October 2022 Sightings

One Sooty Shearwater and 30 Little Gulls were seen from Fife Ness on the 1st with a juvenile Black Tern seen on the Eden Estuary. A Spoonbill was reported from Dalgety Bay on the 2nd with 68 Mediterranean Gulls at the roost at East Wemyss. The following evening at the same location the record was again broken with 135 individuals counted. Also on the 3rd a Hawfinch flew over Bogward Road, St Andrews calling and at Guardbridge at least seven Curlew Sandpipers and 13 Little Egrets were seen. Two Todd’s Canada Geese were briefly at The Wilderness on the 4th with 88 Mediterranean Gulls at East Wemyss. Seven Curlew Sandpipers and three Ruff were at Guardbridge on the 5th with eight of the former there the next day. The Scottish record count was again smashed on the 6th when an unbelievable 170 Mediterranean Gulls were present at the evening roost at East Wemyss and 126 were there on the 7th.

A Lapland Bunting was at Wormiston on the 8th and a Snow Bunting came in off the sea at Fife Ness. A Great Northern Diver was seen at Ferry Hills with another the next day with a Curlew Sandpiper showing at Edenside on the 8th and 9th. 162 Mediterranean Gulls were counted at East Wemyss on the 8th with 121 the following evening when 28 Sooty Shearwaters passed Fife Ness. The 10th began with a Long-tailed Skua and two Great Northern Divers at Fife Ness then a Yellow-browed Warbler turned up at the Eden Estuary Centre. Four Curlew Sandpipers were seen there later that day and another count at the roost at East Wemyss heralded another Scottish record count of Mediterranean Gulls with 175 noted. Early morning at Kinghorn resulted in a Great Northern Diver, three Little Gulls and nine Mediterranean Gulls being seen on the 11th when a Yellow-browed Warbler was found at Crail. A Pomarine Skua and 48 Little Gulls were off Fife Ness on the 12th with 22 of the latter off Kinghorn later that day with a Black Guillemot also seen there. A Green Sandpiper was at Angle Park GP with a Ruff and two Curlew Sandpipers at Edenside and seven Greenshanks and nine Little Egrets at Morton Lochs NNR. An American Wigeon was found at Ballo Reservoir on the 13th with 41 Little Gulls heading inland at Ferry Hills. Fife Ness continued its run of excellent seabirds with a juvenile Sabine’s Gull being seen with a Sooty Shearwater, two Pomarine Skuas and 17 Little Gulls also noted. Two Little Auks at Fife Ness on the 14th were early for this species with two Sooty Shearwaters and c500 Redwings also there. 156 Little Gulls and c1200 Razorbills were off Kinghorn with a Snow Bunting seen going over St Andrews. The American Wigeon was still showing at Ballo Reservoir and c30 Little Gulls were at Kinshaldy where a Jack Snipe was a good find in the dunes. 95 Little Gulls flew west past Kinghorn on the 15th with a Jack Snipe seen at Cocklemill, a Hawfinch and an impressive 3900 Redwings were seen at Ferry Hills and a Hen Harrier was noted at Boarhills. The next day began with eight Little Gulls and two Great Northern Divers past Kinghorn in blustery conditions with a Jack Snipe found at Cameron Reservoir. The American Wigeon was still to be found at Ballo Reservoir on the 17th with two Bramblings the highlight at Fife Ness that day. Two Jack Snipe were at Tayport and a late Sand Martin was seen flying over the road at Freuchie. 11 Bramblings flew over Bogward Road in St Andrews on the 18th, a Marsh Harrier passed over Mugdrum Island, Newburgh and a Pomarine Skua and 31 Little Gulls were off Fife Ness. The wind changed to easterly on the 19th and migrants started to arrive with a Yellow-browed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Bramblings and a Short-eared Owl all in the Fife Ness area. Yellow-browed Warblers were also found at Denburn Wood, Kittock’s Den and St Andrews where there was another Lesser Whitethroat and 13 Bramblings also noted. Off Dysart, a juvenile Pomarine Skua and four Little Gulls were seen in the afternoon. Fife Ness Muir played host to two Red-breasted Flycatchers, a Redstart and a Yellow-browed Warbler on the 20th with a Lesser Whitethroat nearby at Craighead and a Black Redstart at Kilminning. Two Little Auks and three Little Gulls went past Kinghorn with a Black-throated Diver at Dalgety Bay. The 21st was a very productive day at Kilminning, with a Barred Warbler, Black Redstart, Yellow-browed Warbler, possible eastern Lesser Whitethroat and the second Red-flanked Bluetail of the autumn seen. A Red-breasted Flycatcher was still at Fife Ness Muir with a Black Redstart, Siberian Chiffchaff, Yellow-browed Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat also seen. Two Yellow-browed Warblers were at Balcomie with a Black Redstart at Craighead and a Waxwing seen in Crail.

Lots of good birds were still around on the 22nd with the Red-flanked Bluetail still present at Kilminning with a Barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler and Ring Ouzel also in that area. A Richard’s Pipit was flushed from the path to Wormiston from Crail and later a very interesting “Eastern Stonechat” was seen opposite the airfield. At Balcomie there was a possible Olive-backed Pipit, heard three times but not seen subsequently. A Lesser Whitethroat and two Yellow-browed Warblers were also to be seen in and around Balcomie. At St Andrews, a Lesser Whitethroat, Black Redstart, Ring Ouzel and a single Lapland Bunting were noted with the Lesser Whitethroat thought to be of Eastern origin. The following day the “Eastern Stonechat”/possible Stejneger’s, was still present in the same area with Yellow-browed Warblers seen at Balcomie and Kilminning while Lesser Whitethroats were seen at Fife Ness Muir and St Andrews. The “Eastern Stonechat“ was seen again opposite the airfield at Crail on the 24th with two Ring Ouzels and two Lesser Whitethroats nearby at Kilminning. A Lesser Whitethroat and a Yellow-browed Warbler were at Fife Ness Muir and a Ring Ouzel and Snow Bunting were sighted around St Andrews. On the 25th the “Eastern Stonechat“ was still in its favoured place opposite the airfield at Crail in the fenced off compound. Kilminning had three Ring Ouzels and a Lesser Whitethroat was still present with a female Black Redstart well inland on a roof in Dunshalt. At Elie Ness 12 Little Auks, a Great Northern Diver and an adult Little Gull were watched from this headland. The 27th started with three Hawfinches at Ferry Hills and two Short-eared Owls in off the sea at Out Head with a Lesser Whitethroat still residing at Kilminning. At East Braes, Kinghorn nine Little Gulls were seen on the 28th and an immature Marsh Harrier was on Mugdrum Island.

Fife Ness had nine Little Gulls on the 29th, three Black-throated Divers, two Little Egrets, a Little Auk and four Pomarine Skuas, were all seen passing with a Lapland Bunting showing well on the path at Wormiston Spinney and seven Snow Buntings were at Tentsmuir. Early morning on the 30th at Kinghorn, saw 92 Little Gulls move west and a Ring Ouzel at Bogward Road, St Andrews. Kilminning had a fall of thrushes that day with 680 Redwings, 390 Fieldfares, 330 Blackbirds and two Ring Ouzels counted. A late Swallow was noted in Kirkcaldy on the 31st and Fife finally got in on the influx of Swifts when two presumed Pallid Swifts were watched in Tayport in the afternoon, another potential Fife first.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware