Whinchat, three Snow Buntings, a White-tailed Eagle and c15 Sanderlings, Buckhaven held two second winter Mediterranean Gulls then a Great Northern Diver was seen offshore at East Wemyss. 21 Whooper Swans and a first calendar year Marsh Harrier were noted at Newburgh (8th). At Dysart there were five Waxwings flying west then seawatching at Kinghorn yielded 21 Eiders, 114 Common Scoters, 31 Long-tailed Ducks, four Red-throated Divers, two Bar-tailed Godwits, 98 Black-headed Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull all past as well as c30 Long-tailed Ducks, c80 Common Scoters and c150 Eiders offshore. Five Little Auks were off Anstruther, three Scaup were spied from Ruddons Point and c150 of this sea duck were off the Golf Museum car park at St Andrews where there was also a Kingfisher at the harbour. A male Northern Bullfinch turned up at Shell Bay caravan park, a Merlin flew over Balcomie and this species of raptor was also seen at Tentsmuir Point NNR as well as a Greenshank and two Little Egrets. Observations from Fife Ness included seven Little Auks N and a single just offshore in addition to one Pomarine Skua N, six Common Scoters N and a Velvet Scoter N while a Swallow at Crombie Point didn’t seem to have read the migration manual (9th). A similarly confused Swallow was at Elie where the Black-necked Grebe seemed to be settling in for the winter and there were 27 Golden Plovers. A redhead Smew was at Cameron Reservoir, an adult Mediterranean Gull was at the east end of Dysart as well as a Little Auk close inshore, not in the best of health. A report from Ferry Hills included 1066 Pink-footed Geese, two Whooper Swans, three Goldeneyes, 11 Red-throated Divers, a Merlin, four Waxwings and two Bramblings over. At Out Head, sightings included six Slavonian Grebes, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, one White-tailed Eagle, two Snow Buntings, five Stonechats and three Brent Geese. Balgownie Woods held two Ravens and two Bramblings then two Little Egrets graced Tentsmuir Point, five Jack Snipe and 17 Snipe were at Cocklemill Marsh and a Short-eared Owl patrolled Ruddons Point. An unseasonable Puffin was spied off Kincraig Point, a Red-necked Grebe was in the harbour at Inchkeith and the tally from Fife Ness ‪was one Great Northern Diver, a Mediterranean Gull, one Velvet Scoter, 24 Red-throated Divers, two Purple Sandpipers, two Teal, two Shelducks, 44 Common Scoters, five Red-breasted Mergansers and 16 Gannets (10th). 81 Whooper Swans (including nine juveniles) were just north of Kingskettle, and Lochore Meadows CP retained the redhead Smew (11th). 60 Redwings visited Moss Plantation and a Blackcap decided to break in to song at Strathkinness (12th). A Short-eared Owl was over the golf course at Out Head (13th).

A second winter Mediterranean Gull was at Balbeggie Pond where there were also c80 Redwings over. A good candidate for Hooded Crow was near Inverkeithing High School, 121 Velvet Scoters were off Leven and a male Merlin and a male Hen Harrier were at present at Knockhill. Examination of the sea off Fife Ness produced a Great Northern Diver, one Black-throated Diver, six Red-throated Divers, nine Scaup, 193 Eiders, 294 Common Gulls, a Wigeon, a Teal and two Long-tailed Ducks (15th). Six Waxwings frequented Dairsie, a juvenile Pomarine Skua flew east past Dysart Harbour where there were 17 Velvet Scoters offshore. Out Head sightings included 84 Scaup, 16 Pintails, six Long-tailed Ducks, 17 Slavonian Grebes and seven Great Crested Grebes while Largo Bay hosted five Scaup, four Slavonian Grebes and one Black-throated Diver. A Greylag Goose and a Barnacle Goose accompanied c8000 Pink-footed Geese north of Cupar (16th). Loch Gelly held four Scaup, two Whooper Swans, seven Goosanders, 48 Lapwings, 24 Greylags, 110 Goldeneyes, 102 Black-headed Gulls and a Kingfisher. Six Waxwings were at Cellardyke, a Little Gull was at Pettycur and two Twite were on the beach at Kingsbarns and a Kingfisher was fishing in rock pools there (17th). Five Waxwings turned up in central Kirkcaldy and the same number of this species appeared in St Andrews then a group of eight or nine Snow Buntings were noted on the east side of West Lomond (18th). Balbuthie Farm held 1000+ Pink-footed Geese over two fields and at Out Head a White-tailed Eagle (turquoise seven) and a Short-eared Owl were noted along with a stunning Grey Plover still in full summer plumage (19th). A Pomarine Skua and a Black-throated Diver were off Anstruther and a Lesser Whitethroat was at Cellardyke (20th). Five mobile Snow Buntings were at Out Head and Elie’s Black-necked Grebe remained (21st).

Buckhaven hosted an adult, one first winter and one second winter Mediterranean Gulls, a first calendar year Marsh Harrier was at                     Newburgh, a Swallow decided it preferred Burntisland to more southerly haunts (22nd) and loitered the next day (23rd). Central Kirkcaldy’s Waxwings numbered around six. 45 Goldeneyes and two Slavonian Grebes were seen at  Dalgety Bay (24th) where sightings the following day included a drake Pochard, 19 Great Crested Grebes, a Slavonian Grebe and three female Common Scoters. A scouting of Valleyfield Lagoons yielded c40 Snipe, four or five Jack Snipe, three Bearded Tits, 35 Teal, two Greenshanks, nine Bar-tailed Godwits, six Red-breasted Mergansers and six Great Crested Grebes (25th).Three Waxwings turned up in the vicinity of Kirkcaldy’s now famous car wash, giving rise to hope of a repeat of last year’s numbers, while Dalgety Bay’s single Waxwing also chose a traditional haunt – a Tesco car park. A Slavonian Grebe was close in off Burntisland (27th). Four Greenshanks were on the shore at St Andrews(28th). An adult male Goshawk was circling over woods adjacent to the Secret Bunker, a Red-necked Grebe was off Dalgety Bay Sailing Club where there was also a Chiffchaff in the trees nearby. An immature drake Smew graced Kilconquhar Loch (29th) and was still present the following day when the Ring-necked Parakeet was showing well in Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park. The Black-necked Grebe confirmed that it planned to be a regular occurrence at Elie. A Black Guillemot appeared off Tentsmuir Point NNR, a small party of Crossbills was at Wether Hill and a single Snipe was noted at Outh Moor. A Snow Bunting, six Slavonian Grebes and 30 Scaup were at Out Head and the month ended with a report from Kinghorn which included two Red-throated Divers, 14 Common Scoters, 252 Eiders and one Little Gull (30th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott