Thursday, 5 January 2017

31st December - 5th January. We're Back!

First and foremost we hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year and it's now time to get some birding done.
The 31st bought about strong winds, something that has been a constant feature since the start of December, the Northern Harrier is still around and has been entertaining us over the winter period, as have a pair of Glaucous Gulls that have been hanging around the loch at Bewan. 5 Pink-footed Geese at Peckhole, a Pochard on Brides and Merlin rounded off the final day of 2016.
Hogamany provided good entertainment and with drinks flowing a first foray into the field wasn't likely the following day, so we'll move on to the 2nd and not mention whiskey for a while!
The day started with a female Chaffinch trapped in T1, the first bird ringed on island in 2017.Another trip to Bewan and a flock of 6 Goldeneye were accompanied by a very surprising and very smart Drake Smew, the year was off to a good start and it didn't stop, 7 Snow Buntings at Brides provided a nice addition as did 3 Merlins in different locations, last but not least an Iceland Gull was seen flying round Nouster. A dazzling session in the late evening produced, Moorhen, Gadwall, Whooper Swan, Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, Common Gull and a Great-black Backed Gull rounded off a good day of birds.
The two Glaucs were present again on the 3rd as was female Hen Harrier and the 4th bought another Glaucous Gull this time on the beach at Brides along with a lone Snow Bunting at Stromness point and the Northern Harrier showed well at Kirbest and the obs.
The 5th saw a slight let up in the wind, the Northern Harrier was hanging around the gardens at Holland and a Little Auk was heard and then seen flying over the road between the obs and Holland, the Chaffinch was seen around the obs and 3 Robins rounded the day off nicely.
Glaucous Gull - George Gay

Little Auk - George Gay

Northern Harrier - George Gay

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