November 2017 Sightings


A Barn Owl was seen on a fence post by the A91 between Auchtermuchty and Strathmiglo on the first day of the month. A Spotted Redshank was recorded from the Eden Estuary Centre (1st) and was joined the following day by three Little Egrets, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a White-tailed Eagle. At least four of the Northern Bullfinches lingered at Ferry Hills where two Great Northern Divers flew over. Two Twite flew west over Inverkeithing and 45 Red-breasted Mergansers frequented Dalgety Bay. 63 Whooper Swans were present at Clatto Reservoir whilst a Black Guillemot, a Black Throated Diver, 27 Red-throated Divers and 47 Razorbills were noted off Ruddons Point (2nd). 53 Scaup were in St Andrews Bay, a male Merlin was at Pittenweem and the Spotted Redshank was still present from the Eden Estuary Centre (3rd). There were several reports the next day starting with 2000 Pink-footed Geese at Coal Farm, a Twite at Elie Ness then three Slavonian Grebes, one Red-necked Grebe and two Red-throated Divers at Largo Bay. The Lade Braes/Hallow Hill area of St. Andrews held 11 Bramblings, a decent record for there. A drake Velvet Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, and nine Long-tailed Ducks were off Seafield where 96 Shags and 18 Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks and c30 Goldfinches, eight Reed Buntings, a Tree Sparrow, a Goldcrest and a Grey Wagtail were also present. 42 Snipe loitered at Valleyfield Lagoons in the afternoon and a freshwater count at Linkswood Pond/Flood comprised four Dabchicks, two Mute Swans, 13 Teal, 60 Wigeon, 33 Mallards, a female Shoveler, five Moorhens and six Coots with Newton Farm Pond holding six Dabchicks, seven Mute Swans and ten Moorhens (4th). All eight of the Northern Bullfinches were still about at Ferry Hills where there was a Hawfinch over. Seven Redwings were flitting about at the Cullaloe NR car park and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in the bay at West Wemyss (5th). Loch Gelly held a first winter drake Scaup, a Long-tailed Duck, a Gadwall, 44 Goldeneyes, 68 Teal, c40 Tufted Ducks, eight Pochards, four Pink-footed Geese, a Water Rail and two Kingfishers. A male Merlin was at Tentsmuir Point NNR, whilst Morton Lochs NNR hosted two Gadwalls, 12+ Coots, a Buzzard and a single Mistle Thrush. A report from Newton Sandpit comprised c70 Teal, 18 Tufted Ducks, three Gadwalls, nine Goldeneyes and a Snipe. A Jay flew over Newton Farm where there were also 15+ Moorhens and at least ten of this species were at Drumoig (7th).



At Anstruther there was a Woodcock in off the sea whilst a drake Surf Scoter was offshore at Ruddons Point with a Pale-bellied Brent Goose at nearby Cocklemill Burn. Edenside held a Little Egret, two Shelducks, two Goosanders, c60 Lapwings, c300 Golden Plovers and six Tree Sparrows. At Out Head 70 Oystercatchers were counted as well as four Stonechats (8th). Reports from freshwater sites the following day included: 20 Whooper Swans, c35 Wigeon, 12 Teal and c20 Tree Sparrows at Craigluscar NR; ten Mute Swans, 67 Wigeon and five Gadwalls with, c450 Greylags over at Mountcastle GP; 12 Mute Swans, 34 Greylags, 23 Wigeon, 11 Goosanders, six Moorhens, 25+ Jackdaws and five Long-tailed Tits at Birnie & Gaddon Lochs LNR and also three Cormorants, 46 Mute Swans, a family of two adult and four Whooper Swans, c75 Wigeon, 28 Tufted Ducks and c90 Goldeneyes at Lindores Loch. 70+ Scaup were at West Sands, St Andrews (9th).Two Little Auks passed Fife Ness (10th). The eight Northern Bullfinches were still present at Ferry Hills where seven Great Northern Divers and 49 Bramblings were also seen. Largo Bay held eight Red-throated Divers, one Great Northern Diver, one Red-necked Grebe and four Slavonian Grebes whilst two Great Northern Divers were also seen at Elie Ness . A Tundra Bean Goose was reported at Ardross Farm then a Long-eared Owl was observed near the entrance to Fordell Firs Scout Centre (11th). Kilrenny hosted 50 Golden Plovers, 75 Lapwings, ten Curlews, a Treecreeper and ten Long-tailed Tits. Four Twite were at Dysart whilst Kirkcaldy saw a Barnacle Goose accompany a skein of  Pink-footed Geese over then 13 Bramblings were noted at the town’s Wester Bogie Road. A fine count of 200+ Black-tailed Godwits was made at Newmills (12th). c50 Twite were in a mixed finch flock just west of Kingsbarns (13th). 13 Mute Swans, 12 Wigeon, 55+ Teal and 28 Mallards were counted at Letham Pools and a late Sandwich Tern was at Seafield. At Ruddons Point 12 Little Auks flew east, the drake Surf Scoter was still showing well plus 105 Velvet Scoters, 250+ Common Scoters, a Black Guillemot, two Great Northern Divers, one Red-throated Diver, two Slavonian Grebes, three Purple Sandpipers and ten Grey Plovers. Kilconquhar Loch hosted two female Scaup, one female Pintail, eight Pochards, c100 Tufted Ducks and a Water Rail. Balgove Bay held three Pale-bellied Brent Geese  and 350 + Dunlins whilst at Tentsmuir NNR there were 15 Slavonian Grebes, one Great Crested Grebe , 12+ Red-throated Divers, 40 Long-tailed Ducks, 120+ Velvet Scoters and 750+ Common Scoters (14th).


At Edenside there were 12 Brent Geese, 24 Shelducks, 80 Mallards, 22 Teal, at least ten Dabchicks, just two Goldeneyes, 66+ Lapwings, 90+ Dunlins, a White-tailed Eagle, a Kingfisher, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and six Tree Sparrows. A Little Egret flew north at Tentsmuir while Kinshaldy held 22 Slavonian Grebes, 410 Velvet Scoters, 290 Long-tailed Ducks, c5000 Common Scoters and six Twite (15th). 22 Purple Sandpipers were at Anstruther, a Little Egret and five Goosanders frequented Cameron Reservoir and two tame Snow Buntings turned up at Out Head (16th). Another finch flock, slightly smaller this time, was noted west of Kingsbarns and included Twite. Newton Farm Pond held five Dabchicks, seven Mute Swans and 13 Moorhens and the Sandpit Ponds yielded 16 Greylags, c60 Teal, 32 Wigeon, 18 Tufted Ducks, four Gadwalls, 11 Goldeneyes and eight Moorhens whilst Linkswood Pond & Flood had 12 Canada Geese, 12 Teal, eight Tufted Ducks, seven Moorhens, six Coots and a Jay. A report of a Nuthatch in a Dunfermline garden near Pittencrieff Park was particularly noteworthy (17th). A Hawfinch landed briefly at Ferry Hills and the eight Northern Bullfinches were still present and correct. Kirkton Barns had five Grey Partridges (not often reported these days) and a report from Morton Lochs NNR included nine Teal, six Wigeon, 23 Mallards, 11 Moorhens,18 Coots, three Jays, one Great Spotted Woodpecker and seven Redwings but only one Dabchick(18th). Whooper Swans numbered 33 at Craigluscar NR but only two at Loch Gelly where a Long-tailed Duck and a Kingfisher were also spotted. The drake Surf Scoter was with 106 Velvet Scoters at Ruddons Point whilst a report from Tentsmuir Point NNR comprised ten Pintails, 675 Oystercatchers, 340 Dunlins, 27 Grey Plovers and a Raven. Two Little Egrets were recorded at Tayport Heath, a Swallow was an unusual sighting at Seafield where there was also a Greenshank. Five Purple Sandpipers were at Dysart as well as a Mediterranean Gull (19th).


A single of the latter species was also at the customary Buckhaven haunt (22nd). A Little Auk lingered close in at Fife Ness, Dalgety Bay held a Greenshank while a Little Egret was seen at Kincardine (23rd). A lone Snow Bunting appeared at Ruddons Point and a report from Tayport Pond included 20 Mallards, two Teal, two Wigeon, 14 Moorhens and 60 Oystercatchers as well as a Magpie (apparenty an unusual record for here) whilst offshore there were 28 Wigeon, eight Ringed Plovers and c90 Dunlins (24th). Nine Corn Buntings were recorded near Coal Farm (26th). Ferry Toll had two Ravens and a Kestrel while three adult Mediterranean Gulls, were on the mudflats at Burntisland (28th).


Wilderness hosted 16 Whooper Swans, Seafield produced four Greenshanks and 32 Purple Sandpipers at high tide then four Slavonian Grebes and one Red-throated Diver were detected among a scoter flock north of Kinshaldy and 20+ Scaup were off West Sands, St. Andrews (29th).

Information courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott