Monday, 31 October 2016

25th-28th October

A period of horrendous wind and rain saw coverage limited and the coastal areas of the island battered. The 25th wasn't as bad but the prevailing 40mph westerlies and driving rain from the 26th onwards left us all wishing for better weather!
The wildfowl wasn't all too bothered by the wet weather, with 154 Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, 40 Mallard, 3 Pintail, 1 Goldeneye, 9 Tufted Duck, 2 Long-tailed Duck and 1 Red-breasted Merganser were all recorded across the period, the Green-winged Teal was still present on Gretchen and a 1st Winter Female Scaup was present on the 25th onwards on Ancum Loch.
A influx of Whooper Swans started on the 28th with 76 being recorded, most of them on Ancum, another surprise came in the shape of a Slavonian Grebe on the 28th at Westness.
The Northern Harrier is still around and was seen on most days, as was a ringtail Hen Harrier.
The Skylark numbers have started to settle down with 106 on the 25th, 93 on the 26th, 21 on the 27th. Wader numbers are starting to build further 71 Sanderling, 2 Grey Plover, 5 Woodcock and a Jack Snipe were all present as was the long staying Hoopoe, now feeding by Howar. The prescence of Waxwings is always something to be looked forward too and a single bird on the 25th was much appriciated (there were also 2 that got left out of the previous post!).
Passerine numbers have started to dwindle as have the Thrush numbers, another late Garden Warbler was at the obs, 15 Blackcap, 18 Chiffchaff, 10 Chaffinch, 24 Twite, 5 Redpoll and 17 Snow Bunting were the passerine highlights, Thrush numbers were as I said, considerably lower, 46 Blackbirds, 36 Fieldfare, 15 Song Thrushes, 185 Redwing and 2 Mistle Thrush were the high counts.
Green-winged Teal 

Whooper Swan - both photos George Gay

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