Nothing to report from the 14th despite plenty of effort and by stark contrast the 15th can be described in one, often used word today-Epic!!!! The phones were ringing just after 6.30am when a magnificent SCOPS OWL was disturbed from its roost in Holland gardens flying straight into an open mist-net! It returned to the gardens sycamores after ringing where it was left it in peace hidden from view but we'll be heading up at dusk to see if it calls/comes out to hunt. Its been a great spring on the Island and this fantastic little bird puts the icing on a very fine chocolate cake! The Mash Warbler continued to sing there throughout the morning, even showing itself occasionally and just before lunchtime the Grey Phalarope was re-discovered on the Gretchen Loch where it showed much better than first time around. Also there was the first Common Tern of the year, a lingering Little Gull and the Black-tailed Godwit.
Scops Owl (photo by Rael Butcher)
(photo by Jackie Hichens)
This cryptic mega represents the second SCOPS OWL record for North Ronaldsay and the first in the Bird Observatory's lifetime. The previous record was well over a century ago, when one was caught at the Lighthouse on 2nd June 1892. More pictures to follow...