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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 17:47   #176
Gander
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Location: Fife or middle of North Sea
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Winter Swallow

I have made a few visits since my last post on Tuesday, but have had nothing out of the ordinary showing. Main changes were an increase in Goldcrest at the back of Lime Kiln Beach, and increased numbers of Long-Tailed Duck out on the Forth. Still no divers or grebes though.

This afternoon, I headed to the strip knowing it would be my last opportunity for three weeks. Tide was lapping at its high mark and the sea sat docile and grey under a heavily overcast sky.

I wasn't out of the car park before I made a surprising spot. A Swallow was swooping about. Still plenty of fly life in the air, but surely the cold must be telling it to get out of here?

At the tower, I bumped into a birder that I have met before. He was carrying out a wader survey for the BTO, and informed me that he had found a Greenshank on the rocks about halfway along Lime Kiln Beach. I hurried along to the location and soon found the bird. It lifted at one point, but settled again just south of Stone Dyke Point. A nice addition to my species list for the month, but not as surprising as the winter Swallow.
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 16:05   #177
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Four Greenshank reported at Seafield today.
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 21:04   #178
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I walked from Kinghorn to Seafield Tower yesterday. Amongst a bunch of Black-headed and Herring Gulls loafing on the rocks about halfway along were two adult Mediterranean Gulls, probably two of the three I saw on the mudflats off Burntisland during the previous week. It looks like this is a new one for the list. I also counted 24 Long-tailed Ducks.
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 11:50   #179
Gander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuckoo-shrike View Post
I walked from Kinghorn to Seafield Tower yesterday. Amongst a bunch of Black-headed and Herring Gulls loafing on the rocks about halfway along were two adult Mediterranean Gulls, probably two of the three I saw on the mudflats off Burntisland during the previous week. It looks like this is a new one for the list. I also counted 24 Long-tailed Ducks.
That's great Cuckoo-shrike! I'd received a report a few days ago of two Meds being between Kinghorn and Seafield Tower, but as they might have been around the corner in Kinghorn Bay, I decided not to list them. Confirmation of them being right in the middle of my patch is very welcome. Many thanks for letting me know.

Hopefully, they'll hang about long enough for me to get them as a life tick and personal patch tick.

THE LIST UPDATED
1. Arctic Skua*
2. Arctic Tern
3. Barnacle Goose
4. Bar-tailed Godwit
5. Blackcap
6. Black-headed Gull
7. Black-tailed Godwit
8. Blackbird
9. Blue Tit
10. Bullfinch
11. Carrion Crow
12. Chaffinch
13. Chiffchaff
14. Collared Dove
15. Common Buzzard
16. Common Gull
17. Common Sandpiper
18. Common Scoter*
19. Common Tern
20. Cormorant
21. Curlew
22. Dunlin
23. Dunnock
24. Eider
25. Feral Pigeon
26. Fulmar
27. Gannet
28. Garden Warbler
29. Goldcrest
30. Goldeneye
31. Goldfinch
32. Goosander
33. Great Black-backed Gull
34. Great Crested Grebe
35. Great Tit
36. Greenfinch
37. Greenshank
38. Grey Heron
39. Greylag
40. Grey Partridge
41. Grey Wagtail
42. Guillemot
43. Herring Gull
44. Housemartin
45. House Sparrow
46. Kestrel
47. Kingfisher
48. Knot
49. Lapwing
50. Lesser Black-backed Gull
51. Linnet
52. Long-tailed Duck
53. Long-tailed Tit
54. Magpie
55. Mallard
56. Manx Shearwater*
57. Meadow Pipit
58. Mediterranean Gull*
59. Mute Swan
60. Oystercatcher
61. Pheasant
62. Pied/White Wagtail
63. Pink-Footed Goose
64. Peregrine
65. Puffin
66. Purple Sandpiper
67. Raven*
68. Red-Breasted Merganser
69. Redshank
70. Red-Throated Diver*
71. Redwing
72. Reed Bunting
73. Ringed Plover
74. Robin
75. Rock Pipit
76. Ruff
77. Sanderling
78. Sandwich Tern
79. Sedge Warbler
80. Shag
81. Skylark
82. Song Thrush
83. Sparrowhawk
84. Starling
85. Stonechat
86. Swallow
87. Swift
88. Teal
89. Tree Sparrow
90. Turnstone
91. Velvet Scoter
92. Wheatear
93. Whimbrel
94. Whitethroat
95. Willow Warbler
96. Woodpigeon
97. Wren.
98. Yellowhammer
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 11:53   #180
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You're welcome Gander! Just two more needed for the century....
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Old Friday 15th December 2017, 19:20   #181
Gander
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I've made a couple of sorties along the strip since I got back. Wednesday was cold and damp feeling, with bird activity notably subdued. The only thing of note that stood out to me was a congregation of twenty-one Mallard in the harbour area.

This afternoon was bright, but still cold. There were definitely more birds about though. Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Goldcrest, Reed Bunting, Grey Wagtail and a Kestrel, to name a few. Still no divers or grebes out on the water, but more than a dozen Long-tailed Duck were present.

Star of the day though was a Goldfinch who shows in the photo sequence, how to tease a seed out of Teasel.
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Old Saturday 16th December 2017, 21:38   #182
Gander
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Three Mediterranean Gulls reported at the car park area this afternoon, but frustratingly, the report came in after dark. Hopefully, I'll catch up with them tomorrow.
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Old Yesterday, 16:03   #183
Gander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gander View Post
Three Mediterranean Gulls reported at the car park area this afternoon, but frustratingly, the report came in after dark. Hopefully, I'll catch up with them tomorrow.
After a very wet morning, I set off at about 2pm, with the weather looking a little dryer. The strip was feeling very un-Mediterranean like, and was as quiet as I had ever seen it. Even the Purple Sandpipers were missing from the harbour area, and there was certainly no sign of Mediterranean Gulls anywhere near the car park.

Slopping along the very muddy coastal path, my plan was to head for Lime Kiln Beach in the hope that I would find a few gulls there on the rocks. Halfway between the the harbour and the tower though, I noticed a small group of about eight or nine BHGs paddling about on the water. I scanned them more out of habit than in any great hope, but the scan revealed a bird with a lot more black in the face than its companions. It also seemed to lack any black in the wing tips, although the distance and poor light made that difficult to judge. I moved further up the path to reduce the distance by getting parallel to the bird, and scanning again from this closer position left me in no doubt that I had found my first ever Mediterranean Gull.

I watched for a while, chatting to another birder, to whom I pointed the gull out too, before deciding to proceed to the tower before turning back. On my way back I found the gull had moved in closer and was now on the rocks at the high tide mark. I grabbed a few record shots in the failing light before heading off towards the car, noting a Kingfisher on the way.
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