September 2020 Sightings

September got off to a good start with a good variety of waders around (1st), with one Green Sandpiper, six Ruff and eight Snipe at Wilderness, two Spotted Redshanks, one Greenshank, two Ospreys, one Little Egret, one Kingfisher & c200 Canada Geese at the Eden Estuary and one Green Sandpiper lifted from the marsh at Valleyfield Lagoons and flew west. Migration highlights at Ferry Hills (2nd) included 95 Wigeon, 15 Pintail, three Snipe, one Shoveler, 14 Teal, one Whimbrel, one Bonxie and two Spotted Flycatchers. At the Eden Estuary one White-tailed Eagle, six Ospreys, four Little Egrets and a single Curlew Sandpiper were noted and over at Buckhaven the Mediterranean Gull numbers rose to ten, with nine adults and a 1st winter bird present. The migration through Ferry Hills continued (3rd) with three Pale-bellied Brent Geese flying west, also five Pintail, four Arctic Skuas, three Bonxies, eight Crossbills & 34 Lesser Redpolls, five Snipe were at Wilderness and at Morton Lochs NNR, one Spotted Flycatcher, two Little Egrets, six Grey Herons, six Little Grebes and a Peregrine were seen. Not far away from there, a Little Stint was at Kinshaldy and wader numbers picked up at the Eden Estuary LNR with eight Curlew Sandpipers, two Greenshanks, one Spotted Redshank, c200 Redshanks, c60 Knot, 50 Dunlins, six Ringed Plovers, c300 Canada Geese, five Ospreys and three Little Egrets. Pathhead had one adult Mediterranean Gull, 40 Goosanders, one Wheatear and five Grey Wagtails and along at East Wemyss the 19 Mediterranean Gulls included seven 1st winter birds. Valleyfield Lagoon had good counts (4th) with two Whimbrel, two Greenshanks, 183 Curlews, 21 Bar-tailed Godwits, 32 Ringed Plovers, 30 Dunlins, one Knot and 83 Sandwich Terns and back at East Wemyss the 38 Mediterranean Gulls included eight 1st winter birds. Coble Shore had one White-tailed Eagle, four Ospreys, two Peregrines, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, six Pintail, four Wheatears and two Little Egrets (5th), while a walk from Balcomie to Fife Ness produced one Arctic Skua, 10 Knot, 40 Dunlins, one Bar-tailed Godwit and three Wheatears. Nearby at Fife Ness were two Arctic Skuas, two Red-throated Divers and a lone Razorbill on the rocks. Kinshaldy once again hosted a scarcer wader with a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper noted. The East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull roost rose once more to 41 birds, which included 13 1st winter birds. At Plains Farm, Dunshalt c250 Pink-footed Geese were seen going over SE (6th) and at the Eden Estuary five juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, two White-tailed Eagles and c250 Swallows were counted, 13 Pink-footed Geese were also see going over Dunfermline, as were five Meadow Pipits. Dysart had a good mix of three adults and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, one Wheatear and an Osprey heading over. More Pink-feet were noted at Out Head, with one White-tailed Eagle, one Sparrowhawk, one Cuckoo and a Wheatear noted too. Some ploughed fields at Cellardyke held six Wheatears, 200 Linnets, 50 Goldfinches and 12 Stock Doves. Migration highlights at Ferry Hills included impressive counts of 628 Pink-feet, 25 Knot, three Arctic Skuas, 1545 Siskins, 1222 Meadow Pipits, 401 Lesser Redpolls, 87 Sand Martins, 22 Tree Pipits, ten Grey Wagtails, four Spotted Flycatchers and one Jay. Also a Redstart was seen along the track, as well as a Nuthatch was heard calling from nearby gardens. 14 Pintail were at Wilderness and in the East Lomond area of the Lomond Hills six Ravens, one Wheatear and 20 Pink-feet passed over. A family party of four Whinchats were seen at Pleasants Farm, Dalgety Bay, whilst at Balcomie Beach six Wheatears, one White Wagtail and 10 Knot were present. Two White Wagtails were also at Sauchope east beach, Crail, a Wheatear was at St Ninians Quarry and one Greenshank, 34 Dunlins, two Teal, eight Wigeon and three Wheatears were all at Kilrenny Mill. The numbers at the East Wemyss Mediterranean Gull roost had dropped to 11, which included five moulting juveniles and also seen were 16 Canada Geese passing over calling. A good variety of species were seen at the Eden Estuary (7th), with one Ruff, one Spotted Redshank, six Curlew Sandpipers, three Turnstones, one Common Sandpiper, five Pink-feet, four Brent Geese, four Pintail, nine Little Egrets, two Ospreys, two Peregrines, two Canada Geese and a Sparrowhawk. One White-tailed Eagle and two Ospreys were noted further down the estuary at Out Head and a 2nd winter Marsh Harrier was a good find at Newburgh. Fife Ness had seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, one Common Tern, one Red-throated Diver and two Common Scoters, with two Bar-tailed Godwits and 17 Knot also noted on the rocks. A lone Swift was also watched passing over the golf course. At East Wemyss 43 Mediterranean Gulls were counted. Another regular haunt for Mediterranean Gulls, Pathhead had an adult (8th) with a 1st Winter Black Guillemot for good measure also. The Eden Estuary then struck gold with two Spoonbills, one Spotted Redshank, seven Curlew Sandpipers, one Ruff, two Whimbrel, two Black-tailed Godwits, one Greenshank, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 88 Pink-footed Geese, seven Little Egrets, one Kingfisher and three Goldeneyes. The Mediterranean Gull roost at East Wemyss was at 38 birds, which included 14 adults, nine 2nd calendar year and 15 1st winters. A Hen Harrier was seen just outside Crail and slightly west from there at Anstruther were a Wheatear, three Bar-tailed Godwits and a Golden Plover. A juvenile Hobby, six Ospreys, one Peregrine, seven juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, two Ruff, one Greenshank, one juvenile Mediterranean Gull, one Spotted Redshank, five Pintail, 165 Pink-footed Geese, two Kingfishers, one ‘flava Wagtail’ and 32 Knot were at the Eden Estuary (9th), whilst a juvenile Merlin, one Greenshank, 35 Dunlins, 43 Lapwings, 22 Golden Plovers and four Wheatears were counted at Kilrenny Mill. The Eden Estuary produced seven Curlew Sandpipers, one Ruff, one Spotted Redshank, one Greenshank, one White-tailed Eagle, two Ospreys and three Pintail (10th) and migration continued unabated at Ferry Hills where 1555 Meadow Pipits, 760 Siskins, 278 Lesser Redpolls, 17 Red-throated Divers, 14 Golden Plovers and two Spotted Flycatchers were counted. At Kingsbarns a Green Sandpiper, one Spotted Flycatcher and one Tree Pipit were noted, while a Green Woodpecker, a scarce bird in Fife these days, was seen at East Lomond. Seven Brent Geese were at Levenmouth (11th), when seven Curlew Sandpiper, one Greenshank, two Little Egrets, three Ospreys, 180 Pink-footed Geese and three Pintail were on the Eden Estuary. Much further west a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, 12 Arctic Skuas, three Pomarine Skuas and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull were good finds at Dalgety Bay. The 54 Mediterranean Gulls counted at East Wemyss included 18 moulting juveniles while a Black Guillemot feeding offshore, one Greenshank, 30 Dunlins and 10 Grey Partridges were noted at Kilrenny Mill.

At Kinshaldy two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers were seen, with excellent counts of 485 Goosanders and c100 Red-breasted Mergansers, another juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 360 Common Terns were at Tentsmuir Point NNR. 18 Pintail, four Curlew Sandpipers, two Greenshanks, one Peregrine, four Ospreys, four Little Egrets and eight Sandwich Terns were noted at Eden Estuary, a juvenile Black Tern, which seem scarce this year, three Arctic Skuas, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese and an adult Mediterranean Gull were at Pathhead (13th). More Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen at Leven with seven noted, also seven Goosanders, c20 Sand Martins and an interesting leucistic Herring Gull were noted. Fife Ness produced a Sooty Shearwater, one Manx Shearwater, one Red-throated Diver, two Sandwich Terns, one Wheatear and six Knot, with Kilrenny Mill having one Greenshank, 15 Sandwich Terns and a Wheatear. Six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, an Osprey and seven Red-breasted Mergansers were off Out Head, while the rise in sightings of Nuthatches continued with a bird on a feeder at Aberdour (14th), also that day a lone Swift was noted over Crail. The seven Brent Geese seen at Leven a few days previously were still present (15th), along with a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull and a Peregrine, nearby at Buckhaven six adult Mediterranean Gulls were noted. Also in the same area another Mediterranean Gull, this time a 1st winter was seen on playing fields at Parkdale Avenue, Leven and at Rosyth another adult Mediterranean Gull was on the playing fields at Middlebank. A 1st year Marsh Harrier, two Ravens, a Peregrine and a Wheatear were noted at Newburgh, whilst at Dalgety Bay two adult and one juvenile Roseate Terns were good finds. Kilrenny Mill also had an adult Mediterranean Gull, along with nine Dunlins and three Wheatears and over Ladybank c600 Greylag Geese were watched and this large skein also included a Bar-headed Goose. A single Merlin was at Crail and at Wilderness a single juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper and at least 50 Shovelers were counted. An amazing seabird assemblage was seen off Kingsbarns in the evening, with thousands of birds feeding and on the water; mostly Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Gannets, with at least 2500 of the former. The count included 690 Little Gulls, with 615 off Cambo and 75 off the beach car park, also noted were three Arctic Skuas, one Bonxie, 12 Red-throated Divers and another Mediterranean Gull, this time a 3rd year bird. At Kilminning (16th), a lone Garden Warbler was seen, while along at Fife Ness 87 Red-throated Divers, four Great Northern Divers, one Black-throated Diver, 82 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, five Dark-bellied Brent Geese, five Little Gulls, five Sooty Shearwaters, 13 Manx Shearwaters, five Velvet Scoters, three Bonxies, one Arctic Skua and one Purple Sandpiper were all noted. A count at Carlingnose Point produced two Pomarine Skuas, one Bonxie, 39 Arctic Skuas, five Red-throated Divers, 16 Pink-footed Geese, 76 Gannets, 223 Kittiwakes, two Common Scoters and a Raven and at nearby St David’s Harbour one Pomarine Skua, one Bonxie, two Arctic Skuas, two Manx Shearwaters, eight Fulmars, one Red-throated Diver, 27 Teal and four Pale-bellied Brent Geese were watched. A bit further east, at Kinghorn Harbour, three Pomarine Skua, two Bonxies, 13 Arctic Skuas, five Manx Shearwaters, 12 Fulmars, 32 Teal, two Common Scoters, 191 Eiders and one Red-throated Diver were also noted. A flock of 120 Barnacle Geese flew over Ferry Hills (17th), at Fife Ness were one Spotted Flycatcher, two Siskins, one Snipe over and 20 Pink-footed Geese over also, all seen from the patch. Also seen flying over, this time from Dunfermline, were 80 Pink-footed Geese and two Lesser Redpolls, a Pied Flycatcher, one Whitethroat and one Blackcap were at Kilminning, 44 Manx Shearwaters, 11 Red-throated Divers, six Fulmars, three Sandwich Terns, three Common Terns, six Pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Kittiwakes, 14 Wigeon and a Stonechat were seen at Fife Ness and at the Eden Estuary 11 Little Egrets, three Ruff, one Curlew Sandpiper and three Ospreys were seen. At Wilderness, two Ruff, and c50 Shoveler were counted. Boarhills had a Merlin and a lone Fieldfare was at Kilminning. Kingsbarns had 50 Redshanks, 27 Turnstones, 15 Oystercatchers, one Purple Sandpiper, one Little Stint and five Red-breasted Mergansers (18th), 12 Little Gulls and a Great Northern Diver were off Kilminning, with the Pied Flycatcher a Garden Warbler as well as a single Blackcap present in the bushes. 150 Pink-footed Geese passed over Ladybank, a Brambling was seen at Bogward Road, St Andrews, three White Wagtails were on the golf course at Fife Ness, with a Common Sandpiper was on the rocks also. One Curlew Sandpiper, 11 Snipe, c30 Curlews and c30 Pink-footed Geese, were at Wilderness, one Spotted Flycatcher and one Stonechat were at Ferry Hills (19th), while at Fife Ness, two Red-throated Divers, one Great Northern Diver, three Arctic Skuas, two Manx Shearwater, c50 Little Gulls, 14 Wigeon, 13 Red-throated Divers, five Common Scoters and 20 Sandwich Terns were seen passing. At Balcomie Beach were one Ruff, 73 Dunlins, three Sanderlings, two Knot, five Ringed Plovers, with c350 Little Gulls offshore and three Whitethroats noted. Newton Farm had a count of six Dabchicks, four Mute Swans and eight Moorhens, with counts of 10 Dabchicks, three Wigeon, one Buzzard and two Jays at Linkswood. North Quarry had nine Dabchicks, 11 Canada Geese, eight Wigeon, three Gadwall and two Reed Buntings, with Drumoig having six Dabchicks & 10 Mallards. One Black-tailed Godwit was at Cullaloe LNR and two Scaup, 21 Goldeneye and 113 Tufted Ducks were at Loch Gelly. Off Kilminning (20th) were one Bonxie and c40 Little Gulls, with eight Redpolls, one Blackcap & one Chiffchaff seen around the car parks. Fife Ness saw a count of one Tystie, six Manx Shearwaters, one Bonxie, two Red-throated Divers, seven Common Scoters, four Sandwich Terns & 60 Pink-footed Geese, with the first reported sightings of Yellow-browed Warblers this autumn came from Craighead cottages where possibly two birds were seen. At Abden Shore a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was on the beach, at Boarhills, along the path and field west of the village, 32 White Wagtails, two Stonechats, one Chiffchaff, four Reed Buntings and 58 Skylarks were noted. A count at Morton Lochs NNR included 23 Teal, c110 Mallard, 10 Moorhens, c30 Pheasants, two Buzzards, one Kestrel, two Ravens over, one Jay and a Magpie. A Peregrine was over Luthrie (21st) and at East Wemyss only three Mediterranean Gulls were seen. 13 Canada Geese, seven Grey Herons, 56 Oystercatchers, 18 Curlews, 14 Turnstones, 15 Redshanks, four Guillemots, one Razorbill and seven Sandwich Terns were seen off Boarhills and at Dysart an adult and 1st winter Mediterranean Gulls, c40 Ringed Plovers and two Dunlins were seen. An early Long-tailed Duck was in Anstruther Harbour. Eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew over Ferry Hills (23rd), a Ruff was on Sauchope East Beach Crail, at Kilminning one Yellow-browed Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, c500 Pink-footed Geese (in 12 skeins) and a Great-spotted Woodpecker were seen, while in Dunfermline (24th) one Merlin, two Buzzards and 45 Pink-footed Geese were seen passing over. Tayport Pond held four Mute Swans, c25 Mallard and 18 Moorhens and at Valleyfield Lagoons 21 Bar-tailed Godwits, 19 Black-tailed Godwits, six Greenshanks and a juvenile Ruff were present. At Kilminning, a Yellow-browed Warbler was in the high trees and down at Fife Ness 31 Sooty Shearwaters, 85 Manx Shearwaters, c590 Little Gulls, four Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies, 15 Common Scoters, one Wigeon, three Teal and three Red-throated Divers were counted. The day count at Fife Ness (25th) saw impressive numbers of seabirds passing, with 312 Sooty Shearwaters, five Manx Shearwaters, 121 Little Gulls, 16 Bonxies, 103 Common Scoters, 53 Red-throated Divers, one Black Guillemot, one Mediterranean Gull, one Long-tailed Duck, 10 Knot and two Purple Sandpipers. The day count at Fife Ness (26th) was also very impressive with 376 Sooty Shearwaters, seven Manx Shearwaters, 26 Bonxies, seven Arctic Skuas, 11 Red-throated Divers, c285 Little Gulls, 125 Common Scoters, 14 Wigeon and 12 Pink-feet noted. 12 Sooty Shearwaters, 59 Little Gulls and one Red-throated Diver were also seen from Crail, 16 Barnacle Geese, 630 Pink-feet and a Bonxie were at Ferry Hills and a terrific inland record of a Yellow-browed Warbler came from Falkland, while a single Yellow-browed Warbler was still present at Kilminning. At East Wemyss, 26 Mediterranean Gulls included 13 1st winter birds and at Earlshall, an adult White-tailed Eagle, 18 Crossbills and c35 Lesser Redpolls were seen well. A Yellow-browed Warbler, one Fieldfare and three Blackcaps were at Kilminning (27th) and a passage of birds at Ferry Hills included two Whooper Swans, one Arctic Skua, three Redwings, 157 Lesser Redpolls and 15 Crossbills. Also, a Snow Bunting was seen flying with the Whooper Swans. A Merlin was seen around East Lomond and an interesting migration note came from Kilminning where a kettle of 13 Buzzards passed over Lower Kilminning, then drifted off north. one Yellow-Browed Warbler was seen by the ringing hut in the patch at Fife Ness, 41 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 11 Knot were counted in Balgove Bay and one Lapland Bunting, six Siskin and a Chiffchaff went over Bogward Road, St Andrews. Nine Barnacle Geese, 34 Sooty Shearwaters, four Manx Shearwater, four Red-throated Divers, one Sandwich Tern, two Bonxies, one Arctic Skua, 41 Little Gulls and 30 Common Scoters were noted at Fife Ness, with a single Barnacle Goose, one Merlin and two Arctic Skuas seen off Boarhills, 15 Brent Geese were offshore from Tayport Caravan Park, two Greenshanks were near to Tentsmuir Point, with a juvenile White-tailed Eagle seen going over the forest too. One Sooty Shearwater, one Manx Shearwater, three Arctic Skuas, three adult Little Gulls were lingering, six Teal and two Purple Sandpipers were all noted at Anstruther. three Redwings were at Hunter place, Dunfermline (28th), 60 Pink-footed Geese, one Snipe, two Dunlins, four Goldcrests, one Chiffchaff, two Redwings, 10 Tree Sparrows. One Mistle Thrush, two Blackcaps, one Great Spotted Woodpecker, one Redwing and two Bullfinches were at, or over Kilminning, a Kingfisher put in an appearance at St Bridgets, Dalgety Bay and another, or the same bird was also seen at Braefoot Point. One Red-throated Diver and one Greenshank were at the Castle Rocks, St Andrews, whilst two Red-throated Divers, eight Common Scoters and nine Barnacle Geese were seen passing at Fife Ness. One Pintail, two Scaup, 18 Goldeneyes, 24 Greylags, including a leucistic bird, three Great Crested Grebes and seven Lapwings were at Loch Gelly, eight Little Egrets, 22 Scaup, two Spotted Redshanks, two Greenshanks, one Kingfisher and at least six Swallows were at the Eden Estuary, with eight Little Egrets seen at Morton Lochs NNR also. The Little Egrets do move around quite a lot between Tayport and the Eden Estuary, so these birds at Morton Lochs NNR were presumably the same group as the one at the Eden Estuary. Four Whooper Swans and a lower count of 30 Shovelers came from Wilderness. At Levenmouth (29th) two 1st winter and an adult Mediterranean Gulls were on the river, with a 1st winter Little Gull at the river mouth. Also one Kingfisher and a Peregrine were noted, eight Little Egrets, three Greenshanks, one Spotted Redshank, one Little Stint, one White-tailed Eagle, one Peregrine, one Barnacle Goose and a Kingfisher were at the Eden Estuary, a Water Rail was heard and a Kingfisher was seen at the reserve at Lochore Meadow CP, while a Jack Snipe was flushed from the beach at Balcomie, an unusual visitor to that site. Two Manx Shearwaters and one Arctic Skua were seen off Anstruther and a Common Rosefinch was a good find at Kilminning. The Common Rosefinch was still present (30th) but its presence was totally eclipsed by a 1st year female Siberian Thrush being found, in the same bush as the Rosefinch. This bird proved very elusive, with fleeting views had by a handful of people. A great way to end the month.

Information supplied courtesy of Malcolm Ware