Thursday, 1 September 2016

29th-30th August

After all the excitement of our visitor from the East things have begun to clear out and migrants dissipate. The 29th was another nice day kicked off by an Icterine Warbler found in the crop field that's been sowed by Lurand, it looks a fantastic site and now with two mist nets in it I'm sure we'll be mentioning it more often. The Icterine was joined in the crop by several Willow Warblers, the day count falling to 14 and falling again to 6 the next day, while the Icterine remained. A Pied Flycatcher was trapped at the obs in the late afternoon and a Common Rosefinch was present between Hooking and Scottsha'.
Two Rock Pipits were on the rocks at Tor-ness, presumably returning birds from earlier in the spring.
Non-passerine wise and another phone call from Pete, these are not something we're getting tired of in these parts at the moment, a Common Buzzard was making its way down the island, a bird that has become commoner in the Northern Isle over recent years, and is now probably recorded annually on the island, but was once much rarer.
The other birds of prey present was a Kestrel at Senness that hung around until the 30th and a female Merlin was hunting over the obs on 30th as well. Waders put in a reasonable account for themselves again the most noteworthy being 3 Little Stint and a the long staying Wood Sandpiper that remained until the 30th before seemingly disappearing as all these things do, the 30th gave us singles of Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank and 2 Common Sandpipers.
A quick dazzling session before bed on the 29th provided 3 Snipe, a re-trap Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, a single Curlew and best of all Little Stint, a very nice haul for a quick trip.
Duck numbers are still rising with 4 Gadwall, 41 Teal, 32 Mallard and 5 Shoveler being the highest counts from the two day spell.
Swift numbers have also started to increase with 5 being recorded on the 30th.
The big news came from the sea-watch hide with good numbers of Sooty Shearwaters it was only a matter of time before another large shearwater was seen and it came in the shape of a Great Shearwater, it's made even sweeter by the story behind the observer, the man behind the scope was long time Great Shearwater hunter and a repeat guest of our Al McNee, he's put in huge amounts of effort to finally get his prize, so well done to him.
Little Stint - George Gay

Ringed Plovers - George Gay

Snipe - George Gay


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