Tuesday, 27 September 2016

25th-26th September

The 25th saw conditions calm down and with calmer weather the birds came out of the shelter and out too feed, boosting our numbers a bit.
The Dunnock was present at Senness again and Yellow-browed Warblers increased ever so slightly to 5 birds as did Lapland Bunting to 38. Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers both had 2 accounts for the day as did Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Whinchat and Chaffinch. A single Kestrel was seen over Gravity in the afternoon, a pair of Pintail were on Ancum and singles of Song Thrush, Goldcrest, House Martin and Pied Flycatcher rounded the birding day off nicely. We weren't done there though, a spectaclar showing of the Aurora Boreialis left guests and staff in awe, it would repeat the same feat the next night, these shows are regular up here but usually only as a faint glow, but with full dancing ribbons we were treated to the full phenomenon!
The 26th had a lot to live up too after the Aurora and the South-Westerly winds weren't leanding themselves to much being found. The Hen Harrier was still present at Brides as was a female Sparrowhawk at Hooking.
Our first Autumnal Snow Bunting appeared at the Broch and our second Bramling was at Dennishill in the morning, otherwise the birding was much the same with 5 Yellow-browed Warblers being recorded for the second day in sucession, singles of Curlew Sandpiper, Robin, Dunnock, Song Thrush and Common Whitethroat. Other birds to note were 3 Garden Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Goldcrest, 5 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Pied Flycatchers and 2 Whinchats.
With some strong Westerly forecast for Tuesday into Wednesday off the end of Hurricane Karl, we live in hope and lie in wait for that big American passerine!

Aurora Borealis - Both photos George Gay

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