Friday, 13 June 2014

13th June

An absolutely stunning day with another stunning, surprise to boot! The Heatherlea birding group are on fire discovering the islands third ever spring/summer record of Grey Phalarope on the links golf course just before lunchtime. After initially leading everyone on a merry dance this still very smart partial summer plumage bird was tracked down to Trolla Vatn where it showed well to all. A male Nightjar at Holland House was our third of the spring and after previously being an immense rarity (averaging 1 every decade) during the observatory's early years the species is now annual with 7 in the last 3 years! The Marsh Warbler continued to sing at the gardens with what was presumed to be the same Turtle Dove also there.
 
Record shots of the Grey Phalarope (photo's by Phil Knott) 

The behaviour of the Phalarope was quite remarkable, keeping close company with the Arctic Terns and mirroring their flight and actions with astonishing similarity bar the actual catching of a fish! Numerous times it would ascend high into the sky before pirouetting back down to the Loch,  following pairs of Terns around as if it were one of their offspring. A truly fantastic and fascinating bird to watch and study! 

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