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Seafield to Kinghorn

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Old Saturday 21st September 2019, 10:09   #276
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A couple of new arrivals seen on Thursday. A Stonechat was very evident between the car park and the seawall. Walking back to the car park later, I again saw a Stonechat near the harbour area, but believe it to be the same bird.

Also seen between the harbour and the tower were a passing flock of Wigeon. A nice addition to the patch year list.
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Old Monday 23rd September 2019, 07:20   #277
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Photos

Attached record shots of last week's Brent and Wigeon, along with the Stonechat.
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Old Friday 18th October 2019, 11:15   #278
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Due to other commitments, I only managed a flying visit to the strip, last on Wednesday afternoon. With only an hour to spare, I only made it to the tower and back, but it was enough to confirm that my winter regulars have started moving in. Purple Sandpipers were seen at the harbour, and Rock Pipits at the tower.

Early Thursday morning saw me return for a fuller examination. The only summer species left were Sandwich Terns. A large flock of Goldfinch were hammering the Teasel behind the seawall, while behind Lime Kiln Beach, a large flock of Long-Tailed Tits were working their way along the path.

Best bird of the day however would normally have gone to the Goldeneye I spotted heading up the Forth. Without consulting my records, I think this is only the second seen along the strip.

The Goldeneye however was trumped by a new entry to the list, when four Rooks flew over. It has been a long wait for a bird that is relatively common.

116. Rook
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 15:47   #279
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I arrived at the carpark at 09:30 hrs, with high tide having been about an hour earlier.
My hope was that with the high levels of water, I might find a winter Kingfisher on the few un-submerged rocks close in to the path between the harbour and the tower.

Heading south along the path towards the harbour, I came across another birder heading back to the car park. We chatted briefly, during which he informed me that he had seen a small group of Long-Tailed Duck. He also thought he'd seen a Little Auk, but was doubtful himself.

Moving on, I soon found the L-T Ducks, just out from the harbour. On the pebbly shore of the harbour, a couple of Wagtails were flitting about. Initially I thought they were male and female Yarrellii, but after watching them for a while, I concluded that one of the birds was probably an Alba (see what you think from photos).

Moving on again, I reached the tower without encountering any Kingfishers. Always an optimistic target I suppose.

Beyond the tower, there was little bird action. Leaden skies and cool temperatures not encouraging much to show. Great Tit was the only bird of note (L-TD excepted) by this point, with it being new for the month. I thought of cutting my visit short, but decided to push on to the benches, at least.

With nothing unexpected making the list, I turned back at the benches, having sat for a short while to sea watch. The journey back was pretty uneventful, apart from an overhead Yellowhammer, until I was about halfway down the slope approaching the tower. Stopping briefly to scan the rocks in the cove, a flash of blue was picked up, and I was onto a Kingfisher. A welcome addition to the year list. Hopefully, it will stay for the winter.

Passing the tower, a new addition for the month popped up in the scrub, in the shape of a male Stonechat.

With the L-T Ducks having arrived, I am only short Red-Breasted Mergansers to have a full set of my regular winter residents. Although I still have high hopes of a Black Redstart appearing on the strip.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 13:53   #280
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Wet November

Only three visits made to the strip during November, mainly due to consistent wet weather. My normal winter birds are now well ensconced, but there was been little else to report. Highlights were a close in Red-throated Diver at the tower, a Sparrowhawk that flew over my head at low altitude, while I was watching the diver, and a close encounter with a Grey Wagtail that was hunting in the flooded area behind the sea wall.
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Old Saturday 18th January 2020, 20:07   #281
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Hi Gander,
Have enjoyed your posts.
I pop over to Kirkcaldy every once in a while from West Fife to have a nosey around the sea front.
A nice stretch of coast!

If you are listing this year, you may be interested to know I found an adult Med Gull today amongst the BHGs just off the sea wall at the truck stop.

I look forward to your next post.

Kind regards,
Sp1970
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Old Tuesday 21st January 2020, 14:39   #282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoonbill1970 View Post
Hi Gander,


If you are listing this year, you may be interested to know I found an adult Med Gull today amongst the BHGs just off the sea wall at the truck stop.


Sp1970
Thanks Spoonbill,
I'll update the 2020 list with your Med Gull sighting.
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Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 07:37   #283
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Annexation of Kinghorn Loch

This year, I have decided to make a big change to my patch. It has been something I have been considering for a while, But I have now bitten the bullet.

In short, I have added Kinghorn Loch to my patch. The loch is inland a short distance from the south end of my patch. My reason for doing this, is that I feel I need a bit more diversity of habitat. Kinghorn Loch certainly gives me that. In addition to the loch itself, there is a small marsh area, mature woodland, hillside sheep pasture and stands of conifers.

I have visited the loch before, but last month I made two visits before making a final decision to go ahead with the annexation. Not only will new species become more easily available, but already, I am seeing more of species that are scarce visitors to the coastal strip.

The downside with Kinghorn Loch is that it is busy. It is used for several watersports, but this is mainly at weekends and summer evenings, so it should be manageable.

So what did my first two sessions produce? I'll post a full species list in my next loch post, but as a taster, three species I've not seen on the coastal strip were encountered. A Water Rail, Moorhen and Little Grebe. I should say four species actually, because another was heard. Out of the woodland came the distinctive hoot of a Tawny Owl, and that was me hooked.

Photos and maps will be posted this month.
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Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 08:53   #284
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Oh goodie Paul!! Looking forward to this, as freshwater habitats will make all the difference to you.

The owl would have had me hooked too!!!
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 07:49   #285
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So it begins

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made two visits to Kinghorn Loch in January. Below is my 2020 list, made up from the combined results of those two visits. As you will see, and would expect, although only a short distance inland from the strip, the list is very different looking. Highlights so far have been the Water Rail, the call of a Tawny Owl and a flock of Redwing that moved through the woodland ahead of me as I wandered through.

Hoping to get along there today, so we'll see if we expand the list shortly.

Loch List 2020

Black-headed Gull
Blackbird
Blue Tit
Bullfinch
Buzzard
Carrion Crow
Chaffinch
Dunnock
Goldcrest
Goldeneye
Goldfinch
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit
Grey Heron
Greylag Goose
Herring Gull
Little Grebe
Long-tailed Tit
Magpie
Mallard
Moorhen
Mute Swan
Pheasant
Redwing
Robin
Rook
Tawny Owl (call only)
Tree Sparrow
Water Rail
Woodpigeon
Wren
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 18:10   #286
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Yesterday, I managed a wander along Seafield. It was cold, grey and blustery; trying its best to rain. Nothing too unusual seen, although a Red-Throated Diver from the car park was nice to see, along with a few Long-tailed Ducks. My intention had been to head along to Kinghorn Loch after my coastal patrol, however, with the weather ever more threatening, I left my first visit of the month to this morning.

The weather still was not great, however, I did manage to add a few more baseline birds to the list with

Starling
Coot
Tufted Duck
Song Thrush


Later, back at home, while checking my photos, I did get a small surprise. On the 14/01/20, I had noticed a gull at distance, that was sat on a buoy. I grabbed a few shots, just before leaving, then promptly forgot about them. While checking today's photos, I found my gull had been an unseasonal Lesser Black-Backed Gull.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 21:35   #287
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Maps

I took a couple of photos this afternoon, of maps displayed at the loch (Please see attached). The first map shows the loch in relation to the Seafield to Kinghorn coastal strip.

A basic description of the loch is as follows.

Sitting on the edge of Kinghorn, you approach the loch by car, turning off the B921 where there is a sign for the Ecology Centre. You pass a new build housing estate on the left (not shown on the map or Google maps). looping round the estate, you turn left along the track signposted Craigencalt Farm (not the track that runs parallel marked Ecology Centre. At the end of the farm track is a small parking area that overlooks the NE corner of the loch.

From the car park, the best way is to head along the north shore, passing the boating buildings, then the old mill (now a hydro electricity provider) Up above you on the north slope there are rambling farm buildings.

Moving further west, you enter the woods. You can either head up through them, or stick to the small gated track that leads along the waters edge to a bird hide at the NW corner of the water. Beyond the hide is the marshy area, and from here the track also climbs the wooded hill. Running along the top of the wooded area, east to west is another track, that separates the woods from the sheep pasture at the top of the hill. At what I have set as my westerly limit is the Troll Bridge, from where you can look down on a very reedy pond. There are a few ways down through the woods off the main track or you can follow it along and come back down to the loch past the farm buildings mentioned earlier.

To the north and east there are open fields. The B921 skirts the south of the loch, so there is little access here, as beyond the stone wall at the edge of the loch, there is a short drop to the water, with only a thin strip of steep, scrub laden bank between wall and water.

P.S - No trolls seen yet, but I did spot a Grey Squirrel.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 17:39   #288
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Full List

It has been a while since I've posted a full list. 31st Dec, 2018 to be exact. So with a few additions at Seafield in 2019, and now with the amalgamated Kinghorn Loch list, here it is.

Asterisk indicates report from others, so not seen by myself. Entries in blue are birds recorded at the loch only.

The Master List
1. Canada Goose
2. Barnacle Goose
3. Brent Goose
4. Greylag Goose
5. Pink-Footed Goose
6. Mute Swan
7. Whooper Swan
8. Wigeon
9. Mallard
10. Teal
11. Tufted Duck
12. Eider
13. Velvet Scoter
14. Common Scoter
15. Long-Tailed Duck
16. Goldeneye
17. Goosander
18. Red-Breasted Merganser
19. Grey Partridge
20. Pheasant
21. Red-throated Diver
22. Black-Throated Diver*
23. Great Northern Diver*
24. Fulmar
25. Manx Shearwater*
26. Red-Necked Grebe*
27. Great-Crested Grebe
28. Little Grebe
29. Grey Heron
30. Gannet
31. Shag
32. Cormorant
33. Sparrowhawk
34. Buzzard
35. Water Rail
36. Moorhen
37. Coot

38. Oystercatcher
39. Lapwing
40. Ringed Plover
41. Whimbrel
42. Curlew
43. Bar-Tailed Godwit
44. Black-Tailed Godwit
45. Turnstone
46. Knot
47. Ruff
48. Sanderling
49. Dunlin
50. Purple Sandpiper
51. Common Sandpiper
52. Redshank
53. Pomarine Skua*
54. Greenshank
55. Kittiwake
56. Black-Headed Gull
57. Little Gull*
58. Mediterranean Gull
59. Common Gull
60. Herring Gull
61. Great Black-Backed Gull
62. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
63. Sandwich Tern
64. Common Tern
65. Arctic Tern
66. Arctic Skua*
67. Common Guillemot
68. Razorbill
69. Puffin
70. Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon
71. Wood Pigeon
72. Collared Dove
73. Tawny Owl (Call only)
74. Swift
75. Kingfisher
76. Great Spotted Woodpecker*
77. Kestrel
78. Peregrine
79. Magpie
80. Rook
81. Jackdaw*
82. Carrion Crow
83. Raven*
84. Coal Tit
85. Blue Tit
86. Great Tit
87. Skylark
88. Sand Martin
89. Swallow
90. House Martin
91. Long-Tailed Tit
92. Willow Warbler
93. Chiffchaff
94. Sedge Warbler
95. Blackcap
96. Garden Warbler
97. Whitethroat
98. Goldcrest
99. Wren
100. Starling
101. Blackbird
102. Fieldfare*
103. Redwing
104. Song Thrush
105. Robin
106. Stonechat
107. Wheatear
108. Dipper
109. House Sparrow
110. Tree Sparrow
111. Dunnock
112. Grey Wagtail
113. Pied Wagtail
114. Meadow Pipit
115. Rock Pipit
116. Chaffinch
117. Bullfinch
118. Greenfinch
119. Linnet
120. Goldfinch
121. Yellowhammer
122. Reed Bunting
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 08:01   #289
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Trust Info

The Kinghorn Loch and surrounding area, are maintained and run by the Craigencalt Rural Community Trust. Please see link to get a taster of their activities.

http://www.craigencalttrust.org.uk

The trust have produced a booklet detailing some of the birds that can be expected to be seen throughout the year at the loch.

http://www.craigencalttrust.org.uk/B...let%202016.pdf

There are a few there that I look forward to catching up with.
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 12:16   #290
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Quote:
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P.S - No trolls seen yet, but I did spot a Grey Squirrel.
Try walking over the bridge with a billy goat in tow....

John
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 21:20   #291
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Try walking over the bridge with a billy goat in tow....

John
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 21:27   #292
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I grabbed an hour at the loch this afternoon. I didn't expect too much, as the winds were still ripping through at a rate of knots, following last nights storm. The woods however were surprisingly sheltered. A couple of favourites were seen amongst the trees, with the second being new to the list.

123. Treecreeper
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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 15:21   #293
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High winds and heavy rain have kept me away from both the strip and the loch, all week. This morning though, I purposed to drop in at the loch for half an hour between other commitments. My intent was to simply scan the loch from the car park, in the hope that a duck with a difference might be visiting.

As I made my way down the track that leads to the car park, i noticed movement in the field to my right. There, hopping about on the cow pasture was a large thrush. The binoculars revealed it to be a Mistle Thrush. The binoculars also revealed that the bird was being accompanied by smaller, but beautifully marked Redwing. A second Mistle Thrush soon joined the gathering.

At the loch itself, there was not a lot, but the brief visit had been well worthwhile with the addition of a new species to the list.

124. Mistle Thrush
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Old Monday 24th February 2020, 16:16   #294
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Splish-splash

I want to make sure that I maintain the integrity of the Seafield Strip list, so given the choice of strip or loch, yesterday afternoon, I decided to slosh my way along the coastal path.

It was still a bit blustery, but at least the sun was shining. The path was wetter than I had ever seen it. In addition to large areas of standing water, a spring had sprung behind Lime Kiln Beach, with water being forced up between the stones on the path surface. The water formed a stream that poured down the slope of the path for some distance before finally diverting down onto the beach below.

There were few birds around, with some regulars notable by their absence. Large areas of flattened vegetation bore witness to the battering the strip had taken in the previous day's storm, so it was little wonder that the birds had maybe moved off for a while to find a more comfortable residence.

Highlights of my wander were a close in Red-Breasted Merganser, and a Common Buzzard. It has been quite a while since I've seen a Buzzard along the strip, so although a relatively common bird in general, it made my several miles of splash-splahing worth it.
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Old Wednesday 26th February 2020, 15:32   #295
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New Arrivals

Yesterday, was dull and cold, with a hint of rain. There was nothing new at the loch, so I took the opportunity to explore a little bit. Having climbed the slope at the back of the hide situated in the NW corner of the loch, I made my way along the top track, in an easterly direction, until I came to the farm buildings. this time however, I turned left up the slope instead turning right to get back down to the loch.

The chosen track took me past some cottages, then up to the top of the hill, where a couple of covered reservoirs are located. The track then skirts the top of a large arable field, before joining a small road that drops back down the slope to the turn off for the loch area. Hilltop, track and road make natural borders for the area I'll be watching, although anything that appears in the fields between this border and Seafield will be noted. On this occasion, only a Buzzard appeared in that area.

This morning, I arrived soon after first light. In the cow pasture across the track from the parking area, a couple of Pied Wagtails were picking their way through the muddy hoof prints. Not hugely notable, but a loch area tick none the less. It was soon followed by a second, as a Great Crested Grebe, well on its way to summer plumage, was a spotted gliding over the water, out in the centre of the loch.

Following a short stay at the hide, I made my way up the slope to the Beech wood, then back again. From beside the hide I made a final scan of this end of the loch, and found to my surprise a new entry for the coast and loch combined list; for there, mingling with a group of Tufted Ducks were a couple of smart looking Pochard.

125. Pochard

Today's haul brings the loch list to a round forty species in two months. Not bad for Jan/Feb
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