Saturday, 17 August 2013

16th - 17th August

There was little to mention on the 16th although the usual daily turnover of waders has now started to include the first juveniles of many species with the high arctic breeding species such as Sanderling, Knot, Turnstone and Bar-tailed Godwits appearing now; the rarest bird though - considering the very poor recent breeding seasons in the Northern Isles, was a juvenile Kittiwake which drifted down the west coast!
   Two Sooty and three Manx Shearwaters passed the top end in the morning of the 17th before the increasingly strong winds and spell of very heavy rain at lunchtime drove us indoors; the heavy rain produced a noteworthy arrival of ducks with the numbers made up of 95+ Mallard, 50+ Teal, 12+ Shoveler, two Pintail and 4 Wigeon while the quality consisted of a very smart female (probably an adult) Blue-winged Teal, it posed well but briefly on Ancum Loch before flushing across to Hooking from where it was seen to head high off to the south with some Shovelers - the first record for North Ronaldsay for around 20 years.   Also new in were 6 Black-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper and an influx of 60+ Snipe while the Pectoral Sandpiper reappeared on Ancum in the evening.

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