Saturday, 19 July 2014

17th to 19th July

Familiar species continue to pass through the island each day and there was even some unexpected quality on the 19th. The sea-watching season has only just began so the eleventh island record of Balearic Shearwater, which passed by the hide at close range mid-morning was a nice early highlight. More surprising was that the bird flew east with 99% of sea-birds on the move, like the 10 Manx Shearwaters also seen, flying west-perhaps a bird feeding in the area? Topping this though was an adult Roseate Tern (probably present since 15th) among the Arctic's at Westness which becomes just the seventh North Ronaldsay record and the eight individual following last years pair. It showed briefly around mid-day before disappearing but was re-located in the evening and performed brilliantly. Wader species showing signs of increase the same day included 23 Knot, 167 Dunlins and 22 Bar-tailed Godwits, while on 18th 230 Oystercatchers were counted and on 17th a group of 6 Black tailed Godwits dropped into Gretchen briefly. The Grey Phalarope was still there on 17th with a Green Sandpiper and a Pochard at Bridesness. A few single Swifts have also been seen and on 18th a Sand Martin was on the Links and a Carrion Crow at the Observatory.

 Roseate Tern

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