September 2019 Sightings

A busy month began with a Pied Flycatcher and two Spotted Flycatchers at Kilmany and a juvenile Black Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull off Dysart Harbour which also held a Wheatear as well as a White Wagtail and at least ten Mediterranean Gulls on the beach nearby. The first of regular reports from Wilderness included a Curlew Sandpiper, two Ruff, four Black-tailed Godwits and 18 Snipe. Pathhead hosted 12 Goosanders, a Kingfisher and one Wheatear whilst four of the last named species were seen up at West Lomond, along with three Ravens, then 18 Wheatears turned up at Balcomie Beach where there were also three Bar-tailed Godwits and 25 Knot. At Carlingnose Pointthere were two Bonxies, one Whimbrel and a possible Roseate Tern. Nine Little Egrets and a Spoonbill were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and seawatching off Crail produced 217 Sandwich Terns, two Bonxies, two Red-throated Divers and two Manx Shearwaters. A Black Tern was off Kinghorn and at least two Whinchats and five Wheatears were at Out Head (1st). A busy day for Mediterranean Gull sightingsincluded adult singles at Pathhead and at Dysart, four first winter, one second calendar year and two adults at Buckhaven then four adults and three first winter birds at East Wemyss. A male Marsh Harrier and ten late Swifts were at Kilconquhar Loch, a Wheatear was at Barns Farm and a Green Sandpiper and two summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits were noted at Cuallaloe LNR (2nd). Levenmouth hosted 51 Goosanders, c120 Kittiwakes and a Little Egret then 37 Pink-footed Geese were flying south at St Andrews where an Osprey and two White-tailed Eagles were recorded at Out Head. A Mediterranean Gull count at Buckhaven comprised five adult, three first winter and four second winter birds. Noted from the Eden Estuary Centre were five Ospreys, one Little Egret, one male Peregrine, three Greenshanks, a Knot, one Kingfisher and 31 Pink-footed Geese (3rd). Nearby at Balgove Bay there were five Ospreys (presumably the same birds), three Pintails, a Little Gull, one White Wagtail, eight Wheatears, six Ruff, eight Black-tailed Godwits, ten Bar-tailed Godwits, one Greenshank, one Knot, three Ringed Plovers, a Peregrine and c50 Pink-footed Geese over. Meanwhile five Whimbrels, three Greenshanks, three Ospreys, two Goosanders, five Little Egrets and a Kestrel were noted from the Edenside hide. An untagged juvenile Marsh Harrier was at Lindores while seawatching at Fife Ness produced two Bonxies, a Red-throated Diver, five Common Terns, nine Common Scoters and 66 Kittiwakes with a Wheatear on the rocks (4th). Nine Little Egrets and four Ospreys were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre, a Nuthatch was at Saline and two Swifts flew over Anstruther. A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was on Balcomie Beach and six Wheatears and c400 Knot were seen at West Sands. Five Ruff, a Greenshank, one Little Gull, four Ospreys, two Little Egrets and two Wheatears were at Balgove Bay and the Mediterranean Gull tally at East Wemyss was five, comprising two adult, one second winter and two first winter birds. A Kingfisher was on the Kinness Burn near Abbey Park (5th). A Little Stint was at Levenmouth where there were also 52 Goosanders and a first winter Mediterranean Gull with ten of the latter species also at Buckhaven (three adults, three second winter and four first winter). A Yellow Wagtail was in a field near Crail and the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was still present at Balcomie Beach (6th). A Ring-necked Parakeet turned at Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was noted at Kingsbarns where there were also two Red-throated Divers, a Purple Sandpiper, an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Merlin. Along at Kinkell Braes there were c220 Little Gulls on the sea (6th). Visible migration highlights at Ferry Hills included a juvenile Whinchat, a Jay, three Bonxies, nine Red-throated Divers and 17 Tree Pipits (see below). A male Marsh Harrier was at Lindores Loch, a Ruff was at Sauchope and the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper lingered at Balcomie Beach where there were also four Bar-tailed Godwits. Barns Farm hosted a Whinchat, a Blackcap and two Whitethroats whilst Braefoot Point produced six Chiffchaffs, a Garden Warbler and a Wheatear. A pale phase adult Pomarine Skua was spied off Fife Ness as well as two Arctic Skuas and six Bonxies. Three Whooper Swans appeared at Loch Gelly and an afternoon count at Pettycur Sands included 97 Bar-tailed Godwits, two Knot, c300 Sandwich Terns, 110 Common Terns and eight Arctic Terns. The early evening Mediterranean Gull count at East Wemyss was four second winter, seven juvenile/first winter and two adult birds (7th).

A Black-throated Diver flew past Fife Ness and two White Wagtails arrived on Balcomie Beach then Balgove Bay held ten Common Terns, at least three Ospreys, a Ruff and three Pintails. Checking of the East Wemyss to Buckhaven Coastal Path resulted in a count of 19 Mediterranean Gulls (three adults, nine first winter and seven second winter) in addition to four Wheatears and an Osprey over whilst the gull roost at Dysart included four Mediterranean Gulls (one adult, one second winter and two first winter). A Curlew Sandpiper and three Ospreys were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre and an Osprey was also seen at Out Head as well as at least six Wheatears and a Whinchat. A Spotted Flycatcher was at Kingsbarns and the day count at Fife Ness was 34 Manx Shearwaters, one Sooty Shearwater, seven Red-throated Divers, seven Arctic Skuas and 118 Common Scoters all north (8th). The Fife Ness tally the following day was 33 Manx Shearwaters, 85 Common Scoters, two Black-throated Divers, six Bonxies and 13 Arctic Skuas. A Velvet Scoter, a Little Gull and a Garden Warbler were noted at Boarhills while a report from the Eden Estuary Centre included one White-tailed Eagle, one Peregrine, a Kingfisher, one Curlew Sandpiper, a Greenshank, three Goldeneyes and a Pintail. At Fife Ness one Arctic Skua, two Whimbrels and two Red-throated Divers were noted. A Red Kite was seen circling over Kilminning then over Wormiston before drifting north. At Loch Gelly a Scaup in eclipse plumage was noted. Three Arctic Skuas and two Little Gulls were reported at Inchcolm while two Ruff, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 19 Snipe, two Tree Pipits and two Ringed Plovers were seen at Wilderness. A Red-necked Grebe was off the Aquarium at St Andrews and a juvenile Black Tern, three Arctic Skuas and two Bonxies were noted off Kinghorn (10th). At Seafield an adult Pomarine Skua passed west, as well as four or five Arctic Skuas, and a first winter Mediterranean Gull was at the car park. At Wilderness a Whimbrel, seven Black-tailed Godwits, two Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin and a juvenile Peregrine were seen then Edenside hosted ten Little Egrets, 17 Greenshanks, 14 Pintails, one Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff, 13 Black-tailed Godwits and six Ospreys. At East Wemyss there were c40 Sandwich Terns and six Turnstones present in addition to a total of 20 Mediterranean Gulls comprising four adults (including white 3ERA), eight first winter birds and eight second winter birds. A first winter of this species was also seen off the golf clubhouse at Anstruther (11th) where a Swift was reported the next day. Two White-tailed Eagles were present at the Eden Estuary LNR whilst two Little Gulls, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Ruff, 20 Dunlins, 30 Knot, six  Pintails, 20 Wigeon and a Wheatear were counted at Balgove Bay. A Wheatear was at Dalgety Bay and a Whinchat and two Siskins turned up at ‪Kilminning (12th). A White-tailed Eagle was seen low over Balmullo, two Ravens were at Auchtermuchty and a Great White Egret was a good find at Morton Lochs NNR where there were also three Crossbills. A Lapland Bunting was in a field south-west of Anstruther where a first winter Mediterranean Gull was seen off the harbour. Noted from the Eden Estuary Centre were ten Little Egrets, one Osprey, one juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, one first winter Mediterranean Gull, a Knot, three Greenshanks, a Kingfisher and six Pintails. Two Little Gulls were in St Andrews Bay, a first winter Mediterranean Gull was seen roosting on rocks at  Elie while at the top of Wormit Hill two Spotted Flycatchers and two Blackcaps were seen (13th). One Osprey, two Kingfishers, five Greenshanks, one Curlew Sandpiper, a Peregrine and eight Little Egrets were noted from the Eden Estuary Centre and Anstruther again yielded a late Swift. A juvenile Yellow Wagtail was present at Crail’s Sauchope Caravan Park and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in front of Elie’s Ship Inn (presumably waiting for opening time). A Green Sandpiper was on the flooded field opposite the entrance to Shell Bay Caravan Park and was seen there regularly up to and including the last day of the month. Two White-tailed Eagles were at Out Head as well as two Skylarks, a Meadow Pipit, one Stonechat, two Ringed Plovers, two Dunlins, c20 adult Sandwich Terns and one juvenile Sandwich Tern. Newton Farm & Quarry Ponds hosted ten Dabchicks and two Grey Partridges (14th).

40 Pink-footed Geese passed over south at Auchtermuchty with 140 over Anstruther heading in the same direction then 160  passed over Shell Bay. A female type Marsh Harrier was north of Kilrenny and Morton Lochs NNR held eight Dabchicks, 70+ Mallards, 55 Teal and one Little Egret with a single of this species also at Tayport. Along the East Wemyss to Buckhaven stretch of the Coastal Path four adult, three first winter and two second winter Mediterranean Gulls were noted. Tentsmuir Point NNR held 300 ‘mixed’ terns, 16 Bar-tailed Godwits, eight Knot and a Brent Goose with a steady passage of Pink-footed Geese noted. At Wilderness a Whimbrel, 20 Black-tailed Godwits, one Ringed Plover, one Greenshank, one Ruff and a juvenile Marsh Harrier (yellow tag right wing) were seen (15th) and observations there the next day included one Tree Pipit, a Ruff, seven Black-tailed Godwits and five Snipe. At least six Crossbills were near the car park at Morton Lochs NNR then one Osprey, seven Greenshanks, one Curlew Sandpiper and a Peregrine were seen from the Eden Estuary Centre. Seawatching at Kinghorn produced two Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas, two Manx Shearwaters and a Red-throated Diver (16th) and a juvenile /first winter Tystie was showing well there the following day when 32 Manx Shearwaters, 940 Little Gulls, 14 Arctic Skuas, three Bonxies, a Black-throated Diver, 19 Red-throated Divers, five Slavonian Grebes, six Scaup and two Long-tailed Ducks were counted at Out Head. An adult Mediterranean Gull was in the usual place at Buckhaven (17th). A Little Stint was feeding with Dunlins and Sanderlings on Balcomie Beach and five Stonechats, three Whinchats and a Wheatear were noted at Out Head. A report from Edenside included c30 Pink-footed Geese, two Ospreys, 29 Lapwings and  a Greenshank (18th). A Spoonbill was at Eden Estuary LNR the next day as well as an Osprey and one Kingfisher then c12 Grey Partridges were at Gauldry.16 Black-tailed Godwits, a Ruff, 35 Wigeon, c50 Pink-footed Geese and four Whooper Swans were present at Wilderness and two adult and one first winter Mediterranean Gulls were joined by a Purple Sandpiper at East Wemyss. Two Ravens were seen flying over Strathkinness and a Quail was calling and ‘singing’ at Kilmany. Meanwhile at Ferry Hills, 21 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver and three Bonxies all flew inland. The Little Stint was still present at Balcomie Beach and the Spoonbill lingered at the Eden Estuary Centre where there were three Greenshanks and a Spotted Redshank as well as a Marsh Harrier (19th) with this species also noted there the following day. Edenside held four Goosanders, 117 Lapwings, an Osprey and a Kingfisher (20th). At Ferry Hills four Bonxies and 34 Red-throated Divers were seen as well as three Arctic Skuas with nine of this species noted flying inland later on. A Kinghorn seawatch yielded up to two juvenile Pomarine Skuas, 14 Arctic Skuas and 12 Red-throated Divers then along at the Binn in Burntisland a Dotterel flew over south. A busy day continued with a Merlin and a Chiffchaff at Kilminning, the Little Stint at Balcomie Beach, a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, two Peregrines and five Little Egrets at Edenside before Mediterranean Gull reports included nine at East Wemyss with one of the adult birds of Norwegian origin (21st).

The following day was even busier starting with a Kingfisher and 12 Bar-tailed Godwits at Culross and one Sooty Shearwater, a first winter Mediterranean Gull, 191 Sandwich Terns, a Black Tern and eight Arctic Skuas off Kinghorn.

Eden Estuary reports included a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, two Kingfishers, a Red-throated Diver, three Little Egrets,

two Greenshanks and one Bar-tailed Godwit while Valleyfield Lagoons held three White Wagtails, 16 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Whimbrel. At Ferry Hills 15 Arctic Skuas, six Bonxies and 104 Red-throated Divers were noted. Highlights from Fife Ness included a Green Sandpiper over, an adult Pomarine Skua, five Arctic Skuas, a Bonxie, five Manx Shearwaters and two Black-throated Divers offshore and a juvenile Red-breasted Flycatcher and a Pied Flycatcher at Craighead. East Wemyss to Buckhaven held three adult, three second winter and two first winter Mediterranean Gulls as well as two first winter Little Gulls. Crail Airfield had one Yellow-browed Warbler and a juvenile female Merlin while Kilminning had one Tree Pipit, three Whinchats, a Redstart and a second Yellow-browed Warbler (22nd) with singles of this species also recorded the next day at Wormiston, at Crail Airfield and at Balcomie where there were also two Pied Flycatchers. A Little Bunting at Kilminning was identified from photographs but unfortunately not seen again and the Red-breasted Flycatcher was still at Craighead (23rd). Two Wheatears were on the beach at Pathhead where a site record count occurred when two adult, two first winter and one second winter Mediterranean Gulls were on the grassy area. Five of this species were in the now customary East Wemyss haunt: two second summer and three first winter. At Ferry Hills two Pomarine Skuas u-turned and two Bonxies flew inland. Regular reports from Kilminning throughout the day included at least two Yellow-browed Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher while a Yellow-browed Warbler at Craighead was accompanied by the lingering Red-breasted Flycatcher. A Merlin headed inland at Balcomie Beach where the Little Stint was still present (24th) and remained the following day as did the Red-Breasted Flycatcher at Craighead which was around for another two days after that. Pathhead hosted an adult and first winter Mediterranean Gull and a Whinchat and an unusual record was a juvenile Honey-buzzard flying east over Dunfermline. 190 Barnacle Geese passed over west at Fife Ness and there were other groups heading south over West Sands where c40 Little Gulls, a juvenile Arctic Skua, a juvenile Arctic Tern and c50 Sandwich Terns were seen. Out Head held eight adult and four juvenile Stonechats, 248 Barnacle Geese,  27 Meadow Pipits, 245 Knot and 54 Little Gulls (25th). Mediterranean Gulls were noted at Buckhaven (three first winter) and Leven Beach (one first winter). A Little Ringed Plover was at Shell Bay and a Spotted Flycatcher and three Yellow-browed Warblers were seen at Kilminning with two of the latter species also present at Fife Ness Muir. A Little Egret, c200 Knot, c150 Lapwings, c150 Dunlins, c350 Redshanks, two Greenshanks and a Kingfisher were all noted at Edenside while from the Eden Estuary Centre 12 Little Egrets, a Peregrine, five Greenshanks and c50 Swallows were seen. Ten Bonxies, three Arctic Skuas and 25 Red-throated Divers were counted at Ferry Hills (26th) and a further report from there the following day comprised one Hawfinch, two Barnacle Geese, three Jays and a Swift.  A Yellow-browed Warbler was still present at ‘The Patch’ as well as three Chiffchaffs, a Lesser Whitethroat and two Blackcaps. Barnacle Geese reports included c50 over Fife Ness Muir, 250 west over Anstruther and 400 over Fife Ness where seven Little Gulls were seen passing south. A Yellow-browed Warbler was present at Kilminning, a Merlin was seen at Elie Ness and

seven Goosanders and c40 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were noted atLeven (27th). A Hawfinch was feeding in the gully at Ferry Hills and eight Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel and two Whooper Swans were all seen at Wilderness where two skeins of c80 Pink-footed Geese were overhead. The Fife Ness day tally was one Arctic Skua, four Common Scoters, four Red-throated Divers, ten Sandwich Terns and two Purple Sandpipers. Regular updates from Kilminning involved one Spotted Flycatcher, two Chiffchaffs, a Yellow-browed Warbler,a juvenile Barred Warbler and two Whinchats. A Little Gull was seen at St David’s Harbour/Inverkeithing and two White-tailed Eagles, one Osprey, c300 Lapwings and a Greenshank were noted at Edenside (28th).

Three Arctic Skuas (two dark and one light phase) circled over Culross then 45 of this species were counted at Ferry Hills as well as three juvenile Long-tailed Skuas, two Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua, nine Barnacle Geese and a Black-throated Diver. Examination of the sea off St David’s Harbour produced five Bonxies, an Arctic Skua (juvenile), 13 Barnacle Geese, 125 Pink-footed Geese, three Pintails, five Common Scoters, three Red-throated Divers, two Common Terns and c140 Kittiwakes. Kinghorn had two Bonxies east and two Black-throated Divers west, a Whimbrel was near Seafield Tower whilst at Pathhead a Black-throated Diver, two Long-tailed Ducks and two Little Egrets were seen flying west and there was also one first winter Mediterranean Gull. Three Little Gulls were at Anstruther, at Fife Ness a Sooty Shearwater, a Manx Shearwater, two Bonxies and four juvenile Little Gulls were all seen passing north and at Kilminning there were at least two Yellow-browed Warblers and the Barred Warbler was still present (29th) and remained there the next day as well as one Yellow-browed Warbler, two Willow Warblers and 16 Golden Plovers. 12 Mediterranean Gulls (five adults, four second summer and three first winter) were noted at Dysart Beach, a Sooty Shearwater and one  Arctic Skua passedAnstruther and the month ended with a Marsh Harrier seen briefly at Kilconquhar Loch (30th).

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware and Grham Sparshott