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Old Sunday 18th December 2016, 13:45   #51
Gander
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Common Scoter

Fleeting visit to the harbour this afternoon. Just ten minutes of scanning before I had to be away. Lots of Eider showing, and close enough in to be able to pick out the mint coloured head patch and peach wash breast on the drakes. A few Long-tailed Duck evident further out. I was also able to pick out a Common Scoter among a group of Eider. Good spot for me as it is a personal patch tick.
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Old Friday 13th January 2017, 14:10   #52
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First of the year

I woke up in Aberdeen at about )4:00 hrs, having flown in there on a late chopper flight from offshore. Catching an early train, I was in Kirkcaldy at 09:40 hrs. With the wife away at a pre arranged event until lunch time, I headed home, changed clothes, grabbed binoculars and headed for Seafield.

The sky was blue, the air cold, and despite threatening clouds away to the West, a bright Winter sun shone down onto a snow dusted coastal path. The tide was well out and the sea calm.

I was greeted by a lone Herring Gull in the car park. Down on the beach some ding-a-ling was letting their mutt chase a flock of Oystercatcher. A Magpie flew over the path as I approached the harbour. At the harbour, five Eider were cruising about. More Herring Gull were counted and a lone Great-Black Backed Gull. A Carrion Crow with a white patch on its chest, landed on the sea wall. Amongst the harbour rock pools, I noticed a bird I am not too familiar with; a Greenshank. My first personal patch tick of the year, although I thought I'd seen one there one evening in the Autumn, but wasn't 100% sure, so never recorded it. In the Tyree Burn that flows into the harbour, five Starling were having a whale of a time splashing about in the fresh water flow.

In the scrub on the other side of the coastal path, I counted four House Sparrows and a solo Blue Tit. Now moving slowly towards the tower, I counted Redshank in the rocks and sand patches. More Oystercatcher were tallied and Turnstone were found. Good views were had of a single Bar-Tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover made an appearance.

The Herring Gull count was also rising, and a couple of Black Headed Gulls made an appearance along with a Common Gull. At the tower, I realised I had run out of time. I needed to head back now to meet up with the wife for lunch. However, I could see distant birds on the water in front of Seafield Cave Cove. Maybe they were divers I thought. I'm not doing well finding divers, so I made a quick dash up the hill to the phone mast (or whatever type of mast it is) to get a scan down into the cove. Only a Cormorant now showed, with a Grey Heron being noted in the rocks.

I had to head back, but as I descended down towards the tower, a hawk of some kind swooped down into the cove. I went back up the hill, but there was no sign, as it had disappeared into the scrub below. No time to hunt for it, I reluctantly gave it up as one that got away - for now. If I was to guess, I'd say it was a Sparrowhawk.

I was now late. I headed for the car park, even breaking into a jog at times, which is no easy feat carrying binoculars on an icy path. A Robin tried to distract me as did a Curlew that flew overhead, but it took a Rock Pipit to briefly stop me. I tried not to look into the harbour area, as knew I couldn't afford any more distractions. I didn't want to end up in the doghouse on my first day home (I generally try and wait a day or two before I do that).

I made it home in time. The dog house remains temporarily unoccupied. My first dry land outing of the year gave me over twenty species in an hour or so, with that personal patch tick the high-light.

A good day despite there not being a sniff of a Glaucous Gull
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Old Friday 13th January 2017, 14:32   #53
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Gosh! You'll be glad to have your feet back on dry land again Paul. I was woken by the wind early this morning and my first thought was you and wondering if you'd manage to get home today!!!

I see you did.... and have well made up for lost time LOL You've got a great selection there to add to your 'dry land' year list.

Well done laddie.
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Old Saturday 14th January 2017, 17:28   #54
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A Ruff Day

I keep saying I'm going to avoid the patch on weekends due to the volume of dog walkers and other traffic, but I had a couple of free hours this afternoon and a bit of catching up to do. With the sun shining in a blue sky, and high tide imminent, I rolled into Seafield car park just before two o'clock. It was busy, however, I started counting Herring Gulls, Black-Headed Gulls and Eider before I exited the car.

A Carrion Crow and a Pied Wagtail (Yar) were added to the list before I exited the car park. Walking along to the harbour, I also started to tally Oystercatcher and Redshank. At the harbour, I found a Rock Pipit and out on the near rocks there were Turnstone and a dozen Purple Sandpiper. On the rocks further out and on the sea wall end there were cormorants. On the sea surface, five Mallard paddled by, and further out, three Long-Tailed Ducks were diving.

Moving past the tower, the tallies of Black-Headed Gulls and Redshank rose quickly. A Robin put in an appearance and a single Heron was spotted out on the rocks. I decided at this point to detour down into Seafield Cave Cove. I followed a little used grassy trail behind the remains of some ruined stone cottages then squeezed through a tunnel of Hawthorn and down onto the shoreline rocks. A quick scramble over the rocks and I was on the pebbly beach looking up into the scrub filled cove. I was hoping to find the hawk I'd seen dive in there yesterday, but what greeted me was the sight of seven Grey Heron sitting there with shoulders hunched.

Moving along the beach, I crossed the metal bridge in front of the cave entrance, finding a Wren just inside the entrance on a rock ledge. I now climbed the icy path up the the end of Stone Dyke Point. Scanning into Bullfinch Cove, I found nothing but a pair of sabre looking Magpies. They looked like a married couple that had fallen out, sitting in different tree tops with their backs to each other.

Following the stone dyke back up to the coastal path, I continued South, but only managed to add a Blue Tit to my list. I stopped briefly to swap notes with another birder heading the other way. He was engaged in a BTO survey of Wetland and Estuary birds. Moving on to the high point above the Lime Kiln Beach, a scan of the calm waters revealed a couple of Cormorants and a little further out, a lone Long-Tailed Duck.

With the light now starting to dim, I started to head back along the path towards Seafield. Amongst the dead stalks of last years Hemlock, that grows around the tower, I found a couple of Reed Bunting. Moving on towards the harbour I ran into the other birder I'd met earlier, and another birder with a scope. I chatted with the scoped birder for a while about the WEB survey he was also engaged in, and he very kindly pointed out a Ruff in a bunch of Redshank I'd just walked past. A nice personal patch tick for me.

I arrived back at the car having had a Ruff day.

Last edited by Gander : Saturday 14th January 2017 at 17:56.
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Old Saturday 14th January 2017, 18:13   #55
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List Update.

I notice on Bird Track that a Red-Throated Diver was spotted at Seafield today. I was expecting a few divers to come in soon, as there were reports of them just around the corner of the patch in Kinghorn Bay. Hopefully, I'll get to view one soon.

THE LIST UPDATED
1. Bar-tailed Godwit
2. Black-headed Gull
3. Black-tailed Godwit
4. Blackbird
5. Blue Tit
6. Bullfinch
7. Carrion Crow
8. Chaffinch
9. Common Buzzard
10. Common Gull
11. Common Scoter*
12. Common Tern
13. Cormorant
14. Curlew
15. Dunnock
16. Eider
17. Goldcrest
18. Goldeneye
19. Goldfinch
20. Goosander
21. Great Black-backed Gull
22. Great Tit
23. Greenfinch
24. Greenshank
25. Grey Heron
26. Grey Wagtail
27. Guillemot
28. Herring Gull
29. Housemartin*
30. House Sparrow
31. Kestrel*
32. Knot
33. Lesser Black-backed Gull*
34. Long-tailed Duck
35. Long-tailed Tit
36. Magpie
37. Mallard
39. Mute Swan
40. Oystercatcher
41. Pheasant
42. Pied Wagtail (Yarrellii)
43. Pink-Footed Goose
44. Peregine*
45. Purple Sandpiper
46. Red-Throated Diver*
47. Red-breasted Merganser*
48. Redshank
49. Reed Bunting
50. Ringed Plover
51. Robin
52. Rock Pipit (Littoralis)
53. Ruff
54. Sanderling
55. Sandwich Tern
56. Sedge Warbler*
57. Shag
58. Song Thrush
59. Sparrowhawk
60. Starling
61. Stonechat*
62. Swallow
63. Turnstone
64. Whimbrel*
65. Willow Warbler*
66. Wood Pigeon
67. Wren.
68. Yellowhammer
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Old Monday 16th January 2017, 16:34   #56
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Low tide photos

Spent a full day on the patch today. A few photos at low tide attached. Full bird report to come later.
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Old Monday 16th January 2017, 19:53   #57
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A Whale of a Day - Part One (An Unexpected Journey)

Monday is the day that I have set aside for travelling about a bit. The Shorelarks at Tentsmuir were very tempting, but Tentsmuir, wonderful place though it is, has not been very kind to me. Just over four weeks ago today, I was at Clatto Reservoir surrounded by ducks and Whooper Swans, when I noted a text alert to the arrival of two Shorelarks at Tentsmuir.

The Shorelarks had arrived the previous day, but I was late picking up the text. I was travelling to go offshore the next day, so hadn't wanted to journey too far. The opportunity was too tempting however, and ten minutes later I was belting across Fife (obeying all speed limits and traffic regulations of course) on an unexpected journey.

It was half past twelve when I arrived at the Tentsmuir car park. With rucksack and scope shouldered I headed into the dunes and turned North. As I approached the lagoon area, my heart sank. Ahead of me was a dog walker with four dogs. They were everywhere. I hung about for a while, to let the sand settle, while dogs and walker crossed the wire fence and headed off into the reserve ( though I don't understand how it can be termed a reserve if there is not the slightest effort to stop dogs running loose). The only bird around was a solitary Plover. I think it was Golden, but on the Fife Bird Club gallery, what I believe was the same bird had been photographed earlier in the day, but was labelled as Grey. I was probably wrong, so I didn't realise I was looking at a lifer.

I quartered the dunes on the way back, but to no avail.

Which brings me back to today. I'd been following the Shorelarks reports for over three weeks, but they had dried up over the weekend. I couldn't face another energy sapping hike through the dunes. so I decided to hit my patch again. My main target right now are divers, and although Tentsmuir is good for divers, I was really set on seeing them on the patch.

I arrived in Seafield carpark in the dawn's half light, just after eight o' clock. The grassy picnic area (AKA Dogs poo patch) was full of Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull and Oystercatcher. There were also three Common Gull.

I headed straight onto the beach for a change, and just for an extra twist I turned North. Walking behind the abandoned red brick bus terminal, I found a patch tick in ten Feral Pigeons (an easy one I know, but it still needed ticked).

The tide was heading for low. Where the Tiel Burn (Northerly limit of my patch) met the gently lapping waves, there was a cluster of gulls. The Herring and Black Headed Gull counts were added too, and I started tallying Great Black-Back Gulls. I continued to add to these gull tallies all day, so I'll not mention them again. Six Curlew flew in low over the water, and close to my observation spot, a Pied Wagtail (Yar) was busy on the pebble dashed high water mark.

I now headed down to the tide line and turned South. Out on the calm waters were good numbers of Eider. Two Bar-Tailed Godwit came into view, and I started both the Redshank and Turnstone counts for the day.

As I drew level with the North end of the sea wall, I could see that the tide was still not quite far enough out to allow me to squeeze through the gaps in the fallen down South end where it curved out to sea to form the never used harbour from the Victorian era. I headed up the beach and onto the coastal path, continuing South towards the harbour. Before I arrived at the harbour, I found the scrub to the West of the path quite busy, and quickly added Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Wren and Reed Bunting to my list.

Last edited by Gander : Tuesday 17th January 2017 at 07:50.
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Old Monday 16th January 2017, 22:21   #58
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A Whale of a Day - Part Two (Thar she blows)

At the harbour, I again headed down onto the sands. The tide was as far out as I'd ever seen it, so I decided to follow the tide line. I scrambled over the stones flooded by the flow of the Tiree Burn, onto the soft sands. Close to the wall, I noticed a lone wader - another Bar-Tailed Godwit. As I spotted this bird, a Rock Pipit appeared on a ledge of rock behind me. I pulled the camera out of the ruck sack, and amazingly, both birds obliged me by waiting for me to take a few shots.

Continuing South, I found more Redshank, Turnstone and Oystercatcher. I also found a lone Heron. Level with the old tower, I could go no further, so I headed back to the path, scrambling over seaweed covered rocks.

Back on the path now, it was ten minutes to ten as I passed the tower. The sun was shining brightly. Too brightly. It was difficult now to see anything on the sea surface in places due to the intense glare. Cormorants out on the rocks were added to the list though. On the nearer rocks, Common Seal were basking. In amongst the Hemlock stalks and scrub, I found a Song Thrush. Four Mallard were seen in the rock pools and more Blue Tit were seen.

I worked my way South adding to my totals of previously listed birds. As I approached the stone dyke, I found six Magpies having a convention on the little hillock on the other side of the railway line. A flight of Pink-Footed Geese passed overhead. Heading down to the point, I found little on the water other than a Shag and a raft of eleven Eider. Looking back into the Seafield Cave Cove several Woodpigeon were found in the trees.

returning to the path, I continued towards Kinghorn. It was very quiet. Only Blackbird was added to the list until I approached the Lime Kiln. Suddenly there was a big commotion down on the rocks. Gulls were screeching and Turnstone were zig-zagging away, calling in high alarm. And there in the centre of the chaos, pursued by noisy gulls was a Peregrine Falcon. My closest ever view of a Peregrine and a personal patch tick.

The hawk headed off down the coast and I followed at a more sedate pace. In the scrub on the railway embankment, I found more Goldfinch and added Great Tit to the list.

It was half past eleven as I headed into Kinghorn. I checked out the harbour, then headed up to the Carousel cafe that overlooks the bay. Lunch ordered, I noticed a group of people down below me on the cliff top path. There were carrying binoculars, scopes and long lens cameras. Must be birders I thought and started scanning the sea in the direction the assembled watchers were focused on. The sea was calm and the sky clear. I saw no birds out there. Then I noticed an orange inflatable speedboat. As I focused on the boat, lo and behold, a great, big whale surfaced.

I watched for a while from my vantage point in the first floor cafe. The boat would follow the whale around each time it surfaced. Later, I found out that the whale was a 40 ft Humpback. Those on the boat were marine wildlife experts who were assessing the health of this young mammal. More detail can be read at

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news...-in-the-forth/

Heading back into my patch, I took a final look at the whale, then headed North to Kirkcaldy. Certainly a very unexpected mammal tick to add to the earlier observed Common Seals.

I sauntered back along the path, keeping a sharp, but unrewarded eye out for divers. Off Lime Kiln Beach however, I did find a fairly close in Goldeneye. At the tower bay, I sat for a while and added a Dunnock to the list. Just past the tower, I noticed a flock of geese. Pretty far out, but I'm sure enough to add Greylag as the second patch tick of the day (third if you count the Humpback). Approaching the harbour, I spent some time down on the beach again, positioning myself to get some photos of a Bar-Tailed Godwit. Quite possibly the same bird photographed in the morning. While still on the beach I also found six Purple Sandpiper out on some rocks.

A flight of nine ducks were seen late in the day, making a distant fly past, but a definite ID was not made. They looked to be either Tufted or Scaup, either of which would be another patch tick, but they will have to wait for another day.

No divers today, but very rewarding none the less.
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Last edited by Gander : Monday 16th January 2017 at 22:27.
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Old Tuesday 17th January 2017, 15:04   #59
Gander
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Fulmars

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
Hi Gander, not sure if this is the area your covering, but I photograph nesting Fulmars on a small cliff at Kinghorn, just off a small carpark, where a path leads you down to the beach, don't know the name of the street though.
Quote:
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Hi Andrew,
Sounds a little further South from the area I'm watching. Thanks for the info though. I should be able to get Fulmar on the list in the not too distant future.
Hi again Andrew,
I found your cliff again today, complete with sixteen Fulmars sat on the ledges. The car park is off Pettycur Road, right next to the cafe I frequent. Cliff is South end of Kinghorn bay, so outside of my patch, however, when I scanned back from the patch, over the top of the caravans at the holiday park, I could make out the white dots on the cliff that I knew to be Fulmar, having checked them out at close range 15 minutes earlier. So, your Fulmars will be on the patch list.

Thanks again.
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Old Tuesday 17th January 2017, 15:38   #60
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A couple of unscheduled visits to the patch today. Mid morning I grabbed half an hour while the wife was sopping for curtains at a nearby shop. Conditions were very calm and very mild. I didn't make list, but there was very little about, especially out on the water. I got to the tower and then headed back, the only point of interest being an unidentified bird far out on the water. At first I thought it was a Guillemot, however, at one point, it reared up out of the water, and even at distance, I could see that it was only the chest that was white, with the underparts being black. Head was also black, but too far away to get a beak shape, so may have been some sort of duck. I'll be giving the Collins a browse later.

After picking the wife up, we headed for Kinghorn to have lunch at the Carousel Cafe, overlooking the bay. I don't normally use the car park behind the cafe, but doing so revealed a small cliff to me that had sixteen Fulmar perched on it. After lunch, Mrs Goose came up with the idea of me walking back to Kirkcaldy, while she went grocery shopping. Plan was to meet up at Seafield car park an hour later.

The walk back revealed nothing unusual. The only thing out of the ordinary were the audible calls of the Eider out on the water. First time it has been so calm down there that I've been able to hear them from the path.

So, it is time to make a few additions to the list. From yesterday we have Feral Pigeon and Greylag. And today we have Fulmar. Nothing earth shattering, but good, steady progress pushing the list up to seventy.

THE LIST UPDATED
1. Bar-tailed Godwit
2. Black-headed Gull
3. Black-tailed Godwit
4. Blackbird
5. Blue Tit
6. Bullfinch
7. Carrion Crow
8. Chaffinch
9. Common Buzzard
10. Common Gull
11. Common Scoter*
12. Common Tern
13. Cormorant
14. Curlew
15. Dunnock
16. Eider
17, Feral Pigeon
18. Fulmar
19. Goldcrest
20. Goldeneye
21. Goldfinch
22. Goosander
23. Great Black-backed Gull
24. Great Tit
25. Greenfinch
26. Greenshank
27. Grey Heron
28, Greylag
29. Grey Wagtail
30. Guillemot
31. Herring Gull
32. Housemartin*
33. House Sparrow
34. Kestrel*
35. Knot
36. Lesser Black-backed Gull*
37. Long-tailed Duck
38. Long-tailed Tit
39. Magpie
40. Mallard
41. Mute Swan
42. Oystercatcher
43. Pheasant
44. Pied Wagtail (Yarrellii)
45. Pink-Footed Goose
46. Peregrine
47. Purple Sandpiper
48. Red-Throated Diver*
49. Red-breasted Merganser*
50. Redshank
51. Reed Bunting
52. Ringed Plover
53. Robin
54. Rock Pipit
55. Ruff
56. Sanderling
57. Sandwich Tern
58. Sedge Warbler*
59. Shag
60. Song Thrush
61. Sparrowhawk
62. Starling
63. Stonechat*
64. Swallow
65. Turnstone
66. Whimbrel*
67. Willow Warbler*
68. Wood Pigeon
69. Wren.
70. Yellowhammer

Last edited by Gander : Tuesday 17th January 2017 at 15:41.
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Old Wednesday 18th January 2017, 21:11   #61
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L-T Ducks.

An hour and a half this morning saw me wandering down to Lime Kiln beach and back again. No real changes to the birds encountered, other than a return of the Long-Tailed Ducks.

Can hardly believe how mild it is for the time of year!
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Old Thursday 19th January 2017, 15:30   #62
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UFO & a solved mystery.

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Originally Posted by Gander View Post
and even at distance, I could see that it was only the chest that was white, with the underparts being black. Head was also black, but too far away to get a beak shape, so may have been some sort of duck.
Just a walk to the tower and back from the car park this afternoon, mainly on the prod for divers. It was as quiet on the bird front as I've ever seen it. Reaching the tower, I found an unusual flying object buzzing about. Don't think I can give it a tick though (see 1st photo).

Heading back past the harbour, I found a small group of Eider, one of which solved the mystery of the white chested bird I saw at distance a few days ago. I am guessing this is a juvenile male (See other photos).

Still no divers. Tides are better next week though, with high tides during daylight hours. Maybe that will bring something in.
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Old Tuesday 24th January 2017, 18:41   #63
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An hour and a half this afternoon on the patch with the tide just falling away from high. Most of the usual suspects present, but in small numbers. Fourteen Long-Tailed Ducks out on the water. In the harbour, four Mute Swans had turned up along with a couple of Mallard. The usual Eider were there mixing with the new incomers. Past the tower, it was really quiet and the walk out to Stone Dyke point and back only added Woodpigeon and grey Heron to the list.

Returning to the tower, I made a quick scan on a couple of Grey Seals out on the rocks, finding a Rock Pipit hopping about next to them. Then halfway between the tower and the harbour, I found a pair of Red-Breasted Merganser. A personal patch tick for me.

I reached the car park with the light failing early due to leaden skies. A quick scan of a couple of groups of gulls revealed nothing new, so home I headed. Hopefully, a flood of new birds will arrive overnight, as I'll be back tomorrow while Mrs Goose is just around the corner at her weekly Pilates class.
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Old Wednesday 25th January 2017, 14:31   #64
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Quote:
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Hopefully, a flood of new birds will arrive overnight, as I'll be back tomorrow
Well, no flood of fresh birds. Just another typical January day on Fife's costa. Sun relentlessly shining down out of a blue sky onto breeze touched waters. More likely to get sun stroke than find a Diver.

I'm thinking of setting the place up as a winter destination for retired spaniards.
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Old Friday 27th January 2017, 16:18   #65
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Fresh in.

A quick scoot along to the harbour just before sundown revealed a few fresh birds. The weather now colder and a light wind has put a little bit of a chop on the sea. I found birds sheltering in the nooks and crannies in the crumbling concrete of the harbour wall. Along with the more usual Redshank and Purple Sandpiper, there were half a dozen or so Knot. First I've seen there this year. And also, a single Sanderling. Again, the first I've seen there this year.

I've done a bit of research on Diver sightings in the area, using Bird Track and the Fife Atlas. It appears that I may have over-estimated their abundance. I'm sure I will track them down eventually, but it might take me a bit longer than originally anticipated.
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Old Friday 27th January 2017, 18:51   #66
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Gander is that Kinghorn or Pettycur Harbour? Is that the western boundary of your patch? I've just moved to Burntisland so mine's the next patch along.
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Old Friday 27th January 2017, 19:26   #67
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Gander is that Kinghorn or Pettycur Harbour? Is that the western boundary of your patch? I've just moved to Burntisland so mine's the next patch along.
It is Seafield Harbour at the Kirkcaldy end of the patch. Kinghorn harbour is at the other end, but it is outside of the patch (round the corner of the rocky point the holiday park sits on).

Burntisland is a good area. My one Great Northern Diver came from there last winter. It was in the area I think they call Lammerlaws - right in front of the big pallet yard.
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Old Friday 24th February 2017, 13:14   #68
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Velvet and the King.

During the last three and a bit weeks away offshore, I had kept a close eye on Bird Track for reports on my patch. Only one had been registered. A couple of nice birds on it though with Greenshank and Ruff. Some really good reports of divers on either side of the patch at Kinghorn and Dysart, so this morning I set out for my first session back with hope in my heart.

It was as if I'd never been away, with a bright sun shining out of a blue sky onto relatively calm waters. I was late getting to the car park, having had to wait to let a decorator into the house, while Mrs Goose (don't ever tell her I call her that!) did the school run. It was ten to ten as I emerged from the car into the sunshine. The tide was well up the beach, and the good weather had brought out every dog walker for miles. My hope started to fade a little, but there were birds out on the water.

A Herring Gull in the car park was the first bird in the book, closely followed by a nearby BHG, its black head now becoming very obvious. Turning my attention to the birds on the water, the Herring Gull tally continued to rise, as it would for the rest of the session, but it was the Eiders that were the dominant presence. Twenty counted from the front of the car park.

It was while scanning the Eider, that I noticed two ducks at distance, that didn't seem right for Eider. With so many Eider around, my thoughts were already on the possibility of King Eider. These were not King Eider though. They were black looking. Common Scoter I thought, then one of them had a flap of its wings while facing me, and there I saw whitish wing bars. I hardly dared believe I could have found Velvet Scoter.

I headed down onto the beach. I had to get closer, so I walked across the soft sands to the advancing tide line. For twenty minutes or more, I played chicken with the small waves, while staring relentlessly through the 10x42s at these two dark ducks. My arms started to ache holding the binoculars up. My eyes watered as I strained them to pick out a detail that would confirm Velvet Scoter.

The ducks of course, did what every bird of interest seems to do. They resolutely stayed at that difficult distance where you can't quite pick out enough detail to be sure. Worse than that, they both had their heads tucked away for a mid morning snooze. Persistence paid off though. Eventually one of them put its head up for a look around, and I could clear see the orange in the bill that said Velvet. But I still wasn't 100% sure. The birds were still too far off to make out any of the expected white face or wing markings. I now whipped out the bridge camera and started taking shots to analyse later.

The ducks were now drifting away, so I headed back up onto the path and restarted the list. Carrion crow, Oystercatcher, Shag, Starling, House Sparrow, Oystercatcher, Dunnock, GBBG, Robin, Magpie, Blackbird, Redshank and Turnstone were all noted before I got to Seafield Tower.

The Eider count had continued to rise, and always I scanned the scattered flock with King Eider in the back of my mind. But it was not out on the water that I found my king for the day. In front of the tower, perched on a rock, I spotted a bird. The binoculars revealed a patch tick of a Kingfisher. Not a King Eider, but a very welcome royal visitor none the less.

With time running out, I headed back to the car park, but had a quick look around the back of the tower first, adding a Curlew to the list. On the way back, I also added Rock Pipit, Ringed Plover, and Cormorant. A small fishing boat was motoring close in. It flushed a Long-Tailed Duck into the air. At the harbour, I found a flock of Purple Sandpiper clinging to the eroded sea wall in the splash zone. And as I approached the car, a Mute Swan became my last entry in the note book, as it flew low over the shining waters.

Back home now, I have had a look at the photos of the Scoter. I feel confident enough to say that they are indeed Velvet Scoter. I can just about make out the near eye marking and in one photo I can see a hint of the white wing slash. Also the size of the bird in comparison to the nearby Eider, along with the sturdy looking neck, all point to Velvet. I'm confident enough to not bother the Bird ID Q&A section of this forum, but let me know if you think I've made a pigs ear of the ID (Photos attached).

All in all, a very good session with two new ticks for the list.
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Last edited by Gander : Friday 24th February 2017 at 13:21.
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Old Friday 24th February 2017, 18:47   #69
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List Update

Following this mornings outing (see post #68 above), I am pleased to have reason to update the list. Additions are Velvet Scoter and Kingfisher.

THE LIST UPDATED
1. Bar-tailed Godwit
2. Black-headed Gull
3. Black-tailed Godwit
4. Blackbird
5. Blue Tit
6. Bullfinch
7. Carrion Crow
8. Chaffinch
9. Common Buzzard
10. Common Gull
11. Common Scoter*
12. Common Tern
13. Cormorant
14. Curlew
15. Dunnock
16. Eider
17, Feral Pigeon
18. Fulmar
19. Goldcrest
20. Goldeneye
21. Goldfinch
22. Goosander
23. Great Black-backed Gull
24. Great Tit
25. Greenfinch
26. Greenshank
27. Grey Heron
28, Greylag
29. Grey Wagtail
30. Guillemot
31. Herring Gull
32. Housemartin*
33. House Sparrow
34. Kestrel*
35. Kingfisher
36. Knot
37. Lesser Black-backed Gull*
38. Long-tailed Duck
39. Long-tailed Tit
40. Magpie
41. Mallard
42. Mute Swan
43. Oystercatcher
44. Pheasant
45. Pied Wagtail (Yarrellii)
46. Pink-Footed Goose
47. Peregrine
48. Purple Sandpiper
49. Red-Throated Diver*
50. Red-breasted Merganser*
51. Redshank
52. Reed Bunting
53. Ringed Plover
54. Robin
55. Rock Pipit
56. Ruff
57. Sanderling
58. Sandwich Tern
59. Sedge Warbler*
60. Shag
61. Song Thrush
62. Sparrowhawk
63. Starling
64. Stonechat*
65. Swallow
66. Turnstone
67. Velvet Scoter
68. Whimbrel*
69. Willow Warbler*
70. Wood Pigeon
71. Wren.
72. Yellowhammer
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Old Friday 24th February 2017, 19:20   #70
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Back home now, I have had a look at the photos of the Scoter. I feel confident enough to say that they are indeed Velvet Scoter. I can just about make out the near eye marking and in one photo I can see a hint of the white wing slash. Also the size of the bird in comparison to the nearby Eider, along with the sturdy looking neck, all point to Velvet. I'm confident enough to not bother the Bird ID Q&A section of this forum, but let me know if you think I've made a pigs ear of the ID (Photos attached).
Looks good for a Velvet Scoter to me, the eye marking is just about visible. Nice one and thanks for another interesting post.

Cheers
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Old Saturday 25th February 2017, 13:54   #71
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Well done! Is that Kirkcaldy harbour you're referring to, or Kinghorn?
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Old Saturday 25th February 2017, 14:29   #72
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Well done! Is that Kirkcaldy harbour you're referring to, or Kinghorn?
It's Seafield Harbour. A few photos below looking North to Kirkcaldy.
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Old Saturday 25th February 2017, 20:22   #73
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It's Seafield Harbour. A few photos below looking North to Kirkcaldy.
Right, I guess that's near Seafield Tower. By the way I saw a Med Gull on Burntisland Sands the other day.
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Old Saturday 25th February 2017, 21:43   #74
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Right, I guess that's near Seafield Tower. By the way I saw a Med Gull on Burntisland Sands the other day.
Yes, about 5 minutes walk.

Well done with the Med Gull. I was at Burntisland this morning and Seafield this afternoon. Lots of BHG at both, but despite scanning with Med in mind, my search for one goes on.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2017, 17:16   #75
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Took a couple of hours to wander along to Stone Dyke Point and back at high tide this afternoon. Very bright and calm. Forth looking like the Med again. No fresh birds about, but a notable count of forty Curlew standing shoulder to shoulder on a couple of rocks in front of Bullfinch Bay.
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