Friday, 13 December 2013
On another pleasant day (before Armageddon hits tomorrow!), Friday the 13th certainly wasn't unlucky on North Ronaldsay, in-fact it delivered a major surprise! After not being seen for over 3 weeks the SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER unexpectedly re-appeared with a flock of Redshanks in the West Beach area. So, where has it been!? With reduced coverage at this time of year it tends to be the west side which gets neglected-so it seems most likely it has probably never left, although its equally plausible that its been visiting one of the many other under-watched Orkney Islands. It will be searched for again in that area more thoroughly over the next few days. The second surprise of the day was a Long-eared Owl disturbed from the sheep dyke at Westness while more familiar was the lingering drake Green-winged Teal at Gretchen. The Twite flock enjoying the Kirbest crop field has increased slightly again to at least 172 birds, with a single Linnet also hanging on while the Common Scoter was seen again off the Links and the 5 Whooper Swans remain.