The weather has been mostly calm with some light south easterly-winds. Wader numbers for most species seemed to drop significantly, although 134 Knot on the 26th was the highest count of the year so far. Also seen that day were 2 Greenshank, a Peregrine, 8 Tree Sparrow and a Pied Flycatcher trapped and ringed at the Obs. 2 Black-throated Divers were in Nouster Bay, and were present there the following morning too. 2 Little Terns were on the Links on the 27th, and another Pied Flycatcher, a Siskin and 2 Lesser Redpoll were other birds of note. The highlight however was the first Orca sighting of the year, with at least two seen from Stromness Point. Another first for the year was a female Red-backed Shrike found at Trebb on the 28th. A few minutes later a summer plumage White-billed Diver floated past the seawatch hide. With a Black-throated Diver sighted at the Links later in the afternoon, along with 5 Great Northern and 1 Red-throated, it was the most diver species seen in one day on the island! Also recorded on the 28th was a nice male Ruff at Gretchen, 4 Sandwich Terns, 3 House Martin, 5 Chiffchaff, and singles of Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Dunnock and Robin. A Sparrowhawk was sighted on all days as was a single Barnacle Goose on Garso, with another 4 at Nether Linnay on the 28th. The Corncrake was still present at Holland, showing quite well at times.
Corncrake (photo Euan Ferguson)
Great Skua (photo Euan Ferguson)
Lesser Redpoll (photo Euan Ferguson)
Siskin (photo Euan Ferguson)