October 2020 Sightings

October carried over from September with the star bird continuing to be the Siberian Thrush (1st), always seen fleetingly at Kilminning, but with patience brief views could be had. A supporting cast of a Common Rosefinch, a Short-eared Owl, two Hawfinches, a Brambling and a few Redwings made for a good day’s birding. Elsewhere, at Cullaloe LNR a count included five Snipe and two Wheatears while one Stonechat was noted at Seafield Tower. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was at Levenmouth (2nd), while down at Kilminning the Siberian Thrush continued to show sporadically for the increasing number of birders who had journeyed to see this fartravelled bird. The Common Rosefinch still fed happily on the Elder berries and also noted were a Black-throated Diver, 31 Barnacle Geese and one Crossbill over, a Hawfinch was seen around the toilet block and two to three Yellow-browed Warblers, five Redpolls and two Sandwich Terns were also noted. A Yellow-browed Warbler was at the pond, Boarhills, with another seen in a St Andrews garden, where five Crossbills and seven Skylarks were also seen going over S. A tame Brent Goose and two Wheatears were at Kilrenny Mill, six adult and two 1st winter Mediterranean Gulls were on the shore at Dysart and further along the coast at East Wemyss, the Mediterranean Gull count was at 21, including seven 1st winter birds. The weather at Kilminning was atrocious (3rd) but it didn’t stop a few hardy souls hoping to see the Siberian Thrush which duly obliged in the early morning, but was as elusive as ever for the rest of the day. The Common Rosefinch and a Yellow-browed Warbler were also seen and it appeared that there was a slight increase in Chiffchaffs and Thrushes, with counts of two Blackcaps, four Goldcrests, eight Song Thrushes and two Redwings. Nearby at Fife Ness, 10 Goldcrests, six Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps, 35 Song Thrushes and five Redwings were reported. At Ferry Hills two Arctic Skuas and seven Red-throated Divers flew inland, with 12 Song Thrushes and 70 Redpolls noted going over. At Kilminning (4th) the Siberian Thrush showed fleetingly still, the Common Rosefinch, c10 Blackcaps, three Yellow-browed Warblers, one Lesser Whitethroat, one Garden Warbler, seven Bramblings, c5 Goldcrests, c2 Woodcocks, c7 Chiffchaffs and a big arrival of Redwings were noted. Also seen were at least two Hawfinches, a Ring Ouzel, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Willow Warbler, two Siskins, two Short-eared Owls, one Yellow Wagtail E, one Grey Wagtail and one Grey Plover W, a Greenshank flew over and a Barred Warbler was also reported. Seen going over in small skeins all day were Barnacle Geese, including an albino bird and the numbers were estimated to be around c2500 for the day. Along the Coastal Path at Kilminning towards Fife Ness, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a superb Red-breasted Flycatcher were found and at Fife Ness itself, a Lesser Whitethroat and two Yellow-browed Warblers were around the caravans, with a further two Yellow-browed Warblers and a Garden Warbler in the patch. A scarce Lapland Bunting was seen near Dane’s Dyke on the ground and at Balcomie one Spotted Flycatcher, one Willow Warbler, c2 Chiffchaffs and c3 Blackcaps were noted. In Crail, at Roome Bay, a Yellow-browed Warbler was watched in Sycamores behind the toilet block and further west at Kincraig Hill c300 Redwings, two Goldcrests, several Song Thrushes, a male Ring Ouzel and a female Blackcap were seen. Later in the day a possible Dusky Warbler was heard calling twice at Kilminning, but not seen. Boarhills had four Yellow-browed Warblers (two at the pond, one at Kittocks Den and one in the village), three Jack Snipe, one Redstart, three Garden Warblers, two Willow Warblers and 101 Wigeon SE and in a St. Andrews garden a Ring Ouzel was seen briefly before flying NW. Away from the East Neuk, Kinghorn had a passage of 13 Red-throated Divers, 1430 Kittiwakes W, c90 Little Gulls, one Arctic Skua, three Great Northern Divers, a Sandwich Tern and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull. And at Ferry Hills the passage there included a dark juvenile Long-tailed Skua, which went inland with a dark juvenile Arctic Skua. 1100 Kittiwakes including a flock of 800 also flew inland, six Bonxies, 15 Red-throated Divers, one Tree or Olive-backed Pipit, 150 Redwings, 14 Song Thrushes and nine Crossbills also went over. And a count at Valleyfield Lagoons included 13 Greenshanks, nine Black-tailed Godwits and nine Ringed Plovers. At Kilminning (5th) the Siberian Thrush was seen to head straight into a rose bush in the early morning, but was not seen subsequently, also noted were one Jack Snipe, c25 Blackcaps, one Garden Warbler and four Bramblings, with a male Redstart and a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Sycamores just before the entrance. Also seen at the top end of Kilminning were two Spotted Flycatchers, a Ring Ouzel and a Blackcap, with the day total for Yellow-browed Warblers in the area being around eight. Down at Fife Ness on the patch were, c3 Yellow-browed Warblers and a Crossbill over, with a probable Blyth’s Reed Warbler also seen skulking. Balcomie had a good count of at least eight Chiffchaffs, while over at Wormiston a female/immature Redstart, four Chiffchaffs and five skeins of Barnacle Geese totalling c500 birds were seen. Boarhills still had a Yellow-browed Warbler (at the pond), with a Reed Warbler, a Garden Warbler and 271 Barnacle Geese SE. A Ring Ouzel was seen in St Andrews and at Ferry Hills, migration continued in the form of a Black-throated Diver, 10 Red-throated Divers, one Arctic Skua, two Whooper Swans, two Bramblings and 22 Song Thrushes. In Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy (6th) a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was on the football pitch and back down at the coast, a Radde’s Warbler was heard well in the patch, but not seen, with a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Redstart, 40 Tree Sparrows, a Scaup over, 30 Barnacle Geese over, a Brambling, c30 Redpolls, four Siskins, c6 Blackcaps and c10 Chiffchaffs all noted too. Later that day an Arctic Warbler was trapped and ringed. Also seen there was a Siberian Chiffchaff. At the top end of Kilminning were a Ring Ouzel, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Brambling, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Yellow-browed Warbler, c3 Chiffchaffs, c6 Goldcrests and c12 Redwings. In the walled garden at Balcomie, a possible Dusky Warbler was in the eastern end, showing well at times and calling. Yellow-browed Warblers were noted at Kilminning, Caiplie and in Denburn Wood, a Woodcock was flushed near the caravans at Fife Ness, eight Snow Buntings were in a stubble field near to Crail and a Chiffchaff was at Strathkinness. Seen going over St Andrews were one Hawfinch, 13 Brambling, five Chaffinches, one Crossbill, two Redpolls, one Siskin, one White Wagtail, three Pied Wagtails, 15 Skylarks and one Song Thrush, all heading S. Also a Grey Wagtail heading W. At Newburgh a 2nd year Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine and five Buzzards were noted, between Cocklemill Burn and Ruddons Point were four Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Common Scoters and a large gathering of c50 feeding Swallows. A count at Dalgety Bay included nine Golden Plovers and c24 Turnstones. Two Yellow-browed Warblers, five Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps, one Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Crossbills, 10 House Martins and three Swallows were seen in, or over the patch, Fife Ness (7th), with c8 Blackcaps, c10 Chiffchaffs, one Siskin, one Brambling, 12 Long-tailed Tits, one Yellow-browed Warbler and six Crossbills noted around the Kilminning area. A Chiffchaff was briefly heard singing at Braefoot, while a small passage of Swallows was noted that day with 12 at Barns Farm, two at Strathkinness and four near Kinghorn Loch. 20 Mistle Thrushes were seen heading W at Moss Plantation, a Hawfinch went S over St Andrews and one Arctic Skua, 29 Crossbills, 143 Redpolls, 123 Siskins, 24 Skylark, 43 Mistle Thrushes and 63 Redwings passed over Ferry Hills. The spread of Yellow-browed Warblers away from the coast continues with two great finds, one at Kilmany and one further west at Dunfermline. Both an Arctic Warbler and a Blyth’s Reed Warbler were seen well in the Patch at Fife Ness (8th), with four Crossbills also seen going over. At Kingsbarns a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen near Cambo House, with an adult Mediterranean Gull and an immature Peregrine seen nearby. A possible Red-throated Pipit was flushed by walkers 200m N of the car park by the sheep field at Out Head, it flew SW calling, but was lost in the sun over the golf course, also nearby was a Redstart along the road up to Out Head. Also noted at Out Head were a Mediterranean Gull W, a Slavonian Grebe, a Red-breasted Merganser and a flock of c10 Crossbills passing over N. Nearby in St Andrews were two Mute Swans, 12 Mallard and seven Moorhens at North Haugh Pond. There was a big overhead movement at Ferry Hills which included seven Taiga Bean Geese, 15 Barnacle Geese, 149 Skylarks, 53 Song Thrushes, 99 Mistle Thrushes and 44 Crossbills. Also 1288 Pink-footed Geese, 11 Bramblings and 195 Redpolls. And then another great inland Yellow-browed Warbler sighting came in from Angle Park GP, with the bird seen around the pools at Cairnfield Muir, with a Common Redpoll with a Redpoll flock, also c6 Goldcrest and two Chiffchaffs were noted there. Ferry Hills had four Taiga Bean Geese, three Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a juvenile Arctic Skua heading west up the Forth (9th), in the patch at Fife Ness was a Yellow-browed Warbler with a Woodcock flushed also. In the Elie Estate a Hawfinch was a good find near the big house. Another light Swallow passage was noted (10th) with two at St Andrews and five at Fife Ness, with a Wheatear and a Red-throated Diver also seen there. In fields directly north of thegolf course at Kingsbarns, c4 Twite, a Peregrine and a Wheatear were noted, two coveys of Grey Partridges (nine and 11) were seen near Cellardyke and a count at Valleyfield Lagoons included five Bar-tailed Godwits, five Black-tailed Godwits, seven Greenshanks and a Scaup. The passage at Ferry Hills included nine Whooper Swans, one Arctic Skua, 124 Mistle Thrushes (flocks dropping in to feed on berries, then eventually heading off high across Forth) and 17 Bramblings, also one Stonechat was on the ground. Just outside Crail a Lapland Bunting was in the obligatory stubble field, a 1st calendar year Marsh Harrier was noted at Rossie Bog, a Brambling was in the patch at Fife Ness, with two Yellow-browed Warblers and two Chiffchaffs at nearby Kilminning also. At Ferry Hills on the night of (10th-11th) a White-fronted Goose was sound recorded. A small Whooper Swan passage was noted (11th) with 15 E over Auchtermuchty, eight over Cellardyke, 15 over Dunfermline and two over Barns Farm. Passage at Ferry Hills included 33 Red-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers, 11 Pintail, 23 Crossbills, 67 Mistle Thrushes and 100 Redpolls. At Kilminning a Fieldfare, two Bramblings, a Yellow-browed Warbler, c4 Blackcaps, c3 Chiffchaffs and one Redpoll were seen and on the north side of the Lomond Hills 14 Red Grouse and a Peregrine were noted. Further west c4000 Pink-feet, which included three Barnacle Geese, were counted at Crombie, meanwhile on the east coast at Kittock’s Den, a Hawfinch flew towards Boarhills, four Bramblings, a Fieldfare, one Chiffchaff, two Blackcaps and one Redwing were seen, whilea Yellow-browed Warbler and a Brambling were seen at a small wood west of Sypsies Wood, Crail. 27 Twite were in fields at the north end of the beach at Boghall, Kingsbarns, a White-tailed Eagle, 12 Slavonian Grebes, two Great Crested Grebes, c30 Sanderlings, one Dunlin, 11 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, one Guillemot, c200 Pink-footed Geese W, eight Whooper Swan W and six Meadow Pipits were all noted at Out Head, 22 Whooper Swans, an immature female Marsh Harrier and a 1st calendar year Marsh Harrier were watched at Rossie Bog (12th), two Short-eared Owls were at Out Head and a seawatch at Crail (13th) produced 18 Sooty Shearwaters E, five Manx Shearwaters E, c3330 Razorbills, c370 Guillemots and five Barnacle Geese W. Three Swallows were noted heading E at Barns Farm, eight Whooper Swans went over NE at Kinghorn Loch and a juvenile Arctic Tern was a good find at Tentsmuir Point NNR. Four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, two adults and two juveniles were at Tayport and at Ferry Hills (14th) the passage included 25 Red-throated Divers, 124 Wigeon, a flock of 50 Kittiwakes flying inland with a 1st winter Arctic Tern, 180 Redwings, 26 Fieldfares, 60 Redpolls, 31 Crossbills and two Bramblings. A Long-eared Owl was at the pond, Boarhills, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the grassy area by the car park at Buckhaven, a Yellow-browed Warbler was at Craighead Cottages, Fife Ness and another Mediterranean Gull was at Kingsbarns, this time a 1st calendar year bird. A Tawny Owl was heard calling at Aberdour and near St Andrews, one Yellow-browed Warbler was heard calling, with seven Bramblings, one Crossbill S and three Redpolls. 50 Twite were in fields north of the pond at Boarhills, also a male Peregrine (15th), overhead passage at Ferry Hills included 26 Bramblings, 180 Redwings, 24 Swallows and 47 Skylarks, c40 Lesser Redpolls were seen at Wilderness, two White-tailed Eagles, two Spotted Redshanks and one Kingfisher were noted at the Eden Estuary. A Short-eared Owl was at Kilminning, a Kingfisher was seen at Dumbarnie, a Bonxie was watched harassing an adult Great Black-backed Gull off Kingsbarns, with 25 Little Gulls and 11 Long-tailed Ducks passing SE also noted. An adult and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, two Kingfishers and 23 Redwings over were at Levenmouth (16th), 750 Pink-footed Geese, 41 Fieldfares and 24 Redwings passed over Dunfermline and a similar passage was noted at Kilmany with 1000 Pink-footed Geese N, c60 Fieldfares and 15 Redwings. A Siberian Chiffchaff was at upper Kilminning, with 14 Twite and 70 Wigeon E seen at the lower end, 11 Little Egrets, 22 Goosander, one Shoveler, two Little Gulls (adult and a first calendar year), one Spotted Redshank, 14 Greenshanks, one Grey Plover, 17 Golden Plovers and five Black-tailed Godwits were counted at the Eden Estuary and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in Anstruther Bay. A Glossy Ibis was a great find on the small pond by the seawall at Tayport, only the third County Record, pending acceptance. The bird didn’t hang about for long and was seen flying off at dusk and wasn’t seen thereafter. Three Little Egrets, four Brent Geese and seven Shoveler were also noted at Tayport. The Siberian Chiffchaff was still showing reasonably well and calling at Kilminning, two White-tailed Eagles, one Peregrine, 50 Long-tailed Ducks and one Slavonian Grebe were at Kinshaldy, 24 Bar-tailed Godwits, five Black-tailed Godwits, four Greenshanks and one Slavonian Grebe were counted at Valleyfield Lagoons, a Tawny Owl was calling and c1000 Pink-footed Geese passed over N at Dunfermline. 15 Whooper Swans passed over Anstruther heading SW (17th) and nine Twite with 80 Linnets in the field just north of the golf course at Kingsbarns, while at Dalgety Bay a good count of 300 Wigeon was made. At Pickletillum c500 Pink-footed Geese were in a stubble field next to the A91. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the East Beach at Dysart (18th), with three Mediterranean Gulls offshore at West Wemyss and a further two were on the tide line at East Wemyss, a Raven, three Shoveler, 11 Gadwall, 42 Wigeon, 12 Fieldfares and two Redwings were at Craigluscar and 120 Fieldfares, 42 Redwings, two Mistle Thrushes, a Peregrine, 236 Greylag Geese (including two Leucistic birds) and 39 Lapwings were counted at Loch Gelly. A Short-eared Owl was in the patch at Fife Ness, two Swallows were watched going W at Cellardyke, 20 Twite, eight Common Scoters were noted at Fife Ness, with six Redpolls and a Chiffchaff at the top end of nearby Kilminning. Two Snow Buntings and a Stonechat were on the saltmarsh at Tayport, with a Little Egret noted nearby on Lucky Scalp. Seven Purple Sandpipers were seen in front of the hide at Fife Ness, two Sandwich Terns were seen off Braefoot Point, two Jack Snipe and 15 Snipe were in Cocklemill Marsh and at nearby Ruddons Point, the Whimbrel has taken up residence once more. An adult Little Gull and two adult Mediterranean Gulls were noted at Roome Bay, Crail, with another adult Mediterranean Gull seen at Kilrenny Mill, further west at Barns Farm two Swallows were seen heading E and nearby at Dalgety Bay a Slavonian Grebe was present. From the entrance track at Morton Lochs NNR a male Merlin, six Bramblings, 45 Chaffinches, five Twite, 60 Linnets, nine Greenfinches, two Bullfinches, 11 Redpolls, 23 Yellowhammers, 135 Mistle Thrushes, 120 Fieldfares, nine Blackbirds, 38 Redwings, 22 Song Thrushes, 14 Meadow Pipits, four Pied Wagtails, 75 Skylarks and a Stonechat were counted. From Leven two Scaup, a Goldeneye, four Slavonian Grebes, 11 Long-tailed Ducks, 100 Velvet Scoters and 40 Common Scoters were counted and at the Eden Estuary LNR a White-tailed Eagle, a Peregrine, two Greenshanks, three Scaup and five Little Egrets were noted. At Kilminning (20th) a Siberian Chiffchaff, a Brambling and one Common Redpoll were seen with three Redpolls and two Snipe noted going over also. Five Crossbills were seen in spruces near Cambo House, Kingsbarns, with five Twite also noted there, three Pomarine Skuas were seen from Dalgety Bay Sailing Club and a count at Newmills Bay included 51 Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshanks, one Kingfisher and a Knot. c90 Fieldfares were at Kilmany (21st), two drake Surf Scoters, 40 Velvet Scoters, 400 Common Scoters, 250 Long-tailed Ducks and ten Slavonian Grebes were counted off Kinshaldy, two Ravens flew over Cocklemill Burn where two Goosanders were also noted, a Blackcap, two Swallows, four Pheasants, eight Mistle Thrushes and 22 Long-tailed Tits were seen at Fife Ness, with a Siberian Chiffchaff, three Blackcaps, four Goldcrests, one Grey Wagtail, 14 Mistle Thrushes, eight Redwings and two Fieldfares at the top end of Kilminning and a Merlin and 26 Long-tailed Tits noted at the bottom end. Six Little Egrets, one Pale-bellied Brent Goose, one Gadwall and a Shoveler were at Tayport. The passage at Ferry Hills (22nd) included 400 Fieldfares and 13 Whooper Swans, c200 Fieldfares, c40 Redwings, c1500 Pink-footed Geese flew over and an adult Mediterranean Gull flew off west at Loch Gelly, with 450 Pink-footed Geese, eight Redwings flying over and six Curlews noted at Craigluscar. At Wellwood, Dunfermline c1000 Pink-footed Geese were counted and at Letham Pools 54 Gadwall and a Pintail were present, four Jays were seen at Mountcastle GP, while at Angle Park GP eight Whooper Swans, a great count of 102 Gadwall and nine Pintail were present. Seven Whooper Swans, two Goldeneyes, two Pintail and four Gadwall were at Wilderness and over at Tayport five Little Egrets, five Brent Geese, four Grey Plovers, 60 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Black-tailed Godwit were noted. A male Merlin, seven Barnacle Geese, 12 Red-throated Divers and 347 Fieldfares passed over Ferry Hills (23rd), a Carrion/Hooded Crow, seven Bar-tailed Godwits, two Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshanks and a Grey Wagtail were counted at Newmills Bay and along at Kilminning a Siberian Chiffchaff was showing well in the trees near the go-kart track, also noted were five Redpolls, a Brambling and a likely male Northern Bullfinch feeding on berries. A Merlin dashed across the road near Toldrie, Crail and at East Wemyss an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Slavonian Grebe were offshore while 40 Fieldfares passed overhead. At Kingsbarns a Red-throated Diver, 16 Turnstones and a Guillemot were seen, while at Fairmont Golf Course a probable Common Redpoll and three Lesser Redpolls were seen heading W. A Little Gull and two Goosanders were seen off Fife Ness (24th), while at Rossie Bog two female Marsh Harriers, with possibly a third,were noted, at Denhead 20 Fieldfares were present and 1136 Fieldfares, 25 Red-throated Divers, two Bramblings and seven Crossbills passed over Ferry Hills (25th). An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen flying towards the harbour at Pathhead, with a pair of Stonechats present and 35 Redwings seen passing over and nearby at Kirkcaldy c100 Redwings were seen feeding on Rowans, 24 Fieldfares were also noted at Wormit. Three Swallows were seen feeding over the golf course at Kingsbarns, two Scaup were noted at Cameron Reservoir, 24 Canada Geese and seven Gadwall were at Craigluscar, two Marsh Harriers two Whooper Swans, two Pintail, three Greylag Geese and eight Wigeon were at Rossie Bog. Two Hawfinches were a great find at Lochmill, Newburgh and at Rossie Bog (26th) two Marsh Harriers, 29 Curlews, two Pintail, a Shoveler, two Whooper Swans and 1350 Pink-feet passing over. At Kilminning a late juvenile Red-backed Shrike was a very good find, with one Woodcock, two Redpolls, one Blackcap, one Chiffchaff, nine Redwings, 12 Fieldfares, seven Mistle Thrushes and three Song Thrushes also present. 50 Twite were in fields at Boarhills, a lone Snow Bunting was at Kingsbarns and over at the Eden Estuary LNR were 104 Scaup, one Spotted Redshank, one Greenshank, two Peregrines and nine Goldeneye. The Red-backed Shrike was still present at Kilminning (27th) and a Lesser Whitethroat was a great find in a Dunfermline garden. At St Andrews a Kingfisher was at the East Sands and a redhead Smew popped up at Loch Gelly. c600 Pink-footed Geese, c16 Golden Plovers and c50 Lapwings were in a flooded ploughed field at Abercrombie, two Scaup and an adult Mediterranean Gull were on Kilconquhar Loch whilst a probable Siberian Chiffchaff was heard calling in the cemetery. At the bottom end of Kilminning three Chiffchaffs and two Swallows were seen and over at Pathhead (28th) an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the grass and a Merlin came in off the sea. Also noted was a Swallow, a 1st winter Little Gull, two Stonechats, two Grey Wagtails and a Dipper. A Merlin was noted at Charlottetown, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Wheatear, two Swallows and an immature leucistic Herring Gull were at Kingsbarns (29th) and further west at Dalgety Bay an adult and a 1st winter Little Gull were noted. c15 Crossbills and a Peregrine overhead were at Darklaw Hill, Rathillet (30th), a ringtail Hen Harrier was watched hunting over fields on the south side of Cameron Reservoir, two adults and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull were on the grass at Pathhead and two Marsh Harriers were seen at Rossie Bog. Five Lapland Buntings, a real scarcity in Fife these days, were seen in flight over fields at the north end of Kilrenny Common. Another autumn Hawfinch, this time over Rumblingwell, Dunfermline (31st) and in difficult conditions at Ferry Hills a passage included seven Little Gulls, three Great Northern Divers, 45 Red-throated Divers, four Bonxies, 100 Kittiwakes, 200 Fieldfares, 170 Redwings, 175 Goldfinches and a single Swallow, Crossbill and Brambling.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware