Friday, 20 December 2013

19th-20th December

Were still ticking along nicely with daily new arrivals providing reward for continuing to get out and about despite the often rubbish weather! On 19th masses of birds gathered to feed at Bridesness again on the very high tide, many species were present but notable were at least 200 Purple Sandpipers and a juvenile Glaucous Gull. A single Black-tailed Godwit and the Shelduck were on the Loch there and the Green-winged Teal was back at Gretchen. Bird of the day on a local level though was a Common Buzzard around the west coast-a species which is far from annual with less than 25 Island records, although this is our second of the year. A trek up to the north end in better weather on 20th found the Buzzard still to be present but a Goldfinch at Neven was a welcome addition. It was joined briefly by a 'frosty' looking Redpoll with a large white rump, presumably the Coue's Arctic Redpoll from 14th but again disappeared before it could be scrutinised-so for now has to remain unconfirmed. There are now 7 Whooper and 4 Mute Swans present with 16 Pintails also seen. Flocks of Snow Buntings are still at large with different groups of 33 in the Bridesness area on 19th and 24 in the North on 20th.

Goldfinch-in the dark! 

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