November 2022 Sightings

The month of November started with a late Swallow and a Great Northern Diver at Ferry Hills, with single Little Gull and Little Auk seen at Fife Ness on the 2nd. Two Black-throated Divers were off Kirkcaldy promenade on the 3rd, with two Sandwich Terns seen nearby at Seafield. Four Taiga Bean Geese was seen from Ferry Hills on the 4th with a Marsh Harrier at Newburgh and a Swift sp. seen briefly at Cupar. 46 Little Auks and a Great Northern Diver went past Fife Ness on the 5th with a Snow Bunting also seen there and 27 Twite were at Wormiston. It was certainly a “diver” day in the inner Forth with four Great Northern Divers and 59 Red-throated Divers seen passing Kinghorn early morning and three Great Northern Divers, a Black-throated Diver and 74 Red-throated Divers at Ferry Hills. A juvenile Arctic Tern and a female Pintail were also seen from Kinghorn that morning. The next day was very similar with 24 Little Auks past Fife Ness and, at Kinghorn, four Great Northern Divers, 56 Red-throated Divers and seven Little Gulls were noted. Twite were seen at the Stinky Pool, Fife Ness, with 50 counted, and 22 were at Boarhills later in the day. On the 7th a juvenile Little Stint was seen on the salt marsh at Edenside and a Lesser Whitethroat was seen in St Andrews.

First light at Kinghorn on the 8th saw 54 Red-throated Divers flying west with four Little Gulls offshore while later at Fife Ness, five Little Auks were seen. The following day, a Marsh Harrier was seen at Newburgh and a Bonxie was off Lower Largo. On the 10th from Kinghorn, 38 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver passed going west with the latter probably relating to the bird seen heading inland at Ferry Hills. Four Little Auks were seen at Fife Ness and one lucky observer at Ruddons Point watched an aerial skirmish between a Goshawk and a Buzzard. A winter-plumaged Black Guillemot was seen at Fife Ness going north on the 11th. The 12th was a busy day in the county with 18 Little Auks, a Great Northern Diver and a Little Gull past Fife Ness. Kinghorn had seven Taiga Bean Geese and 28 Little Gulls (27 of which flew high to the west in one flock) while at Ferry Hills a Tree/Olive-backed Pipit was heard but couldn’t be located on the ground, with 61 Red-throated Divers noted flying inland. A Hawfinch was seen and heard calling in St Andrews before nearby, on the Eden Estuary LNR, 19 Brent Geese and c55 Scaup were seen. A Red Kite was at Moonzie before flying off north and at least seven Bearded Tits were on Mugdrum Island viewed from Newburgh. The 13th began with 49 Little Gulls west at Kinghorn with 30 Red-throated Divers also seen. This number paled in comparison to the 159 seen at Ferry Hills that morning, the consensus being that a lot of these individuals were already in the Inner Forth area and headed inland at first light. Also seen there were a Great Northern Diver and a Snow Bunting with Short-eared Owls watched at Boarhills and Kilminning. At Fife Ness c48 Little Auks and a Little Gull were seen and at Out Head a Pomarine Skua, Great Northern Diver, 51 Little Gulls and two Snow Buntings were reported. 2000 Fieldfares flew south-west over Ferry Hills on the 14th and a Waxwing was seen in Crail. Coble Shore had six Brent Geese and c50 Scaup with a Pomarine Skua and a Great Northern Diver passing Fife Ness, where Little Auks were reported passing but unfortunately no information on numbers was given.

17 Little Auks were off Fife Ness on the 15th with a single Sooty Shearwater and five Little Gulls also noted, along with two late Swallows going south. The next day, 12 Bearded Tits were seen on Mugdrum Island and 400 Golden Plovers were at St Monans. A wet and windy day at Fife Ness on the 17th produced seven Little Gulls and single records of Pomarine Skua, Sooty Shearwater and Great Northern Diver. At Anstruther on the 18th a Little Auk and a Great Northern Diver were seen, with one of the latter also noted at Fife Ness along with 11 Little Gulls and a Sooty Shearwater. Further west, three Bonxies and two Little Gulls were at Kinghorn with a Great Northern Diver and a Little Gull off Dalgety Bay Sailing Club. 46 Little Gulls, a Great Northern Diver and two Red-necked Grebes flew west past Kinghorn on the 19th. A Taiga Bean Goose flew up the Forth at Ferry Hills, where three Great Northern Divers and a juvenile Pomarine Skua were watched flying inland. At Fife Ness a Grey Phalarope, Pomarine Skua, two Great Northern Divers and 148 Little Auks were seen and, nearby, c75 Twite were between Balcomie Beach and the Stinky Pool. Another Grey Phalarope was watched at Out Head and three Little Auks were also there and in St Andrews a Ring Ouzel was reported. Cameron Reservoir turned up a first calendar year drake Smew, and two Green Sandpipers were at the gravel pits at Angle Park. The 20th was a busy day in the county with a Great Northern Diver, 64 Red-throated Divers, three Black-throated Divers, 36 Little Gulls, 55 Little Auks, a 1st winter Black Guillemot and two Red-necked Grebes seen at Kinghorn. A Grey Phalarope and 16 Little Auks were at Fairmont St Andrews with a Great Northern Diver at Ferry Hills. Kingskettle hosted both single European and Greenland White-fronted Geese with a Water Pipit and 48 Twite at Cocklemill Marsh. Fife Ness excelled with nine Grey Phalaropes, 655 Little Auks, 59 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, six Great Northern Divers and nine Little Gulls. The following day there were just 50 Little Auks at Fife Ness and three Great Northern Divers, with six Little Auks, eight Little Gulls and a Great Northern Diver at Kinghorn. The two races of White-fronted Geese were still at Kingskettle with 41 Whooper Swans and at Out Head two Grey Phalaropes, seven Little Auks, a Great Northern Diver, three Little Gulls and 92 Scaup were seen.

The 22nd began with two Little Auks and a Great Northern Diver at Kinghorn and a Drake Ring-necked Duck at Beveridge Park boating pond in Kirkcaldy. A Jack Snipe took advantage of a flooded field just outside Gauldry and, similarly, an Iceland Gull did likewise at Luthrie. An apparent Hooded Crow was seen at Out Head with the Greenland White-fronted Goose still near Kingskettle and Water Pipit at Cocklemill Marsh. Seawatching at Fife Ness rewarded the participants with a Grey Phalarope flying south and 46 Little Auks. On the 23rd Little Auks were still to be seen with 15 noted off Kinghorn in a brief seawatch. Two Little Gulls and three Little Auks were at Fife Ness on the 24th with three Little Auks also at Seafield, just offshore. A lone Waxwing was in a private garden at Newburgh with both the European and Greenland White-fronted Geese again at Kingskettle and five Snow Buntings at Out Head. The 1st winter Iceland Gull was again seen at Luthrie on the 25th while a Grey Phalarope was a good find off Burntisland. 12 Waxwings flew over St Michael’s golf course and the Smew was still at Cameron Reservoir the following day. Also on the 26th, six Little Auks flew past East Braes, Kinghorn and a female Ring-necked Duck was at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR and apparently had been present since the 24th. The 27th started with a Swift sp. at Ferry Hills, just as it was getting light, but frustratingly was not seen again. The 1st winter Iceland Gull, female Ring-necked Duck and Water Pipit were seen again at Luthrie, Birnie Loch and Cocklemill Marsh. A Grey Phalarope was off Burntisland on the 28th and was present for a couple of days previously but unreported. At Fife Ness a Great Northern Diver passed and the female Ring-necked Duck continued to afford great views at Birnie Loch.

A Drake Surf Scoter was a good find for this once Fife speciality at West Sands, St Andrews. First light on the 29th the female Ring-necked Duck was still in the north- west corner of Birnie Loch and, nearby, the Greenland White-fronted Goose was at Kingskettle with a Black-throated Diver off Burntisland.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware