Saturday, 7 November 2015

4th November

With an increasing south-easterly wind and a few more birds today its beginning to feel like there could be another arrival on the cards in stronger winds due tomorrow. Among the newcomers today were the first Yellow-browed Warbler for over two weeks at Vincoin and a Long-eared Owl trapped and ringed at Holland gardens, where the ringed Great Grey Shrike last seen on the 1st reappeared. After lower counts recently it seems likely that at least some of the 9 Short-eared Owls flushed from a small area between Senness and the Lighthouse were new as particularly large numbers recently. There was also a small arrival of Fieldfares with 409 counted, plus 85 Blackbirds, 191 Redwings, a Black Redstart, 11 Robins, 5 Blackcaps, a Goldcrest, 5 Bramblings and 14 Snow  Buntings. More effort (3.5 hours) of se-watching yielded 8 Great Northern, 20 Red-throated and best of all 2 Black-throated Divers, a 'blue' Fulmar, 11 Sooty Shearwaters, a juvenile Pomarine Skua, 7 Great Skuas, 209 Kittiwakes, 7 Little Auks and 460 Auk sp. Flocks of Whooper Swans passed through again with 29 birds in all, while the red-head Smew, Common Scoter and juvenile Glaucous Gull all remain. 3 each of Jack Snipe and Woodcock were flushed and at least one juvenile Hen Harrier was present, although having tempted fate with two blank days and calm weather it seems our long staying, star attraction - the male Northern Harrier may have relocated to another island.

Yellow-browed Warbler (photo Mark Warren)

Long-eared Owl (photo Mark Warren)

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