Who said the summer was over - it was another gorgeous, wind free, sunny day on North Ronaldsay which even began with a rarity when not long after 9am a Pechora Pipit was found in the Irises and tussocks between Peckhole and Hooking Loch. The bird was typically in its elusive behaviour but this the islands 5th record (or 6th if you were to take last years September record which wasn't accepted by the BBRC) showed well in flight frequently and was occasionally seen on the ground throughout the day. Later in the afternoon the male Northern Harrier made a surprise return, having presumably visited another part of Orkney's archipelago for a few days while the Great Grey Shrike remains in residence not too far from Hooking Loch. Numbers of some of the commoner species were slightly down on yesterday with 14 Robins, a Dunnock, the Grey Wagtail, a Whinchat, the interesting Redstart, fewer thrushes, a Reed Warbler at Longar, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 20 Blackcaps, 6 Yellow-browed Warblers, 9 Chiffchaffs, 118 Goldcrests and a Lapland Bunting recorded. a couple of Ruff were probably new and the calm seas saw 2 Slavonian Grebes and 6 Long-tailed Ducks recorded.
Pechora Pipit (top photo by George Gay, bottom 3 by Espen Quinto-Ashman)