A brief sojourn to Fife

Having been up in Scotland for work, I decided that the return journey should include some winter birding en-route. First port of call was Loch Leven; it was mostly frozen still but there were a few open patches of water where all the wildfowl were congregating. There were hundreds of Goldeneye, Teal and Mallard along with good numbers of Goosanders. A single male Smew was a very welcome sight (apparently the first there this winter) and the sight of a Greenshank slipping around on the ice was very unexpected. Near Vane Farm there were a few hundred Pink-footed Geese along with a couple of Barnacle Geese and a single Whitefront (probably Greenland but it was a long way off!).

Next port of call was Ruddon's Point where we eventually found the male Surf Scoter at least a mile out. The accompanying cast included over 100 Velvet Scoters, a few Common Scoters, 30 or so Long-tailed Ducks, 2 Red-throated Divers and four Slavonian Grebes.

Having had our fill of sea duck, we headed for Slammanan where we found the Taiga Bean Goose flock (126) along with 50 Pinkfeet and finished off the day at the gull roost at Strathclyde Loch.

No photos today as the birds were rather a long way off and light was poor but a good selection of birds nevertheless. It was good to get out birding again!


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