After a little lighthouse attraction overnight, which consisted of mainly waders and Meadow Pipits the 19th (despite a damp start to the day and a moderate NW breeze) there was some renewed anticipation for a day in the field but the first Garden Warbler of the autumn was the only real grounded migrant; there were also noticeable influxes of 102 Wheatears (including several Greenland birds), 162 Meadow Pipits, 110 Swallows and 94 alba Wagtails – many of them Whites.
The White-winged Black Tern was seen again – this time in torchlight at Bewan in the wee small hours while waders of note consisted of 183 Ringed Plovers, 112 Dunlin, 3 Ruff, 36 Black-tailed Godwits, 23 Bar-tailed Godwits, 120 Redshank, a Greenshank and 187 Turnstone. Other birds of note through the day included 6 Herons, a Sparrowhawk, our ringed, juvenile Arctic Skua still on Torness and a Short-eared Owl while a single Risso’s Dolphin put on an impressive breaching display off the north end.
With the autumn properly starting on Fair Isle and Shetland to our north we were hoping that the little burst of easterlies two days ago, would have produced something for us on the 20th but the best we could manage was 5 Willow Warblers, the Garden Warbler and 2 Short-eared Owls – the damp conditions first thing and the brisk NW wind hasn’t helped us! Other birds included 10 Sooty Shearwaters, a Manx Shearwater and a Red-throated Diver offshore, 4 Herons, a Sparrowhawk in Holland, 5 Ruff and roving parties of Black-tailed Godwits coming together to roost on Gretchen in the evening.
Our juvenile Arctic Skua still on Torness
Photos Simon Davies