Thursday, 6 November 2014
A couple of completely different days with a cool, northerly wind yet pleasant day on 5th replaced by south-easterly gales and heavy rain rendering the 6th un-birdable past 12pm! On the former date the Short-toed Lark was found to still be present in the stubble field at Nether Linnay while the drake Green-winged Teal remained on Gretchen Loch. Also seen were 13 Pintails, a late Kestrel, 2 Black Redstarts-including a new individual at Howar, a similar selection of the usual Thrushes, Robins and Warblers also included some new birds, 75 Twite, a Mealy Redpoll and 61 Snow Buntings. An early attempt at sea-watching on 6th had some unexpected results, with 4 eared-Owls (too distant to be identified) picked up separately and then coming in-off west of the Lighthouse in just an hour! A juvenile Pomarine Skua, Great Skua and 'dark' phase Fulmar were more predictable while an attempt at birding around the (slightly) sheltered Westness area found a Long-eared Owl offshore and attempting to come in there which was presumed different from the sea-watch birds. There were also at least 5 Woodcocks and a Jack Snipe plus several Thrushes and Robins sheltering around the walls so it'll be interesting to see what's around when the weather's more co-operative.