Thursday, 17 September 2015

16th September

Fog and drizzle made for a much wetter day than had been forecast but as has been the case all week, the Obs team, Guests and Heatherlea tour group between them contributed to another decent day. A Wryneck at the Observatory at dusk, the 2 Barred Warblers (Holland and Senness), a Yellow-browed Warbler at Rue and 2 Little Stints in the Trolla Vatn area all drew plenty of attention. Having said that, in terms of a birding spectacle it was the continuous passage of flock after flock of Gannets in an easterly direction past the Observatory in damp conditions all morning which was the main talking point of the day. The estimation of 5000 birds (conservative in our opinion!!), doubles the previous record day count and we can only assume they had come from an unseen feeding frenzy out in the fog somewhere to the west of the island. In the same area were 4 Sandwich Terns (the first of the month) and 9 Red-throated Divers were in Nouster Bay with a Short-eared Owl the first of the week and 2 Sparrowhawks and 5 Kestrels the other raptors. Migrant tallies were similar to yesterday but those showing an increase or were clearly new included the 5 Redstarts, 15 Blackcaps, 3 Spotted and 4 Pied Flycatchers, a Siskin and 13 Snow Buntings. Species slightly lower numbers, but likely to still have included some new individuals were a single Swift, a Tree Pipit, 3 Whinchats, 76 Wheatears, a Song Thrush, the Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, 14 Willow Warblers and a Goldcrest.

 Lesser Whitethroat (photo George Gay)
Reed Warbler (photo George Gay)

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