September 2018 Sightings

The month opened with a Common Redstart visiting the recycling centre in Pittenweem then a juvenile Whinchat was at Wester Kilwhiss before five hours of seawatching at Fife Ness produced nine Bonxies, six Arctic Skuas, nine Red-throated Divers,12 Common Scoters, one Whimbrel and a Teal. Sightings at  Boarhills included 400+ Canada Geese, two Whimbrels and a  Willow Warbler. Seen from the Eden Estuary Centre were four Greenshanks, two Kingfishers, two Ospreys, a Peregrine, one Spotted Redshank, four Little Egrets and two Pintails. Kilconquhar Loch hosted three Common Swifts, nine Willow Warblers, four Chiffchaffs and a Sedge Warbler. In the evening three juvenile Black Terns were among Common and Sandwich Terns at high tide at Pettycur (1st). The following day produced two juvenile Black Terns off Kinghorn in the early morning before three were seen at Pettycur Beach again where a single juvenile Mediterranean Gull was also present. Also off Kinghorn were six Arctic Skuas, one Bonxie and two Red-throated Divers. Along at Ferry Hills a morning vis mig watch produced four Arctic Skuas, a Yellow Wagtail and 80 Tree Pipits over. Meanwhile up at the Eden Estuary Centre one Spotted Redshank, four+ Greenshanks, two Ruff, four Ospreys, a Pintail, three Little Egrets, and a Kingfisher were all noted whilst eight Brent Geese, 160+ Black-tailed Godwits, four Ruff and two Ospreys were seen nearby from the Balgove Hide (2nd). At Wilderness six Black-tailed Godwits, one Wood Sandpiper, a Dunlin, a single Ruff and a Snipe were all noted. A juvenile Common Rosefinch was at the bottom end of Kilminning in a rosehip area before it then flew calling towards the top end (4th).Two Curlew Sandpipers, four Little Egrets, four Greenshanks, c200 Canada Geese, 14 Greylag Geese, one Kingfisher, and a Ruff were observed from the Eden Estuary Centre whilst two Bonxies and an Arctic Skua were noted off Kinghorn (6th). Still on the same stretch of coast a juvenile Black Tern, three Bonxies and four Arctic Skuas were seen at Pettycur the next day and eight Arctic Skuas, seven Bonxies and ten Turnstones passed Kinghorn in the afternoon. Up at Anstruther there were three first year Mediterranean Gulls and a report from the Eden Estuary Centre included three Curlew Sandpipers, five Greenshanks, a Little Egret, c240 Canada Geese and a pair of Pintails (7th).


A busy few days commenced when further seawatching at Kinghorn brought seven Bonxies, seven Arctic Skuas, three Red-throated Divers, two Slavonian Grebes and two juvenile Black Terns. As the month progressed there were far fewer terns around at Tentsmuir Point NNR but two Arctic Skuas were present. Two Scaup were on Beveridge Park pond in the morning whilst along at Ferry Hills one Great Northern Diver, two Arctic Skuas, a Bonxie, one Spotted Flycatcher, 13 Tree Pipits and 780 Meadow Pipits were all counted. Meanwhile at Dalgety Bay

one Pomarine Skua and two Arctic Skuas were off the sailing club and a strong Meadow Pipit passage was also evident here.  A Buff-breasted Sandpiper was found halfway between Kenly Burn mouth and Kingsbarns on the coastal path and was last seen in a field near Kingsbarns golf course. A Tystie was offshore at Ruddons Point and one Bonxie, three Arctic Skuas, 24 Brent Geese and one Osprey were spied from Out Head. A Marsh Harrier flew south over St Andrews and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese passed at Fife Ness. At East Wemyss numbers of Mediterranean Gulls were picking up again after a low of “just” 25 a few days previously. This time seven adults, one 2nd winter and 52 juveniles were counted (8th) and a juvenile/1st winter was noted at Pathhead the next day. Along at Kinghorn a Black-throated Diver, seven Red-throated Divers, a Ruff and two Arctic Skuas were noted. At Eden Estuary LNR three Curlew Sandpipers, an Osprey and five Little Egrets were counted. Up at Kingsbarns, on the Fife Coastal path towards the Kenly Water, two Yellow Wagtails, two White Wagtails, a Whinchat, four Stonechats, one Wheatear and a juvenile Arctic Tern were recorded. Freshwater counts included 16 Dabchicks, nine Mute Swans, 28 Mallards and nine Tufted Ducks at Newton Sand & Gravel Pit, six Dabchicks at Drumoig, three Grey Herons, five Dabchicks, 93 Mallards, 40 Teal, eight Moorhens, six Coots and a Jay at Morton Lochs NNR, and seven Dabchicks and two Jays at Linkswood Pond. 21 Brent Geese and a Bonxie went past Crail in 30 minutes whilst at Fife Ness there were two Arctic Skuas north, a total of 32 Brent Geese passed south, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull went north, a Great Northern Diver and five Red-throated Divers passed high west and 30 Golden Plovers were on the rocks (9th) then further observations there the next day produced one Manx Shearwater, an Arctic Skua, three Bonxies, c40 Red-throated Divers, 20+ Common Scoters, 11 Brent Geese, 40+ Knot, two Purple Sandpipers and two Common Terns. At Tentsmuir a Little Stint was at the Lagoon then at the Point one Arctic Skua, two Red-throated Divers, a Raven and six Stonechats were noted (10th). Nine Black Terns were on the beach at low tide at Pettycur and another two of this species were noted at Anstruther. At East Wemyss the Mediterranean Gull tally was eight adults, one 2nd winter and 59 juveniles and there were four juveniles at Anstruther. Six Little Egrets were present at Eden Estuary LNR (11th) and the following day a Little Stint was seen from the Edenside Hide (12th). A report from Out Head included one Bonxie, three Arctic Skuas, one White-tailed Eagle, an Osprey, three Red-throated Divers, 131 Pink-feet over, four Stonechats and two Wheatears. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull and five Goosanders were noted at Anstruther. Three Curlew Sandpipers, four Ospreys, 120 Pink-feet and six Greenshanks were all seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and nearby at Balgove Bay there were two Ruff, ten Brent Geese, 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, one Common Tern and two Ospreys (13th). Further sightings from the Eden Estuary Centre the following day included one Little Egret, two Ospreys, a Buzzard, c250 Lapwings, c300 Redshanks, a Greenshank, two Swallows  and two Tree Sparrows. A juvenile Spotted Redshank was present at Letham Pools then Wilderness hosted a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, two Ruff, a Dunlin, two Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, a Golden Plover and 20 Pink-feet (14th).


The Pectoral Sandpiper, a Ruff and a Greenshank were still at Wilderness the next day as well as five Crossbills while six House Martins were still active over Gauldry. A Spotted Flycatcher, a Jay, a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler were present at Kilminning where many incoming Pink-feet were noted and skeins of 20 and 120 of this species were also seen over Auchtermuchty where three Kestrels, three Jays and a Chiffchaff were at the Common. A Short-eared Owl passed over Ferry Hills and an adult male and female Wheatear and a flock of c450 Starlings were noted at Plains Farm, Dunshalt. Two Curlew Sandpipers, seven Ruff, three Little Egrets and an Osprey were seen from the Edenside hide (15th). A Water Rail was noted at Letham Pools whilst Wilderness hosted a Spotted Redshank, two Ruff, a single Black-tailed Godwit, a single Pink-footed Goose and also a Pectoral Sandpiper (16th ) which was still present the following afternoon. A female/immature Merlin was at Kilminning whilst c80 Golden Plovers were nearby at Barnsmuir. A Black Redstart was present at Caiplie Caves, six House Martins were still around at Gauldry and Wormit Farm Pond held two Mute Swans, two Moorhens, four Robins, eight Blackbirds and 12 Swallows (17th). Unusually a Spotted Redshank passed west at Pittenweem, the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was still present at Wilderness along with a Spotted Redshank and two Ruff whilst a juvenile Pomarine Skua, three Arctic Skuas, eight Bonxies, and eight Common Scoters all passed west at Pettycur. The evening Mediterranean Gull count at East Wemyss was 31 including two adults and 29 moulting juvenile/first winters (18th). A Spotted Redshank and a female Marsh Harrier were noted at Letham Pools (19th). The Black Redstart was still at Caiplie Caves and six Little Egrets, two Curlew Sandpipers, 235 Knot, 14 Greenshanks and four Ruff were all counted at Eden Estuary LNR (20th). A Merlin was at Dunino and the evening roost at East Wemyss included an adult, a second winter and 18 moulting juvenile Mediterranean Gulls as well as 203 Black-headed Gulls, one adult Common Gull and three Sandwich Terns (21st).


A Ruff was present at Carnbee Reservoir and a string of c95 Whooper Swans were seen heading up the Forth offshore from Crail and many Pink-feet were on a similar track over Anstruther. A Lapland Bunting passed south over the west side of town St Andrews where a Ring-necked Parakeet of unknown provenance was flying around the Bogward Road area. Wilderness hosted two Whooper Swans and two Ruff whilst the morning report from Ferry Hills was 20 Red-throated Divers, a single Black-throated Diver, one Great Northern Diver, a Bonxie, one Merlin, 1,058 Pink-feet and 699 Meadow Pipits over. Four adult and three first winter Mediterranean Gulls (including 3ERA) were present at East Wemyss during the day before the evening roost tally came to nine adults and 32 first winters (22nd). A Lesser Whitethroat was in a Cellardyke garden and the Black Redstart was still present at Caiplie Caves (25th).17 Barnacle Geese passed over Crail heading south west and 15 Barnacles were low over Cellardyke heading south-west and 42 of this species were seen at Fife Ness as well as ten Wigeon, four Red-throated Divers, 23 Common Scoters, one Arctic Skua, three Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, three Snipe, a Sparrowhawk on the rocks and a Kestrel over the sea. An adult Mediterranean Gull was in a ploughed field north of Kingsbarns, a Little Egret flew south over the bridge at Guardbridge then in the evening Wilderness held two Ruff, four Black-tailed Godwits and 12 Whooper Swans (26th). The Black Redstart was still present at Caiplie Caves and a Little Egret flew east along the shore at Caiplie whilst several Pink-feet skeins were over south-west. A juvenile Pomarine Skua, two adult Little Gulls and a Bonxie were noted at Crail. Eight Greenshanks and six Little Egrets were observed from the Edenside hide and in the wider Eden Estuary LNR area there were 49 Barnacle Geese, 350 Pink-feet, two Pintails, 13 Greenshanks, one Peregrine and two Kingfishers. An adult Pomarine Skua, 16 Arctic Skuas and 28 Red-throated Divers were spied off Fife Ness and Wilderness hosted 12 Whooper Swans, two Goldeneyes, two Ruff, four Black-tailed Godwits and two Crossbills. The East Wemyss evening roost count was five adults, one second winter and 30 first winter Mediterranean Gulls (27th). Further seawatching at Fife Ness resulted in a count of one juvenile Long-tailed Skua, one Bonxie, four Great Northern Divers, 39 Red-throated Divers, 488 Barnacle Geese, 33 Pink-feet, three Golden Plovers, 21 Sandwich Terns, 11 Common Scoters and a Kestrel which came in off sea (28th).


At Ferry Hills seven adult Pomarine Skuas were seen circling over the Forth and probably landed on the water and a Merlin was also seen. The Whooper Swan count at Wilderness rose to 20 and two Red-legged Partridges were at Ballindean Farm, Gauldry. A Fife Ness report included two Arctic Skuas, two Manx and two Sooty Shearwaters, five Red-throated Divers, 12 Common Scoters, three Velvet Scoters, 80 Pink-feet and three Purple Sandpipers whilst two Wheatears were on the Coastal Path at Cellardyke (29th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Graham Sparshott