After the morning and early-part of the afternoon was spent dealing with Sheep related commitments, the Spring 'sprung' into action once we eventually made it out into the field. There were 4 new species for the year, and 2 of these also achieved their earliest ever arrival date on North Ronaldsay. A group of 3 Dotterels on Torness were a day earlier than last years first and the previous earliest, while a Pectoral Sandpiper on Bewan becomes the first April record and is over 2 weeks premature of a past record on 1st May. Neither of these were 'bird of the day' though, that accolade went to the drake Goosander which was also on Bewan, albeit briefly-a less than annual bird here! Other sightings from a busy few hours included the first 4 Swallows of the year, 3 Sand Martins, 3 Collared Doves, 30 Wheatears, a few new Chiffchaffs and a Common Redpoll. There was also a 1st summer Iceland Gull seen and some 15 Great Northern Divers were off the north coast.
If it wasn't almost dark, and if the Pectoral Sandpiper had been in focus-this could have been a decent photo!