Saturday, 20 May 2017

19th and 20th May

Overcast and chilly on the 19th with a brisk NE wind; all four Divers were again off the island with another cracking summer plumaged White-billed Diver lingering off the seawatch hide while the first summer Black-throated Diver reappeared in Nouster along with counts of 6 Red-throated and 7 Great-northern Divers.   Single Pintail and Garganey were notable while good numbers of waders were again present including 189 Ringed Plover, 224 Sanderling, 36 Knot and 19 Bar-tailed Godwits but 30 Purple Sandpipers were a reduced figure (to be expected as they move off north!)

                Landbirds were a bit slow with a Grey Wagtail at Brides and 4 Mealy Redpolls the pick along with a Woodpigeon, 6 Sand Martins, 3 House Martins, 8 Sedge Warblers (with many of the breeding birds back on territory now) and single Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff and Pied Flycatcher.

Pied Flycatcher,  photo Simon Davies

                A miserable morning on the 20th with persistent, heavy rain and a cold, strong NE wind kept most people indoors but it slightly improved in the afternoon (i.e. the rain became lighter) allowing some decent new birds to be unearthed, highlighted by a female Bluethroat out on the point at Trinley, the first Curlew Sandpiper of the year on the beach at Westness in amongst the big wader flocks still present – which included a year’s high count of 105 Knot, a new drake Garganey which joined the long staying pair and now at least 6 Mealy Redpolls milling about.

                Other birds included 5 Great-northern Divers, 3 Herons, single Woodpigeon and Collared Dove, 6 Sand Martins, 8 House Martins, a Willow Warbler, a Black Redstart which got stuck in the tractor shed, a White Wagtail, 3 Sedge Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher and a late Chaffinch.

Mealy Redpolls,  photos Simon Davies

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