Tuesday, 1 January 2013

And they're off ...

Firstly, Happy New Year to anybody who happens across the site. You never know. It might not only be me who looks at it!

Inverkeithing starts with a decent number of predictable species in the first hour - 38 to be precise. That will be about two thirds of the January total probably. No bonus birds, but it was at least finally not raining. Helluva windy though. A movement of Woodpigeon was going SW, and a Fieldfare was heard but not seen as it went over the harbour. 32 is a decent number for Dunlin here and a handful of Teal too. In the last couple of years there has been a Moorhen here at the turn of the year, but not this year.

Onward to Cullaloe where the first bonus bird did show at 10:00 am - a Dipper leapt from the filter beds and shot off like it was on rails down the Dour Burn like they do. Been a few years since I last saw one here, but I was actually looking for it, which made it all the more pleasing. Woodcock gave itself up fairly easily but Snipe and Jack Snipe, once New Year "gimme"s, were nowhere to be found. The willow growth now means that where there used to be up to 20 Snipe they couldn't land even if they wanted to. The Jack Snipe area which once would bear fruit for anybody who wandered a metre off the path in the right place, was also barren. Another bonus, although virtually guaranteed later in the year, was a small flock of Lesser Redpoll. Sadly I didn't take my camera (not good when hunting Woodcock) as they posed in the sunshine. 26 species made for a very respectable start to the year, and in the end it will be the bonus birds which make the difference.

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