It remains cold, with daily unpleasant sleet or hail showers and winds from either the north or east. The Velvet Scoter was in Nouster Bay again on 9th, when the European White-fronted Goose was near the school. The monthly 'Webs' count took place on 10th and although wildfowl numbers have reduced of late 6 Gadwalls, 6 Shovelers 4 Pintails and 14 Tufted Ducks were noteworthy. The Stock Dove was seen again that day (and again on 12th) but a Mistle Thrush at Holland House was a true new arrival. The first Tysties were seen ashore along the western coasts in calmer conditions on 11th, when Oystercatcher numbers reached 204 and 40 Golden Plover were the first in over 2 weeks. Its been a poor winter for 'white-winged' Gulls and on 12th a juvenile Glaucous Gull at Bridesness became only the second of the year. Just 2 Black-tailed Godwits were there this time and not before time the first Robin of the year was at Holland House.
These 3 Whooper Swans have spent the winter on North Ronaldsay, joined today by a couple of MuteSwans.