We've been thoroughly spoilt this week as despite the often foggy and drizzly conditions in the morning, it was another superb and varied days birding. Topping the bill was the re-appearance of the Daurian (Isabelline) Shrike at Holland House in the afternoon. Having avoided detection yesterday, despite fairly extensive coverage of the Island it just goes to show how much potential there is to find your own birds on North Ronaldsay-the team must miss plenty! New scarcities included the second Rose-coloured Starling of the autumn near Hooking-a frantic dash for telescopes quickly proved that the bird was un-ringed, hence not the recent individual and will become the 8th island record. There were 2 Little Buntings, the first in the Irises at Hooking and another near the Observatory. The Short-toed Lark was re-found near Kirbest, there were 2 Wrynecks (Observatory and Rue), 4 Red-breasted Flycatchers (3 in Holland gardens and another at Rue) were likely lingering birds, 3 Barred Warblers (Scottigar, Scots Ha and Holland), 9 Yellow-browed Warblers and the Common Rosefinch still. A busy evenings log revealed some good totals of migrants with Warblers particularly well represented. 2 new Reed Warblers were found and there were also 17 Garden Warblers, 26 Blackcaps, 5 Lesser Whitethroats (including an 'Eastern' type at the post office), the Wood Warbler, 10 Chiffchaffs, 36 Willow Warblers and 8 Goldcrests. A House Martin was new, as were 2 'flava' Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail with other migrant passerines being 4 Dunnocks, 10 Robins, 4 Redstarts, 4 Whinchats, 97 Wheatears, Ring Ouzel, 37 Song Thrushes, 2 Spotted and a Pied Flycatcher, 7 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 5 Siskin and single Snow and Lapland Buntings. There was a little Wildfowl movement with 5 Pintail, 145 Wigeon and 105 Teal and last but by no means least after a hectic round up- 2 Common Sandpipers on the west coast were the most notable of the Waders.
Little Bunting-plenty of imagination needed with this one!
And not much better..Lesser Whitethroat possibly of an 'Eastern' origin
Grey Wagtail-just the 4th to be ringed on North Ronaldsay, caught and ringed late afternoon.