Monday, 17 July 2017

16th and 17th July

A windy morning gradually increased to become a very windy afternoon on the 16th with some very nasty, heavy squalls whipping across the island; the White-winged Black Tern was quickly re-found on the rocks at Bewan again in the morning allowing more folks to connect with this stunning Tern, it soon disappeared though and only made a couple of other brief appearances but with a conservative count of 5,290 Arctic Terns made today there were plenty of flocks for it to hide in!   The 5 Red-necked Phalaropes were still on Gretchen along with the two juvenile Garganey from Hooking.

White-winged Black Tern at Bewan and Gretchen

                The open cut fields were again full of birds as totals included 484 Oystercatchers, 732 Golden Plover, 19 Bar-tailed Godwits and 67 Curlew with 113 Dunlin, 51 Redshank and a Whimbrel around the coast.   A short seawatch in the morning was also productive with single Sooty Shearwater and Manx Shearwater, 395 Fulmars, 158 Puffins and 1,700 large Auk sp. heading past the hide while 8 Black-tailed Godwits came in off the sea from the north.

                More Déjà vu on the 17th with another trip up to Bewan in windy and wet conditions early morning to get more folks onto the White-winged Black Tern which lingered for longer on the rocks with the large Arctic Tern flocks.   The last people caught up with the Tern in the afternoon when it popped up on Gretchen, rested for twenty minutes before floating around Loch Park for a while and disappearing once again towards Nouster – so far it hasn’t stopped in one place for more than half an hour!

                Gretchen also provided most of the day’s other interest with the 5 Red-necked Phalaropes, 2 Garganey and a Swift hawking with 12 Sand Martins; elsewhere, birds included the Black-throated Diver in the bay, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 190+ Dunlin and 45 Knot.

Redshank,   photos Simon Davies

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