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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Seafield to Kinghorn (1 Viewer)

7th May

I took a last tour of the strip before I head off to work for the next few weeks. The summer birds continue to increase, especially Sedge Warblers. Many of the birds are busy nest building (see Yellowhammer Photo), and pairing up. A pair of Bullfinch were found on the edge of Bullfinch Cove.

New in today were a couple of Common Tern. My first of the year. Also new in today, and new to the list were a couple of Sand Martin. :t:

I get the feeling that I am leaving at just the wrong time.

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. Black-Throated Diver*
9. Blackbird
10. Blue Tit
11. Bullfinch
12. Carrion Crow
13. Chaffinch
14. Chiffchaff
15. Collared Dove
16. Common Buzzard
17. Common Gull
18. Common Sandpiper
19. Common Scoter
20. Common Tern
21. Cormorant
22. Curlew
23. Dunlin
24. Dunnock
25. Eider
26. Feral Pigeon
27. Fieldfare*
28. Fulmar
29. Gannet
30. Garden Warbler
31. Goldcrest
32. Goldeneye
33. Goldfinch
34. Goosander
35. Great Black-backed Gull
36. Great Crested Grebe
37. Great Northern Diver*
38. Great Spotted Woodpecker*
39. Great Tit
40. Greenfinch
41. Greenshank
42. Grey Heron
43. Greylag
44. Grey Partridge
45. Grey Wagtail
46. Guillemot
47. Herring Gull
48. House Martin
49. House Sparrow
50. Kestrel
51. Kingfisher
52. Kittiwake
53. Knot
54. Lapwing
55. Lesser Black-backed Gull
56. Linnet
57. Little Gull*
58. Long-tailed Duck
59. Long-tailed Tit
60. Magpie
61. Mallard
62. Manx Shearwater*
63. Meadow Pipit
64. Mediterranean Gull
65. Mute Swan
66. Oystercatcher
67. Pheasant
68. Pied/White Wagtail
69. Pink-Footed Goose
70. Peregrine
71. Puffin
72. Purple Sandpiper
73. Raven*
74. Razorbill
75. Red-Breasted Merganser
76. Redshank
77. Red-Throated Diver
78. Redwing
79. Reed Bunting
80. Ringed Plover
81. Robin
82. Rock Pipit
83. Ruff
84. Sanderling
85. Sand Martin
86. Sandwich Tern
87. Sedge Warbler
88. Shag
89. Skylark
90. Song Thrush
91. Sparrowhawk
92. Starling
93. Stonechat
94. Swallow
95. Swift
96. Teal
97. Tree Sparrow
98. Turnstone
99. Velvet Scoter
100. Wheatear
101. Whimbrel
102. Whitethroat
103. Willow Warbler
104. Woodpigeon
105. Wren.
106. Yellowhammer
 

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I have not been neglecting the strip, but there has been little to report over the last week. Most of the regular Summer birds are now well ensconced, with the only bird missing compared to last year, being the Garden Warbler.

There has been a notable increase in Chaffinch numbers, with good evidence of breeding. Sedge Warblers though seem to be down a bit. And strangely enough, going by national reports, I seem to have a full, if not increased compliment of House Martins, although Swallows are strangely scarce.

Waders are long gone, leaving only a few Oystercatchers, with the odd Curlew and Turnstone, along with a few Ringed Plover. Out on the sea, things are being dominated by Eider with their rafts of young ones now evident.
 

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Raptor Return

An early evening wander along the strip as far as Lime Kiln Beach revealed a few new visitors. At the harbour area, there were a couple of Goosander mixing with the assembled mass of Eider. Moving on to the Stone Dyke, I sat for a while watching Magpies hunting nests in the thick undergrowth below of Bullfinch Cove.

From my vantage point, I glanced across at the field on the other side of the railway line. There in the corner of the field was a Roe Deer taking full advantage of the lush green growth at the edge of the field.

It was while watching the Roe, that a bird came into view, heading straight for me. It landed on a Hawthorn, just on the other side of the rail tracks. It didn't settle though, but wheeled off into Bullfinch Cove, before landing on the cliff below the stone dyke.

I watched the Kestrel for quite a while. It sat staring down into the depth of the cove, obviously looking for a meal. The evident Blackbirds below had been nervous enough with the Magpies in the area, now they were definitely on the verge of a nervous breakdown; their agitated calls ringing out.

It had been a while since I'd seen the Kestrel in the area, so its return is very welcome, especially as it is one of my favourites of the the birds that I see along the Seafield strip.
 

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Storm Hector

I returned to the strip this evening following yesterdays storm. Viewing from the car park, the first thing that became evident was a strange lack of Eider out on Kirkcaldy Bay. It was not until I reached the harbour that I found any significant numbers of Eider out on the now calm waters, but something was still not right. There were very few ducklings.

Last week there had been loads of ducklings, mainly in large creches supervised by groups of females. This evening I only saw less than two dozen ducklings with the three hundred plus adults, and most of the ducklings seemed to be in ones and twos.

I am hoping that yesterday's storm has just pushed the little ones away to another area, but I don't have a good feeling about it.
 
July Surprise

Yesterday saw my first visit to the strip in nearly a month. It was an unexpected visit, that came about as the result of a cancelled appointment. With the school holidays upon me, I knew I would not be getting many opportunities to visit, so I grabbed this one, although I was not expecting too much.

Despite the cloud cover, it was hot. The combination of cloud and heat also made it humid, so I was soon sweating as I made my way south from the car park. A selection. Reaching the harbour, I had seen Herring Gull, BHG, Carrion Crow, Oystercatcher, House Sparrow and House Martin, before I found Eider in the actual harbour itself.

The Eider had some very young broods with them, and a few early season young birds. I suspect last months Storm Hector did hit them hard. Also in the harbour, I spotted a greyish looking bird perched on a rock. I couldn't identify it initially, but as I moved on past the harbour, I found a couple more out on the rocks, and was able to confirm my initial thought of the first bird being a juvenile Pied Wagtail.

On the rocks further out in the Forth, I was able to make out both Cormorant and Shag. In the scrub I found a juvenile Dunnock, and Goldfinch regularly past overhead.

The tide was approaching its high mark, so I kept checking the close in rock pools to see if any stray waders may have been pushed in towards the path. Just after spotting an overhead Sand Martin, I was rewarded with two Redshank.

Approaching the tower, I located Ringed Plover on the foreshore and also a Common Gull. A little further out on some rocks sat a group of Common Terns. At the tower itself, I found Wren, Blackbird and more surprisingly for this area, a couple of Willow Warblers. The top of the tower was crowned with a flock of Starlings.

Moving past the tower, GBBGs were surrounding a small fishing boat. As I climbed the hill up towards the railway lines, I could hear Skylark above the fields beyond. A single Magpie flew by.

Reaching the stone dyke, I found a Curlew down on the rocks in front of Bullfinch Cove, then down in the cove itself, Robin was seen. Pushing on, I found the trees and scrub behind Lime Kiln Beach very quite, although a Chiffchaff was heard.

Climbing the rise up to the benches above the lime kiln, I sat for a while and scanned the Forth, finding a group of distant auks. I grabbed some photos with the super zoom camera, and later at home was able to identify both Guillemot and Razorbill from the photos.

Heading back to the carpark now, I added a Yellowhammer to my list before I reached Bullfinch Cove again. In the thick Hawthorn patches close to the path, I found some small birds flitting about, but was unable to get a good look at them. From the calls however, I knew there was Blue Tit present, but there was also another call that got me quite excited. I had to move back and fore along the path to try and get a good look at the target birds. I confirmed Blue Tit visually, then up popped the bird I hoped that I had heard; a Coal Tit.

It took me while to accept this surprise visitor and patch tick, as the bird was very yellow looking, and I suspected I might be getting fooled by a young Great Tit, but happily the photos I grabbed confirm my July surprise of a Coal Tit.

Heading on again, a Chaffinch flew past and a Linnet was seen near the tower, but it was not until I was past the tower that I found my last bird of the session. Out on the rocks, there was a group of Ringed Plover. With them though was a small wader that had its head tucked under its wing. I waited, camera at the ready until it eventually popped its head out for a few moments. The bird looked like a Common Sandpiper to me, but I had doubts because it looked so small next to a Ringed Plover, and also it did not have the white gap between shoulder and breast that I would have expected. I spent quite a while at home going through try Collins guide, but could not get past Common Sandpiper, despite my doubts. Later, I put the photos up on the Bird ID pages and it was indeed confirmed as a Common Sandpiper.

A really good day for July, with thirty-five bird species seen, including that surprise of a patch tick. :t:
 

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List Admin

I've decided to change the way I list the patch birds from an alphabetical order to the same form used by the BOU. Also, as the list is now getting bulky, I will only post it with updates once or twice a year. Any posts that report new birds in future will simply give the new number of species and the species name, so for example, this morning's patch tick will in future be posted as

107. Coal Tit

Then it will be fitted into the main list at a later date. The newly formulated list is as follows:-

The List
1. Barnacle Goose
2. Greylag Goose
3. Pink-Footed Goose
4. Mute Swan
5. Mallard
6. Teal
7. Eider
8. Velvet Scoter
9. Common Scoter
10. Long-Tailed Duck
11. Goldeneye
12. Goosander
13. Red-Breasted Merganser
14. Grey Partridge
15. Pheasant
16. Red-throated Diver
17. Black-Throated Diver*
18. Great Northern Diver*
19. Fulmar
20. Manx Shearwater*
21. Great-Crested Grebe
22. Grey Heron
23. Gannet
24. Shag
25. Cormorant
26. Sparrowhawk
27. Buzzard
28. Lapwing
29. Ringed Plover
30. Whimbrel
31. Curlew
32. Bar-Tailed Godwit
33. Black-Tailed Godwit
34. Turnstone
35. Knot
36. Ruff
37. Sanderling
38. Dunlin
39. Purple Sandpiper
40. Common Sandpiper
41. Redshank
42. Greenshank
43. Kittiwake
44. Black-Headed Gull
45. Little Gull*
46. Mediterranean Gull
47. Common Gull
48. Herring Gull
49. Great Black-Backed Gull
50. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
51. Sandwich Tern
52. Common Tern
53. Arctic Tern
54. Arctic Skua*
55. Common Guillemot
56. Razorbill
57. Puffin
58. Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon
59. Wood Pigeon
60. Collared Dove
61. Swift
62. Kingfisher
63. Great Spotted Woodpecker*
64. Kestrel
65. Peregrine
66. Magpie
67. Jackdaw
68. Carrion Crow
69. Raven*
70. Coal Tit
71. Blue Tit
72. Great Tit
73. Skylark
74. Sand Martin
75. Swallow
76. House Martin
77. Long-Tailed Tit
78. Willow Warbler
79. Chiffchaff
80. Sedge Warbler
81. Blackcap
82. Garden Warbler
83. Whitethroat
84. Goldcrest
85. Wren
86. Starling
87. Blackbird
88. Fieldfare*
89. Redwing
90. Song Thrush
91. Robin
92. Stonechat
93. Wheatear
94. House Sparrow
95. Tree Sparrow
96. Dunnock
97. Grey Wagtail
98. Pied Wagtail
99. Meadow Pipit
100. Rock Pipit
101. Chaffinch
102. Bullfinch
103. Greenfinch
104. Linnet
105. Goldfinch
106. Yellowhammer
107. Reed Bunting
 
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Hi Paul

That's probably a great idea with your list. Can I suggest, though, that you use the 'ordered list' format from the formatting bar above the message pane (You'll find it just underneath the Size box.

That way, anything slotted in won't require you to re-number all the later species.

Actually it would then be an easy job to keep it up-to-date.
 
Thanks for the suggestion Delia. I've already created an ordered list on a Word document as a back up, so all I need to do is slide the bird into its correct place on the document, then copy and paste to the post.

All I need now are the birds. :t:
 
Back from holidaying yesterday, I was straight down to Seafield at 05:20 hrs this morning. First notable spot was a raft of 65 - 70 Goosander in front of the car park. I found another 21 at the harbour.

Quite a few young birds about. House Sparrows in particular appear to have had a good year.

Heading towards the tower, the surprise of the session was a passing Lapwing. Only the second I've seen on the strip.

I turned back once I reached the top of the zig zag path behind the lime kiln, but not before I found my resident Kestrel. I also grabbed a few long range shots of what I thought were Guillemots, from this high point. Checking the photos on the computer screen back home, I found they were actually Puffins. My first of the year for the strip.

Plenty of Common and Sandwich Terns.

And lastly, a Roe Deer seen in the long grasses on the slope that rises behind the tower. I've seen quite a few along the strip over the years, but this is the first one I've seen here on the sea side of the railway tracks.

Good to be back!
 
I've been home a week, and have been down along the strip most days. The first thing that has been noticeable has been that early mornings are far better than afternoons for finding small land based birds. My first visit on Tuesday afternoon past only produced a single House Sparrow in the scrub, where as two days later on my first morning visit, I had Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Goldfinch. Also in morning visits since then, I've found Yellowhammer and Chiffchaff.

Out on the rocks and on the Forth, things are still pretty quiet, with the highlight being the arrival of a few Bar-Tailed Godwit.

On the mammal front, Grey and Common Seals are present, a Roe Deer hind with two young ones in tow were seen in the barley field beyond the rail track, while out in the Forth, a group of Bottlenose dolphins were seen. And of course there are the rabbits.

New on my insect list is a Large Yellow Underwing moth.
 

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After yesterday's heavy rain, it was good to see some fine weather again when I awoke this morning. It doesn't usually take much encouragement to get me out and down at the strip, but I was feeling a bit sorry for my self having missed a few birds in the worst possible ways, at other places, over the last week or so.

Not expecting much, I headed for the strip anyway, and was there before seven am. It was quiet initially, with BHG, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull and Eider seen from Seafield car park. Heading along to the tower, I only added House Sparrow, Starling, Carrion Crow, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Grey Heron, Goldfinch, Cormorant, Curlew, Shag, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern and GBBG. Reaching the tower, I was wondering why I ever took up this birding lark, the usual terns in particular, reminding me of missed Black and Roseate Terns during the week at Pettycur. I plodded on past the tower and up the hill, adding Turnstone, Blackbird and Robin as I went.

At the top of the climb I detected a little motion in one of the path side trees. A little repositioning eventually produced a view of only my second ever Coal Tit seen on the strip. Not what you would call a mega, but I was quietly pleased with that.

Moving on, the list of sightings continued to grow with Dunnock, Magpie, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon and Blue Tit being added. At the back of Lime Kiln beach, I heard a bird warbling away in the thick undergrowth. I thought Robin initially, but standing for a while, the warbler eventually moved into sight, and showed himself to be a Blackcap. I having a particular liking for birds with caps, masks and hoods, so now I was starting to feel quite happy. This feeling of happiness increased dramatically when further along the path, I found my second male Blackcap, and I thought I might have also got a glimpse of a female/juvenile deep in a nearby bush.

Reaching the top of the zig zag path above the Lime Kiln, I turned back and started retracing my steps to the car park. Wren, Yellowhammer and Swallow were seen as I did so, then as the path started to drop down the hill towards the tower, I spotted movement in some Bramble and Hawthorn. There was Blue Tit in there, and ever present Goldfinch, but something else as well. I waited silently for a while, tracking the bird only by the movement of twigs and leaves that it caused. Eventually, I was rewarded by the emergence of another male Blackcap. Three Blackcaps in a day! I was now very happy.

Passing the tower, three more species were added with Linnet, Common Gull and another favourite of mine, in the shape of a Grey Wagtail.

By the time I reached the car, I had remembered why I took this birding lark up.:t: Free therapy! ;)

Also seen today, near Bullfinch Cove, was my first Speckled Wood of the year. Very close to where I was seeing them last year, I now believe I have a small resident population of them in that area.
 

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Very, very quiet on Friday afternoon, but one new arrival spotted; with a Knot seen on the rocks. Seemed to be a few more Dunlin about as well.
 

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Borealis

I notice on Bird Track that there are 3 Northern Borealis Eider reported at Kinghorn. Seems a little suspicious, as there were no Common Eider counted by the observer, although other common to the area birds were listed. Also, entry was anonymous.

That said, I'll be checking my Eiders a little bit more carefully in the future.
 
I notice on Bird Track that there are 3 Northern Borealis Eider reported at Kinghorn. Seems a little suspicious, as there were no Common Eider counted by the observer, although other common to the area birds were listed. Also, entry was anonymous.

That said, I'll be checking my Eiders a little bit more carefully in the future.

I think you're right to be a bit suspicious. We get Eiders 'showing characteristics of borealis' in NE Scotland quite often but it's been demonstrated that local birds can show these characteristics (e.g. sails). I'm not sure whether it's possible to prove borealis occurence in the UK, although they must occur to some extent.

Having said that, I wonder if it's just a data entry error and they meant to put Common Eider.
 
Winter Changes

Tuesday afternoon, I returned to the Seafield strip, after my three week enforced absence. It seemed that all of my summer birds have now headed off to warmer climes, with the exception of a few Chiffchaff. The most noticeable departs are the terns, who have left their raucous roosts on the rocks, nearly silent in the wake of their departure.

Sadly, nothing much appears to have arrived in place of the summer citizens, with the exceptions of a single Bar-Tailed Godwit, a handsome male Stonechat (photo 2), and my first Seafield Rock Pipit (photo 1) of the season.

Today, I returned at a much earlier hour of the afternoon. I was not really expecting much in the blustery conditions, however, from the path about halfway between the harbour and the tower, I spotted four ducks in the sheltered waters around the near rocks. Obviously not the default Eiders of the area, once I raised my binoculars, I found that I was looking at my first Wigeon (photo 3) on the strip. A species that had previously left me wondering as to why they were absent. Still, better late than never, the Wigeon takes the patch total to 108.

I spent some time scouring the rocks for Purple Sandpiper, but to no avail. Possibly, the evil westerlies are keeping them out of the Forth for the moment. One much hoped for returnee that I did find however, was a Kingfisher on the rocks of Tower Cove. :t:

Edit - Just realised after a quick tally, that the Wigeon is the one hundredth bird species I've personally seen on the strip.:bounce::D:'D:bounce:
 

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Edit - Just realised after a quick tally, that the Wigeon is the one hundredth bird species I've personally seen on the strip.

That's a wonderful personal milestone for you Paul.

Excellent work here lad.
 
Purps

The Purple Sandpipers have finally made it. Six counted this afternoon, although I suspect that there were a few more on the seaward side of the rocks.

Over the weekend, I kept an eye out for the Wigeon, but they appear to have moved on. In their place though, I did see a couple of Teal in Tower Cove.

Still present are some Willow Warblers\Chiffchaff. They are very hard to see. I'd thought they were Chiffchaff at the beginning of the week, but after making some sound recordings, I now believe they are Willow Warbler, despite it being quite late for them to be about. I probably still have both around.

Edit - Forgot to mention that quite a few P-F Geese were passing overhead at the weekend.
 
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More Purps

More Purple Sandpipers in this afternoon. Fourteen at the harbour, but also two on a rock off Bullfinch Cove. These two are the first time I've seen the species beyond the tower area.

I've not committed to getting a totaliser yet, but if the number goes beyond fingers and toes, it may become a serious consideration. ;)


Not much moving along the path, although Robins are now the predominant species seen and heard.
 

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Wet, Wet. Wet

Following the easterlies of Thursday, that seemed to have sparked mass migration, I decided to check out the Seafield area on Saturday morning, despite heavy rain. There was little wind, so I was still quite hopeful.

I splashed my way along the saturated path, and was approaching the tower when I received my first reward for my ignoring the weather conditions. Paddling about between the rocks was a Red-Throated Diver. It was showing well, and fairly close in, but photos were never going to be a possibility in the rain.

Beyond the tower, and up the slope, Blackbirds and Song Thrush were very evident in and around the Hawthorn/Blackthorn. As they were obviously incoming migrants, I was hopeful of getting a Brambling or two, but the only other migrant found was a single Redwing. That said, there were a lot of unidentified birds passing overhead in the murk.

Also noted among the Blackbirds/Thrushes were an influx of Yellowhammers. I would not have thought these were migrants. Maybe a flock that have joined up with the migrants as they moved down the coast or across Fife. Any thoughts on this welcomed.
 

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