Monday, 14 May 2012

14th May

An unpromising windy and wet morning was followed by a brighter afternoon and several great birds were found. Pick of the bunch was a drake American Wigeon that dropped into Hooking Loch with a small number of Wigeons. Hooking Loch, clearly the place to look for wildfowl this year, also hosted a drake Garganey and a Canada Goose among the more usual variety of species. Nearby, a smart Pectoral Sandpiper was found among the Dunlins feeding on the golf course and a male Blue-headed Wagtail was seen.

The American Wigeon was only the fourth record of the species for North Ronaldsay, and the first since 2004.

The Pectoral Sandpiper appeared quite a brightly marked bird, and is probably a different individual to the one that visited on 5th May. Unlike that bird, and most other Pec Sands here, which tend to frequent small inland areas of wetland alone, it chose to spend its time with the large numbers of coastal waders on the links.

After all the recent near approximations and mongrels (eg. the bird on the left), we finally got an apparently unadulterated specimen of a Canada Goose, although where it came from is anybody's guess. That said, it did arrive during strong westerly winds, on the same day as American Wigeon and Pectoral Sandpiper...

The day's other sightings included 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Short-eared Owls, a Wryneck, a Black Redstart, the second Reed Warbler of the year and a Lapland Bunting. The Chaffinch, a Brambling, 3 Redstarts, 18 Tree Pipits and 209 Wheatears were among the counts of other, mostly lingering, migrants. Wader numbers continued to increase to impressive levels, with 213 Knots, 672 Sanderlings, 75 Dunlins and 951 Turnstones seen around the coast.

No comments: