Tuesday, 3 November 2015

1st November

A new month and some typical arrivals for the time of year made for a good tally of species as the autumn begins to draw to a close. The best bird was a Black-throated Diver during a sea-watch from the north end which also yielded 3 Red-throated and 4 Great Northern Divers and 6 Sooty Shearwaters in an hour. Wildfowl were particularly evident with the redhead Smew seen again on Bewan Loch and a Common Scoter off the links. There were also 324 Wigeon, 215 Teal, 10 Pintail, 21 Shovelers and 20 Long-tailed Ducks plus 21 Whooper Swans -which included a flock of 18 (15 adults, 3 juveniles) new birds south through the island. The Northern Harrier remained into its third calender month and there was also 2 juvenile Hen Harriers, a female Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and 2 Short-eared Owls seen. There were now 2 juvenile Glaucous Gulls (Nouster bay and Garso wick) present, plus 4 Woodcocks though a very late Ruff at Cauldhame scrape was less expected and rather late. A handful of new passerines helped take the days totals to 13 Robins, 3 Black Redstarts (2 new birds at the Lighthouse), 3 late Wheatears, 81 Blackbirds, 55 Fieldfares, 7 Song Thrushes, 110 Redwings, a Mistle Thrush (first of autumn), 4 Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs, 8 Goldcrests, the 2 Great Grey Shrikes still at Holland gardens (trapped and ringed today) and Ancum Willows respectively, 6 Bramblings, 5 Siskins, the Yellowhammer and a Snow Bunting.

Great Grey Shrike (photo George Gay)
Glaucous Gull (photo Espen Quinto-Ashman)

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