Thursday, 29 June 2017

28th and 29th June

Nice and sunny again through the 28th but with a brisk, chilly NE breeze to take the edge off but there was plenty of interest spread through the day with the undoubted highlight a cracking adult PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER found mid-afternoon in the standing stone field with the first decent arrival of 97+ Golden Plovers of the autumn – they are becoming a bit of speciality here, as its the 11th North Ronaldsay record!

Pacific Golden Plover

                There were now 3 Red-necked Phalaropes busily feeding away on Gretchen while other wader counts included 102 Knot, 23 Dunlin, 33 Bar-tailed Godwit and 151 Turnstone but other birds of note were thin on the ground with just the Black-throated Diver again in Nouster, a Heron and 4 Collared Doves of note.   A recently fledged juvenile Dunlin in Loch Park became only the second confirmed breeding for the island (after the first in 2015) – although it was a bit galling that we failed to find the nest or the chicks when they were younger!

                Still sunny in the morning of the 29th but the wind was even more brisk and even more chilly and brought persistent rain by mid-afternoon; the 3 Red-necked Phalaropes were still showing very well on Gretchen, Golden Plover showed a slight increase up to 115 and the distinctive dark phase Arctic Skua with the notch in her wing hatched two tiny, fluffy chicks – hopefully they can avoid all the marauding Bonxies.
Red-necked Phalaropes

Little fledged Dunlin

We managed to round up the Shelduck brood on Gretchen!   photos Simon Davies

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