Friday, 6 May 2011

6th May

A wet morning seemed to bring a variety of birds down, and there were a few good sightings before the end of the day. The highlight was a drake Green-winged Teal that showed well at the far end of Gretchen Loch during the afternoon. A Quail flushed near Westness was the earliest ever record here.

The most notable passerines were a smart littoralis Rock Pipit, a new Common Redstart, 2 Ring Ouzels and 2 Lesser Whitethroats (one new bird, one long-stayer).Counts of other small migrants came to 1 Sand Martin, 1 House Martin, 2 Dunnocks, a Robin, the same Black Redstart, 72 Wheatears, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Song Thrushes, 1 Redwing, 1 Sedge Warbler, 6 Blackcaps, 7 Chiffchaffs, and 8 Willow Warblers.

The wader highlights were a Wood Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 15 Whimbrels and 45 Knots; a Common Tern and 30 Arctic Terns were counted; a Woodpigeon and 2 Collared Doves were seen, and 2 Sparrowhawks and a Merlin were the only raptors.

As is clear from the image, the Green-winged Teal didn't really come close enough to the hide for anything better than grainy, heavily vignetted digiscope photos to be taken. Nevertheless, the requisite features can clearly be seen, and it is interesting to compare the head pattern and shape of the white flank patch with the bird from two weeks ago. Are they one and the same? The jury is still out.

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