Saturday, 10 October 2015

8th October

At last, the rain was gone, the sun shone and for 12 hours it felt like summer had returned to North Ronaldsay! A Great Grey Shrike at North Manse and Corncrake at Nether Linnay in the afternoon were the best of the new arrivals while the exact status (new or lingering?) of a mobile Little Bunting was uncertain. The male Northern Harrier continues to tour the island and the Bluethroat also showed well at times. The first chance to open the mist nets for 2 days saw a Siberian Chiffchaff among 60 new birds trapped and ringed, with 2 Grey Wagtails, 18 Robins, 2 Redstarts, 10 Ring Ouzels, 43 Blackbirds, 4 Fieldfares, 125 Song Thrushes, 239 Redwings, a Grasshopper Warbler (Haskie Thistles still), 2 Garden Warblers, 30 Blackcaps, 11 Yellow-browed Warblers, 9 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 30 Goldcrests, 11 Bramblings, 5 Goldfinches, 5 Lapland Buntings and 500 Snow Buntings all recorded. A couple of ringtail Hen Harriers joined their American counterpart at times and 2 Short-eared Owls, 10 Grey Herons, 78 Barnacle Geese, 4 Jack Snipe and 7 Woodcocks were the most notable non-passerines.

Great Grey Shrike (photo George Gay)
Siberian Chiffchaff (photo Mark Warren)
Chiffchaff (photo George Gay) 
Ring Ouzel (photo Mark Warren)
 There was also an impressive showing of the Aurora from the Observatory overnight (both photos by George Gay)

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