After struggling to find many new species for the year during September, there were two 'year ticks' today despite the strong, cool westerly wind. A Buff-breasted Sandpiper (first since 2012) feeding with other waders on the Links golf course attracted an admiring crowd while a Slavonian Grebe close offshore of Stennabrek, while also appreciated was very much overdue after none in spring. The male Northern Harrier was seen at numerous locations during the day, the Richard's Pipit briefly at Sandar in the morning only and 2 Yellow-browed Warblers lingered. Wildfowl on the move included 28 Whooper Swans and 320 Pink-footed Geese south and after yesterdays near miss, the Tufted Duck day-record was broken with 69 birds present on Bridesness Loch along with the 4 Pochards. Also seen were 2 Barnacle Geese, a Jack Snipe, a late juvenile Lesser black-backed Gull, the Collared Dove and House Martin, 2 Song Thrushes, a Pied Flycatcher, 9 Lapland Buntings and 430 Snow Buntings.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (middle, photo George Gay)