Thursday, 5 December 2013

4th-5th December

A truly horrendous couple of days weather wise with up to 70mph freezing north-westerly winds and seemingly constant blizzards battered the Island! The 4th was spent indoors catching up on paperwork and the 5th was heading the same way until news from elsewhere in the UK, tempted one lunatic outside in search of Arctic visitors. It turned out to be a surprisingly prolific day given the time of year with a Dark-bellied Brent Goose sheltering in Linklet Bay and a second-winter Glaucous Gull at Bridesness seemingly a good return for a torrid day out in the field with the weather. The former was the first of the year and are scarce on the Island but rarer still was a female/immature Blue-winged Teal discovered shortly  thereafter in coastal fields near Viggay. The second of the year and seventh record for North Ronaldsay it showed reasonable well (though proved impossible to photograph!) when we were able to stand up between blizzards wandering about in its chosen field before flying on to Bridesness Loch late on. There were plenty of other birds sheltering on the leeward coastline particularly Gulls with 3 Black-headed, 230 Common and 75 Herring Gulls in that area plus an impressive 200 Eiders. There were 2 Grey Plovers on the links, 13 Snow Buntings were seen while the Water Rail showed up again at the Observatory.

Brent Goose-clearly today was not great for photography!

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