Sunday, 27 September 2015

25th September

Wow! Wow! Wow! Today we were treated to something really special, of real quality which was wholly unexpected. There was much sprinting about over tussock fields followed by some 'wacky racers' like speeding around the island in Landrovers from mid-morning after a totally stunning, adult or sub-adult male NORTHERN HARRIER flew past Mark at Lairds Park mid-morning. This, about the tenth British record of the North American form of our Hen Harrier went on to perform spectacularly as it toured the island for the rest of the day. It subsequently transpired this was the 'Hen Harrier' seen yesterday and though currently not recognised as a full species by the UK committee's, this position seems likely to change in the near future - either way it is one fantastic looking raptor! There were some other new birds seen today with the first 3 Lapland Buntings of the autumn in fields at Greenwall, 5 Yellow-browed Warblers spread about the island and another high count of 441 Snow Buntings. There was the first significant movement of Pink-footed Geese with 418 heading south while 41 Tufted Ducks at Bridesness was also a good count. Other odds and ends included 8 Grey Herons, a female Sparrowhawk, Jack Snipe and 12 Black-tailed Godwits.

 Northern Harrier (All 3 photos by George Gay)

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