A similar day to yesterday with strong westerly winds
still dominating but the squalls that came blasting across the island were more
frequent and punishing; there were some new wildfowl arrivals despite the
weather with 7 adult Whooper Swans together on the airfield and a lone
first-year on Sjaiver while 6 Pink-footed Geese near Holland were also new.
totals included 6 Shelduck (with pairs busy prospecting likely looking rabbit
burrows), 2 Hen Harriers, 2 Merlin, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and the 2
Still very windy with the blazing force 7-8 westerly
bringing several intense, vicious hail showers sweeping through but like yesterday,
bright sunshine dominated in between; little new was seen over the course of
the day but totals included 4 Great-northern Divers, 5 Herons, 2 Pink-footed
Geese, 12 Long-tailed Ducks, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Merlin (including a
male in off the sea at the north end with prey), quite a few Gulls feeding in
the surf comprising 141 Black-headed, 217 Common and 89 Great Black-backs, 108
Kittiwakes north past the top end in half an hour mid-afternoon, the 2
Woodpigeons, 16 Fieldfare and 2 Snow Buntings.
A rough day with a blazing strong and increasing SSW wind
and some particularly nasty squalls blasting across the island but there was
some good spells of sunshine in between; the day’s highlight came mid-afternoon
when a brute of a first-winter WHITE-TAILED EAGLEwas seen sat on the edge
of Gretchen Loch briefly before it flew across Loch Park and out to sea over
Nouster Bay before it was defeated by the extremely strong winds and turned
back over Stromness Point to fly inland again.
Other totals in the difficult conditions included 5
Herons, a Pink-footed Goose, 2 Barnacle Geese near
Claypows (the first of the year), 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Goldeneye, an
adult male Hen Harrier – new in, 172 Purple Sandpipers, 111 Skylarks, 52 Meadow
Pipit, 18 Rock Pipits, 10 Pied Wagtails, 2 Chaffinches, 4 Linnets, 26 Twite and
5 Reed Buntings.
A lovely day with plenty of bright sunshine and a
moderate but decreasing SSW wind; there were some good signs of some landbird
migration with a Greenfinch at Sangar and a Jackdaw south down The Links both new for the year along
with a notable influx of 62 Meadow Pipits(the first double-figure
count of the year), 16 Pied Wagtails and 20 Rock Pipits.
totals included 4 Herons, 6 Shelduck, a Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a 2cy male
Peregrine, 170+ Black-headed Gulls (including 130 back at Hooking), the 2
Woodpigeons, 128 Skylark, a Song Thrush, an influx of 20+ Linnets, 2 Common
Redpolls and 9 Snow Buntings.
Not a bad morning with a moderate westerly breeze and
some sunshine but it deteriorated by the afternoon becoming wet and windier;
the day’s highlight was a lovely adult Kumlien’s Gullat Bewan in the
afternoon.There were some other hints
of early spring movements through the day with a female Stonechat at Howar, a
much-improved total of 12 Pied Wagtails and a further influx of 168+
Black-headed Gulls (including 70+ back at the Hooking colony).
first thing produced decent totals of 167 Kittiwakes and 565 Auk sp. while a
trickle of Skylarks and a couple of Golden Plover came in off.
Other totals with some good
coverage included 7 Red-throated Divers, 5 Mute Swans, 6 Shelduck, 189 Wigeon,
6 Gadwall, 205 Teal, the drake Green-winged Tealstill on Gretchen, 10
Pintail, 35 Tufted Duck, 8 Long-tailed Ducks, 3 Goldeneye, 20 Red-breasted
Mergansers (the highest total of the year so far), a Hen Harrier, 334 Golden
Plover, 174 Lapwing, a Knot, 147 Purple Sandpipers, 19 Dunlin, 105 Redshank,
150 Turnstone, the 2 Woodpigeons still, 140 Skylarks, 16 Rock Pipits, 2 Chaffinches,
32 Twite, a Common Redpoll and a Snow Bunting.
A breezy, overcast day with an increasing force 6 south-westerly bringing
periods of rain, especially in the afternoon; migrants comprised 4 Pied Wagtails and a female Sparrowhawk (the second one of the year).Other birds included 4 Herons, 5 Shelduck, a Merlin, 180 Purple Sandpipers, 27 Bar-tailed Godwits, an
influx of 104+ Black-headed Gulls (with increased numbers very noisy around the
Hooking colony), 5 Meadow Pipits, 13 Rock Pipits, a Song Thrush, 5 Twite and 3 Snow Buntings.
A glorious day with wall to wall sunshine and very light
southerly winds, a real contrast to yesterday’s blazing strong NW wind and hail
showers; an hour’s seawatch first thing produced some increased totals
including 80 Gannets, 91 Kittiwakes and 1,352 Auk sp. – mainly Razorbills.There were still limited new arrivals as
birds of note comprised 5 Mute Swans still, 5 Shelduck, 3 Goldeneye, 2 Hen
Harriers, a adult female Peregrine, a Merlin, the 2 Woodpigeons still, 3 Chaffinches and a bit of an influx of 10 Linnets. More excitingly though, George is back for a month, expect big things....
After a rough and windy day yesterday, it was a much
better birding day with lighter winds becoming almost still at lunchtime but a
few showers – including a prolonged spell of rain late afternoon preventing a
trip to the nets.Totals through the
day included 4 Herons, 5 Mute Swans, 5 Shelduck, 8 Gadwall, 127 Teal, the drake
Green-winged Tealstill, 12 Shoveler, 3 Goldeneye, 9 Rock Pipits, a Pied
Wagtail, a Robin, 21 Fieldfare, 2 Chaffinches, 3 Linnets and 2 Snow Buntings.
Overcast and calm first thing becoming sunny and calm
becoming sunny and breezy by the end of the day; some increased coverage in the
pleasant conditions produced some increased counts but it didn’t seem like
there was much new around but the first Snipe was drumming and Black-headed
Gulls were displaying at Westness, illustrating that the spring is indeed progressing,
albeit slowly!Totals included 29
Great-northern Divers, 5 Mute Swans, the Eurasian White-fronted Gooseand 3 Pink-footed Geese
still, the drake Green-winged Tealon Gretchen, 19
Long-tailed Ducks, a Hen Harrier, 380 Golden Plover, 51 Sanderling, 70
Black-headed Gulls, the 2 Woodpigeons, 210 Skylark, 10 Rock Pipits, 53 Twite, a
Common Redpoll and 12 Snow Buntings.
Another very similar day with bright and sunny conditions
and a brisk, chilly NW wind; the underwhelming bird highlights comprised 3 2cy
Mute Swans new in on Garso and now 2 Woodpigeons at Holland.Other birds included 3 Pink-footed Geese, 4
Shelduck, 106 Teal, 9 Gadwall, 7 Pintail, 16 Shoveler, 67 Ringed Plover, 390
Golden Plover, 285 Lapwings, 48 Sanderling, 35 Dunlin, the Ruff still, 83 Curlew,
139 Redshank, 166 Turnstone, 290 Skylark, 21 Fieldfare, 14 Redwing and a single
Bright and sunny most of the day again with very few
clouds to be seen but the very strong SW wind made it difficult out in the
field; the first Woodpigeon of the year in Holland was
the day’s only new bird but other totals from around the south of the island
included the drake Green-winged Teal
still, 16 Shoveler, 290 Golden Plover, 75 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipits and 4 Rock
bright and sunny but with a strong and increasing SW wind and a few sharp hail
showers; birds seen through the day included 2 Pink-footed Geese, 4 Shelduck, 6
Gadwall, 18 Shoveler, a Hen Harrier, 370 Golden Plover, the Ruff, 36 Bar-tailed
Godwits, 57 Dunlin, 165 Skylark, 4 Chaffinches, 2 Linnets and 14 Snow Buntings.
A gorgeous day with plenty of sunshine and light westerly
winds after a couple of horrible, wet and windy unbirdable days; some good
coverage in the fine weather revealed that everything was still in place and
nothing had changed (the only out-of-place birds were two Coots wandering
around on The Links!).Totals through
the day included 3 Pink-footed Geese, 208 Wigeon, 5 Gadwall, 180 Teal, the
drake Green-winged Tealstill on Gretchen, 8 Shoveler, 20 Tufted Duck,
17 Long-tailed Ducks, a Hen Harrier, 116 Oystercatchers, 46 Ringed Plovers, 260
Golden Plover, 172 Lapwing, a Knot, 53 Dunlin, the Ruff again, 120 Snipe, 220
Snipe, 4 Meadow Pipits, 14 Rock Pipits, 6 Fieldfares, 8 Redwing, the 5
Chaffinches still, 40 Twite, 2 Common Redpolls, 17 Snow Buntings and 5 Reed Buntings.
was nice and calm in the evening so I opened the nets at Holland for the first
time in ages and while not much was caught, the catch did include a couple of very
long-winged, adult male Blackbirds which suggests that the first few migrants are
sneaking back through.Two Linnets also
came into roost, the wintering Water Rail was seen again and a new Robin was
The waves were still crashing in to the west coast - the remnant's of yesterdays strong winds
Once the rain had moved through, it was generally a
bright and sunny day but the blazing force 7-8 northerly wind made conditions
tricky in the field; a couple of new bits included 2 Stonechats
along the road at Claypows and a Ruff near Hooking –
presumably one of the wintering birds popping back up but they were last seen
on 10th February.Other
totals included the Eurasian White-fronted Goose still,
15 Shoveler, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Hen Harrier and increased numbers of
Gulls feeding in the surf at high tide with 41 Black-headed Gulls, 415 Common
Gulls, 65 Herring Gulls and 128 Great Black-backed Gulls.
very similar day to yesterday, overcast with the cold, NE breeze still cutting
through you; an hour’s seawatch first thing was slow as totals just included 46
Kittiwakes and 172 Auk sp. while elsewhere the highlights unsurprisingly
remained the same with the drake Green-winged Tealon Gretchen, the drake Smew on Bewan and the Eurasian White-fronted Goosestill.Other birds included a Pink-footed Goose, 6
Pintail, a Merlin, the 5 Chaffinches still, 55 Twite and the 3 Common Redpolls.