Thursday 18 August 2022

Meanwhile in Fife

I went up to Fife again at the end of last week to check on the old folks. They are doing fine of course, so I just went birding. Mostly I visited Letham Pools, and this time I remembered to take a photograph, aware that my last attempt at Letham bloggage rather stupidly forgot this key item. So here it is at about 6am one morning, during a thunder storm. I actually went every day - wader season is upon us and the mud is looking rather fantastic. During my time away in London, or rather, whilst I have been leading my normal life at home in London, I missed White-rumped Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper at Letham, but I have now added a consolation Greenshank. I am back there again soon, so fingers crossed.

Usually I bird on foot from the road, but here I am sheltering in the back of the car

I visited every morning I was there, I just really like it. The Snipe numbers were particularly impressive, with 30 there most days, as well as up to nine Water Rail all out in the open feeding. Black-tailed Godwits were in the shallows, Common Sandpipers skittered around the place, and on one day no fewer than five Greenshank were present, a site tick for me. On the day I had also been to North Queensferry for Tree Pipit vizmig, when I dropped in at Letham for a few minutes before starting work three Tree Pipits also buzzed over the pools - a multi-dimensional site!

Three of the five Greenshank, with a Snipe

Sunrise from Ferry Hills watchpoint

Fife remains a superb place to go birding, though while I was there is was quieter than I had been hoping. I did manage to quickly nip to the Eden Estuary for a late evening Pectoral Sandpiper, though we all know I would have preferred to see it at Letham... 

However the most exciting birding moment was after lunch on Saturday on my parents' terrace. I had just taken the final sip of rosé when I heard a familiar cronk and heading towards the house were two large black dots. I dashed inside for my bins, discarding sunglasses and hat in a mad rush, and returned in time to see two Ravens fly majestically north past the house. I only saw Raven for the first time in Fife last year, but they are on the increase in the Kingdom as I also had a pair at Largo Bay at the start of this year. Given I also jammed Jay from the garden in January, that completes my expected patch Corvids. Unless a Hooded Crow would like to relocate.... more chance of that than a Chough I suppose.

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