Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Fife Ness (9th September)
My first visit to the east coast of Scotland! The weather was great and just off shore birds were milling around in the largest numbers I have ever seen, literally! Despite being mostly the commoner species, their sheer numbers seemed to be overwhelming with parties of Gannets, Fulmars, Eiders, GUILLEMOTS (a year tick) and RAZORBILLS (also a year tick) all benefiting from the richest seas I have ever witnessed. The sea was writhing with life, 100's of Shags were resting and diving near the shore whilst even land based birds seemed to be cashing in on what the sea had to offer, including swarms of Starlings, closely followed by a Sparrowhawk. Wheatears and 15+ flyover Siskin were also present. 6 Knot were also amongst the commoner waders whilst at least 10 Grey Seals attempted to cram themselves on an island big enough for one whilst they moaned and howled like dogs! Also of note was a single Red-breasted Merganser, Sandwich Terns, numerous Kittiwakes and no fewer than 23 Little Gulls just off shore. Butterfly highlights being Large Whites, Red Admirals and 1 Small Copper. By far the overall highlight were 8+ BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHINS which passed the headland in the early morning, communicating and socialising in the usual way by jumping, spinning, diving and occasionally clearing the water entirely to land again with an audible splash, what a sight! Now the bad news, an unIDed diver species flew directly over my head but I only got good views from its back end so was unable to separate Black-throated from Great Northern.