Tuesday, 25 October 2011

25th October

Despite the weather verging on unbirdably windy, the same south-easterly winds delivered plenty of new migrants to the island. The bird of the day, a male Siberian Stonechat near Hooking Loch, spent the day sheltering from the gales along a low wall and hiding in the adjacent long grass. This is about the 8th record for North Ronaldsay, and the first since 2001.

Siberian Stonechat: Yes, that blurry black and orange thing in front of the nearly-in-focus bit of grass and to the left of the highly obtrusive foreground fencepost.

A Goshawk at Holland House was equally rare from a North Ronaldsay perspective, there being 7 previous records of this species too, although it was the third record of the year. Thrushes made up the bulk of the migrant numbers, with log counts totalling 670 Fieldfares, 195 Blackbirds, 179 Redwings and 22 Song Thrushes. The best of the other passerines were a Greenfinch, a Goldfinch, 2 Common Redpolls, 5 Bramblings, a Blackcap, 6 Wheatears and 3 Robins. Other oddments included a Woodpigeon, a Short-eared Owl, 5 Woodcocks, a Hen Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Merlin.

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