The 1st of May was a cool breezy affair, with other commitments resulting in just 20% island coverage but 4 hours were spent at the nets in the evening. The Glossy Ibis was still present while 30 Barnacle Geese flew north and 2 female Sparrowhawks included a smart adult caught and ringed. There were still plenty of common passerines about, with a Pied Flycatcher, 4 Tree Pipits and 19 Chiffchaffs the most noteworthy. There was a bit more to report from a scorcher of a day on the 2nd when 40% coverage and another 4 hours ringing time was finished off in fine style when a SpottedSandpiper-moulting into summer-plumage was found at the pier late evening. With half an hour of daylight left, there was a mad scramble as the sun set over the island but all managed good views of thi,s the second North Ronaldsay record (the first was in September 2008). Other highlights from the day included a Wryneck showing well to guests at dinner-time outside the Obs lounge, the Hawfinch still at Holland and 3 Garganeys (pair at Westness, and single drake at Hooking). A Grasshopper Warbler, 5 Bramblings and a Siskin were also at Holland and at least 17 Mealy Redpolls (possibly as many as 30) were present. Another 7 Barnacle Geese flew north and 6 Carrion and 8 Hooded Crows were also on the move.
A record shot of this evening's Spotted Sandpiper-we'll be back first thing tomorrow!