Saturday, 1 November 2014
After all of yesterday's wind and rain, we thought there might be the odd new bird in today. And there certainly was-thousands of them!!! From first light Thrushes, in particular Fieldfares filled the fields around the Observatory with many flocks moving straight out to sea and others not even landing, passing down the west coast and on towards mainland Orkney. The days total of 6561 (including 4500 out south) is actually a conservative one, yet still represents a new island record while also chipping in were some 1655 Redwings, 187 Blackbirds, 2 Ring Ouzels and 25 Song Thrushes. The best bird was a Bluethroat at Hooking, a male which was likely of the 'white-spotted' race but it was frustratingly elusive and this wasn't confirmed. Robins were also pretty evident with 137 counted perhaps not truly representing the total on the island-there's probably at least 300 here with both of the 2 (out of 6) census routes which were covered today each housing 50+! Also logged were 6 Black Redstarts, a Wheatear,11 Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaffs, 31 Goldcrests, the Tree Sparrow, 3 Mealy Redpolls, 32 Snow Buntings and a Yellowhammer. There were 2 Greenland White-fronted Geese on the west coast, 2 Sparrowhawks seen, a Short-eared Owl (with another found dead), at least 51 Woodcocks, a Woodpigeon, and a Water Rail trapped and ringed at the Observatory-just another breathless day on North Ron!!!